Hunter Boot’s creative director Alasdhair Willis is stepping down from the role at the end of next month. News that Willis, who’s married to Stella McCartney, will be leaving comes less than a fortnight after we heard that CEO Vincent Wauters is also leaving. However, the Willis move is clearly not a negative one as he will continue to work with the controlling shareholder’s parent company.
Willis is planning to focus on his existing brand consultancies, as well as board roles that he holds, and on developing new opportunities. One of these opportunities will see him becoming a senior advisor to Atypical Partner, the company that controls Pall Mall Legacy.
Hunter secured a rescue deal earlier this month with Pall Mall Legacy increasing its minority stake in the firm to become its majority owner, supported by Searchlight Capital, Pentland, and other minority shareholders. And an extra £16.5 million in funding was also provided.
Willis has been at Hunter since 2013 and had seen it move from an upscale-but-traditional British wellington boot business to one that has a wider, global vision, that takes in more product categories and also has an offbeat approach to design, marketing, and VM.
Hunter also boosted its digital operations during his tenure and introduced a number of high-profile collaborations from an ultra-sustainable link-up with Stella McCartney to collabs with Dover Street Market, mass-market chain Target in the US, and Disney.
Willis said: “I feel truly grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with this unique brand, and even more fortunate that I was able to create a new and successful chapter in its history. I am very thankful to the whole team at Hunter for playing their part in this amazing journey and wish them, and the brand, every success in the future.”
Atypical Partner’s founder Mauro Morretti added: “Alasdhair brought incredible creative flair and drive to Hunter, its products and the unique collaborations he has been able to bring to life. All of us will remember for a long time the Wellington boot hot air balloon traveling around the globe. We are very fortunate to have him support Atypical and look forward to putting his gifted mind to new opportunities across our portfolio as a senior advisor.”