The second-annual Walpole Power List, naming 2020’s 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury, has been revealed to include our whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi as a ‘Gamechanger‘.
Released to mark the day the 19th British Luxury Awards would have taken place, the list celebrates the inspirational individuals – the 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury – within Walpole member brands who, despite enormous challenges throughout 2020, have continued to steer the sector to success.
What does luxury mean in a time of necessity? Throughout this extraordinary year, that question has been answered many times over as British luxury has responded with courage, creativity and fortitude to the immense challenges of the pandemic. Sometimes it takes a crisis to show you what you’re made of, and the 2020 Walpole Powerlist is here to shine a light on fifty individuals who exemplify the exceptional calibre of those working in British luxury. There are testing times ahead, but with such talent to drive it forward, there is no doubt at all the sector will emerge stronger and fitter than ever before.”
Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole
As the official sector body for British luxury, Walpole’s purpose is to promote, protect and develop a sector worth £48 billion to the UK economy. Founded in 1992 as a not-for-profit organisation, Walpole counts more than 270 British brands in its membership and is recognised in both Westminster and Brussels.
The list is held in association with private capital experts, Investec, with winners recognised across the following categories:
- Custodians – those who have progressed their brand’s sustainability goals during a particularly difficult year.
- Heroes – celebrating the individuals who reached out to their community, and supported frontline workers, the NHS, or the national effort during the early stages of the pandemic.
- Game Changers – innovators within British luxury in pursuit of something new: where they lead, others follow.
- Gurus – individuals with extraordinary expertise in their respective fields.
- Legends – high-profile figures who have led their business in a particularly supportive and inspiring way through the pandemic.
- Rising Stars – the Ones to Watch.
- Storytellers – people at the heart of luxury who have created inspiring communications during the crisis.
- Taste-Makers – influencers with a great network who others look to for advice and inspiration.
- Innovators – those who have shown true innovation in product, service or management throughout the pandemic.
Reflecting on his inclusion, Dhavall Gandhi commented:
As a whiskymaker with an artistic ethos, creativity, quality and innovation are central to the way I make flavour, and they are the key characteristics of luxury brands. In what has been a challenging but ground-breaking year at The Lakes, to be seen by Walpole as one of the people helping to steer the British luxury sector to success is genuinely humbling. It also came as a surprise, and I am flattered and honoured in equal measure.
Walpole’s full 2020 list revealed:
The Game Changers
Dhavall Gandhi, Master Blender, Lakes Distillery
Tom Marchant, Owner & Co-Founder, Black Tomato
Simon Mitchell, Co-Founder, Sybarite
Lucy Yeomans, Founder & Co-CEO, DREST
Farrah Storr, Editor-in-Chief, ELLE UK
The Taste Makers
Richard Carter, Director of Global Communications, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
Rachel Vosper, Managing Director, Rachel Vosper
Shelley Tichborne, Founder & Managing Director, Mou London
Jason Heward, Managing Director, Leica
Conor O’Leary, Managing Director, Gleneagles
Mats Klingberg, Founder, Trunk Clothiers
Mark Duguid, Managing Director, Carrier
Simon Glendenning, Managing Director, Dugdale
Stuart Johnson, Managing Director, Brown’s
Anna Bartle, VP Corporate Affairs & Co-Lead Sustainability , The Estée Lauder Companies
Alexandra Currie, Senior Head of Strategy & Project Management, Farfetch
Margaret Sweeney, Director of Business Development, G . F Smith
Kristina Blahnik, CEO , Manolo Blahnik
Knut Wylde, General Manager, The Berkeley
Jonathan Baker, Managing Director, Turnbull & Asser
Leanne Roberts-Hewitt, Managing Director and Kelly Yeomans, Business Development, Wildabout
Balthazar Fabricius & Chris Downham, Co-Chairs, Walpole Brands of Tomorrow
Simon Cotton, CEO, Johnstons of Elgin
Anthony Romano, CEO, Church’s
Demetra Pinsent, CEO, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty
Ewan Venters, CEO, Fortnum & Mason
Robert Whitfield, Regional Director, UK & General Manager, The Dorchester
Thierry Andretta, CEO, Mulberry
Simon Cundey , Managing Director, Henry Poole
The Rising Stars
Stephanie Foxley, Digital Marketing Manager, Garrard
Serena Riches, Senior Strategic Marketing Lead, The Royal Mint
Francesca Lindberg, PR Manager, The Hari
Charlotte Unsworth, Global Luxury PR Manager, William Grant & Sons
Amabile Guglielmino-Brady, Global Senior Brand Manager, Royal Salute / Pernod Ricard
The Story Tellers
Samantha Strawford, Brand Communications Director, Belmond
David Kendall, Marketing & Communications Director, David Collins Studio
Steven Rankin, Director of Prestige, Gordon & MacPhail
Zanny Gilchrist, Freelance PR & Marketing Consultant, Ettinger
Julia Record, Global Director of Communications & Partnerships, The Dorchester
Melissa Mullen, Vice President, General Manager UK & IR, Jo Malone London
Lucy Thornton, Head of Marketing, Innovation & Sustainability, JING Tea
Bernie de le Cuona, Founder & CEO, de le Cuona
Jocelyn Wilkinson, Responsibility Programme Director, Burberry
Debra Patterson, Quality Executive, The Savoy
Rachel Waller, Global Vice President Marketing, Digital & Innovation, Burberry
Linda Plant, Director of Marketing, Edwardian Group, London
Tracey Greaves, Chief Commercial Officer, Goodwood
Beatrice Descorps, Global Vice-President, Molton Brown
Cate Moore, Global Director of Advocacy, Marketing Communications & eCommerce, William Grant & Sons
Joost de Kruiff , General Manager, Home Grown Club