The designer brought in to add sparkle to women’s clothing at Marks & Spencer is to leave the retailer after three and a half years, it emerged today.
Yasmin Yusuf, who was recruited from high street chain Warehouse, will leave at the end of this month following the launch of Limited, a new range of womenswear in the design of which she had a key role.
Ms Yusuf was seen as instrumental in turning designs that were perceived by customers as being “frumpy” into fashionable styles taken from the catwalks.
Despite the improvements, sales figures show M&S is still struggling to compete with low-price rivals.
Ms Yusuf said: “I have enjoyed being at Marks & Spencer during a fascinating period. Limited Collection is now launched and I want to take time to breathe and fulfil a long-held ambition to develop my own clothing line.”
She had transformed the Warehouse fashion range before heading to Marks & Spencer in April 2001.
M&S chief executive Stuart Rose said: “Yasmin has made a significant contribution to womenswear. She has improved our design capability, developed our approach to ‘top to toe’ dressing and played an important part in launching the Limited Collection.”
August industry figures for the last three months showed rival Asda’s market share, which is based on the amount of clothes it sells, rose by almost one third to 9.4%, overtaking Marks & Spencer for the first time.
M&S’s share remained static at 9.1%, according to market research group Taylor Nelson Sofres.