When it comes to dressing like you mean business, designer Kim Winser OBE should be part of the conversation. A businesswoman herself with a lengthy list of accolades – including an OBE for her services to the British fashion and retail industry in 2006 – Kim knows how to dial up the power dressing and what silhouettes ooze inner and outer confidence in the boardroom. 

The reigning youngest Board Director of Marks & Spencer, during her tenure she was responsible for the turnaround of Heritage brands Pringle of Scotland and Aquascutum. Meanwhile Marks and Sparks aside, Kim’s business acumen has seen her advise Natalie Massenet of Net-a-Porter in its development stages and go on to drive forward her eponymous brand, Winser London.

Setting out to meet the needs of plate-spinning women, her designs hit the sweetspot of simplicity and subtlety with their modest, classic cuts and high quality fabrics. Think luxury without the hefty pricetag in tow.

What's the mantra you tell yourself first thing in the morning?
My mother always said to me "In whatever you do Kim, just always be true to yourself" – and that is always top of my mind when I first wake up. I always commit to being my best possible self given every challenge in life and business.

How do you take your coffee?
Strong and black, please!

If you weren't doing what you're doing now, what would you be doing instead?
On leaving education I had the option of going into retail as a management trainee at what was then a world leading retailer, Marks & Spencer, or pursuing my dream of becoming a professional tennis player... It's clear which I opted for! My friends at the time didn't understand the decision, but I've never looked back and am as passionate today about brands and retail as I was then.

If you could only keep one outfit in your wardrobe, which would it be?
Without a doubt it would be top-to-toe black – I love it!  And of course it would be an outfit from my own womenswear label, Winser London – our iconic Silk Blouse & Bow teamed with the Lauren Wide Leg Trousers. Both have been in our Icons Collection since almost the start of Winser London and they are my favourites: smart, yet super easy to wear and worn with The Row leather loafer.

Who's one person you'd love to have dinner with?
I love to learn and love to laugh, and, as a Trustee of our Natural History Museum, I would have to say supper with the very special Sir David Attenborough.  Not only would it be most enjoyable, but I would learn so much too. 

What's the main thing you would like to achieve this year?
We are launching our second collection with Gillian Anderson shortly - gorgeous coats, knitwear, her new jeans and silk dresses. I can't wait, it's a special collection!

Who would you want to record your audio autobiography, voice-wise? 
I know I should choose a woman but I've worked with Pierce Brosnan and think he has one of the most enchanting and engaging voices to listen to, so if he doesn't mind I would love it to be Pierce! 

Why did you end up doing what you do? 
Because I have a real curiosity about people and love seeing how confidence and positivity can help everyone achieve so much more in life. My collection is all driven by women for women - we are here to help everyone feel more confident through their wardrobes in business, for travel and in life and I just love it!

Shop the wider Winser London collection at Winserlondon.com.

More 8Qs:

+ Niall Sloan:
"I do love a cheeky afternoon cortado"

+ Eudon Choi:
"I am a big fan of the Great British Bake Off"

+ Osman Yousefzada: 
"Elizabeth I of England was a ballsy woman"

Tags: Kim Winser , 8Qs