Interview with Sarah Mansfield: Chair of Bath In Fashion

Hello, could you introduce yourself please, including your current role and background?
I am a currently a director of Milsom Place and Chair of Bath in Fashion. As far as my background is concerned, I have spent my career in leisure and retail. This includes running a luxury hotel train business in Scotland for a number of years, but more recently concentrating on retail and property. I have been in Bath since 2001 when my partners and I purchased what was then, the Shires Yard shopping centre. During the intervening years we have redeveloped this area as Milsom Place and I have become involved in the marketing and events of the city, through chairing the city centre management board, helping to create and chair Bath in Fashion and sitting on the boards of Bath Tourism Plus and the Bath BID company. … much better to engage and support than throw bricks from the side lines.

What do you love about Bath In Fashion?
I love Bath in Fashion, because it is so much more than a series of brilliant catwalk shows. The more time we spend on it, the more seriously talented and creative people we realise we have in Bath and the more it becomes obvious that others with real talent also like to be associated with this fantastic city. I, and many others involved with the event, have become very passionate about what it is and where it can go.

What can we look forward to – and what are you most looking forward to during Bath In Fashion?
We can look forward to a real breadth of events, from star studded talks to workshops led by experts in their field, to showpiece catwalk shows. I love being behind the scenes and seeing all the hard work come together, but who couldn’t be excited about meeting some of the stars in the industry from Manolo Blahnik to Stephen Jones and Amanda Wakeley. We are immensely honoured to have them and some of the leading names from fashion journalism, such as Sarah Mower and Paula Read taking part.

Amanda Wakeley S/S 2012 – Fiasco Magazine

What do you particularly love about this city?
I have to pinch myself as I walk to work and remind myself of the stunning backdrop against which all that we do takes place. I love the fact that we live in and amongst a truly beautiful historic setting. I love the elegance all around us, not just in the architecture but in what this brings out, in terms of those who live and work here, and the style and creativity they apply to what they do. Most of us would have to admit that our quality of life here in Bath is better than we have experienced elsewhere.

What would you say to someone considering popping to Bath for Bath In Fashion?
If you are popping to BIF, then try and take in a variety of events. Enjoy a catwalk show as well as a talk, but also try out the shops in Bath, many of who are taking part with their own promotions and events. We have some great brand names in the city as well as some brilliant independents with real style. Stop for a bite to eat at some of our brilliant cafes, or take in the pump rooms, if you have never tried them before. Make the most of Bath – shopping here is a great experience.

What’s the future for Bath In Fashion?
We are already talking about where Bath in Fashion goes in 2013. There is so much opportunity. It is not just about clothes but also design, art and everything else that embodies the style associated with this elegant city.

Thanks Sarah, inspiring words. Here’s to Bath In Fashion 2013!

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  • Manolo Blahnik – Headlining BIF 2012

  • Banana Republic – Main Sponsors of BIF 2012

  • Amanda Wakeley Catwalk Show at BIF 2012


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