Irish-Canadian Alannah Weston became creative director of Selfridges in 2004, soon after her billionaire father bought the U.K. retailer. he has pioneered a new "retail as theater" aesthetic, constantly surprising customers with high art as well as high drama. Her vision includes everything from the stylish "Elfridges," who help customers with Christmas chores, to the gallery space of The Wonder Room.
Ms Weston devoted the whole London store to "Project Ocean" for five weeks to boost awareness of over-fishing, and introduced the Silence Room as an escape from modern life, persuading Heinz, Levi's and Clinique to sell unbranded versions of popular products to underline the message (see below). Jonathan Trimble, CEO at Selfridges' ad agency 18 Feet & Rising, said "She is ferociously creative -- everything is done on instinct -- and it's uncanny how she is always a year ahead of her time."