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Joan Burstein

Founder of Browns

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Annoushka Ducas:
I'm Annoushka Ducas. Welcome back to My Life in Seven Charms. For me, there are so few things which can evoke a memory like a tiny, detailed charm. In this new series, I'll be meeting seven extraordinary women and hearing their stories through this very special 18-karat gold biography. In this episode, we're hearing the incredible story of fashion's grande dame, Mrs. B.

Mrs. B.:
It's an instinct. That's all. It's a feeling. It's a feeling. I don't know, but I'll take bets on it. I will say this for Browns: it did become the window of the world for buyers of other countries to see. If they saw it in Browns, they knew they had a winner.

Annoushka Ducas:
Welcome back. Today, I'm meeting the legendary Mrs. B. She is the original curator, the first and foremost fashion retailer whose unerring eye has left an indelible mark on the way we look. Mrs. B. has seen it all. From the Blitz in London to today's pandemic, she has a panoramic view of the many decades that shape the world and the way we live in it. Founder of multi-brand emporium Browns, the persuader who was able to entice luxe brands to London, making names with John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and many, many others. I'm incredibly privileged to be here today in Hampstead to meet the iconic Joan Bernstein, CBE, to hear all about her life in seven charms.
I was trying to work out when I very first met you. I think it was certainly longer than five years. I can't remember exactly-

Mrs. B.:
Yes. Well, we were at a lunch, weren't we?

Annoushka Ducas:
That's right. I was saying to my husband last night.
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