font loading for Top nav


Introducing our in-house trend and design experts – photographed here by The Telegraph’s Stella magazine – who tell us about their inspiration for the collections and their most hotly-tipped autumn pieces

Jill Stanton, womenswear and kidswear director

What’s the best thing about working for M&S?
I lived overseas for more than 20 years and have loved coming back to British banter. The people here are the best thing, along with the amount of M&S Earl Grey tea I get to drink every day!

What does your role involve?
Looking after strategy across the women’s and kids’ departments, creating amazing products and driving profitable sales growth.

What will you be buying from M&S this autumn?
Great footwear, amazing coats and the new cashmere range – all paired with some brilliant jeans to create my go-to autumn wardrobe.

Read the Stella interview


A timeless addition to any wardrobe
Make these trousers your new go-to pair
A cool take on the classic loafer
Bring on the blooms this autumn

Lisa Chaplin, women’s footwear design consultant

Tell us about your role
In the footwear team we start with trends, colour palettes, materials and key shapes, then design the range, seeing it through from initial concept to production.

What should we look out for this season?
I’m excited about our boot offering. Key trends include hiking boots and block heels; I will definitely be buying both! I’m also a big fan of trainers, and have my eye on an Autograph white leather pair.

What are your M&S staples?
Jeans and a blazer – they never fail me. You can always dress your outfit up or down with a great blazer and pair of jeans – just add heels or flats depending on the occasion.

Shop footwear


Nail the art of smart in this blazer
Double up with the matching trousers
Trainers smart enough for weekday wear
From £19.50
Make a new-season style statement

Lisa Illis, head of womenswear design

What is your role at M&S?
I work with the designers in the trend, print and clothing team to direct the new-season ranges. We are currently halfway through signing off the summer 2020 collection and starting our research into autumn 2020.

What are your favourite pieces from the autumn collection?
I love the pussy-bow blouse and the aviator jacket. They are both super stylish items but easy to wear.

Which M&S pieces do you reach for time and time again?
There are lots of staples that I keep going back to. For example the Mia trousers, the classic white T-shirt and simple cashmere roll-neck jumpers.

Shop autumn style


A dress that instantly looks smart
This long-sleeve tee is the perfect layer
Add polish with a smart watch
A chic way to wear autumnal colour

Libby Allan, design manager

What does your job at M&S involve?
I manage the central trend team across womenswear, lingerie and kidswear. Our job is to predict what our customer will want a year ahead of the season. We’re constantly searching out new colour, style and fabric ideas and inspiration to share with the design teams. 

What will you be buying this season?
I’m obsessed with dresses, and have my eye on a floral dress for autumn and a snake-print dress for winter. I also love this season’s rich, warm brown tones so will be buying a coat in one of these shades.

What’s the best thing about working for M&S?
No two days are the same. We work to understand how we can influence and impact the ranges, and check in with our customer to understand her thoughts and views on our collections. It’s a busy, fun and fulfilling job and a real privilege to work for a brand which is the trusted choice for so many women.

Shop new in


Take a relaxed approach to 9 to 5 dressing
Straight leg is the fit to be seen in
Add a pop of colour with these flats
Say hello to your new winter coat

Words: Sophie Hines / Images: Sophia Spring / Shoot: Stella magazine

Trending stories

Lingerie Update
Our latest looks
Shop now 
Autumn Fashion
Meet our campaign stars 
Style secrets, here
Editor’s Pick 
The ultimate blouse
See it here 
Style News
New-in knitwear 
Get cosy