Dubbed "Mary Queen Of Shops", Mary Portas is a high profile retail consultant and broadcaster. She is the Creative Director of the branding and communications agency Yellowdoor and is also known for her retail and business-related TV shows.
Mary started her career in retail with a Saturday job in John Lewis. She went on to work at Harrods, where she was responsible for window displays, before joining Top Shop as a Display Manager. Her next role brought Mary her first taste of fame and public acclaim, as Creative Director of Harvey Nichols, where she was credited with turning the store into a leading modern fashion brand and where she created the groundbreaking window displays that became part of the guided tours of London. By the age of 30, Mary was a member of the company's board.
In 1997, Mary left Harvey Nichols to launch Yellowdoor, which has made its mark in the creative advertising world, producing successful corporate campaigns and championing brand development for clients such as Clarks, Louis Vuitton, Dunhill, Patek Philippe and Mercedes-Benz. In January 2013, Mary re-launched the agency as Portas, with a new approach reflecting today's retail landscape.
In 2005, Mary began writing her weekly 'Shop!' column for The Telegraph's Magazine, in which she reviews a different retailer every week. This led to her first television appearance as a guest on the Richard & Judy show, where she was spotted by television producer Patricia Llewellyn, who subsequently signed her to production company Optomen Television. Since then, Mary's TV credits have included Mary Queen Of Shops, Mary Queen of Charity Shops, Mary Queen of Frocks, Secret Shopper, Mary's Bottom Line, Mary Queen Of The High Street and, most recently, What Britain Buys. She has also appeared as a panellist on The Apprentice: You're Fired! four times.
Following the series Mary Queen Of Charity Shops in 2009, Mary was appointed as Global Retail Ambassador For Save The Children. Through this appointment, she developed the Living & Giving charity shop concept and has since opened successful branches at London's Westfield, Westbourne Grove, Primrose Hill, Parson's Green, Barnes, New Kings Road and Chiswick shopping centres, and also in Edinburgh.
Mary has written several books, her most recent being Mary Portas: Shop Girl, published by Doubleday in 2015. In 2011, the fashion industry journal Drapers named Mary as the sixth most influential person in fashion.
With her extensive knowledge of the retail fashion world, coupled with her presenting skills, Mary makes an excellent choice as an Awards Host, Events Host or After-dinner Speaker. To book her, contact a Prime Performers Booking Agent via the online booking enquiry form or alternatively call us on 020 7251 8222 to discuss your requirements.
- Liberal Democrat MP 1997-2105 and former Shadow Chancellor.
Sir Vince Cable
- Entrepreneur, Retail, Business and Branding expert who presents 'High Street Dreams'.
- Authors of the international bestseller’s ‘Funky Business and ‘Karaoke Capitalism’.
Kjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale