5 Minutes With Belinda Earl

The Style Director of Marks & Spencer lets us in on her philosophy, inspirations and more.

Cosmo: What does a typical day look like in your life as the Style Director at M&S?

Belinda Earl: "My role is really varied as I work with so many different teams. One day, I might be talking to customers, the press and key opinion formers then the next I'll be working with our design and technical teams on products. I also study global catwalk and lifestyle trends as well as, work with marketing and in-store teams."

C: Where do you draw your inspiration from? Can you describe your style philosophy to us? BE: "I draw inspirations from varied sources including trend prediction houses, catwalk shows, lifestyle trends along with customer feedback and increasingly social media sources such as Instagram. My style philosophy is to put looks together that flatter one's body and makes them look trendy."

C: What is the most challenging part about your job? BE: "I love being challenged and it's important for us to make sure we continue to give our customer pieces they'll love and make them feel great. My journey with M&S has been heavily focus upon the customer, listening to their feedback and offering contemporary British fashion as well as reacting to global fashion trends."

M&S, as a brand, offers something for everyone from a man to a woman to kids and even in terms of lingerie and toiletries... Who do you love styling for the most and why? BE: "I love styling outfits for our customers, be it men, women or children and inspiring them to mix and match pieces to create new looks. Customers also want to invest in stylish and fashionable pieces that are also versatile and timeless, so they can become key wardrobe pieces that offer lasting style. We like to create outfits they love and will wear over and over again."

C: How would you recommend a Cosmo girl to style herself? BE: "Firstly, it's important to wear styles you feel confident and comfortable in. Experiment and try out new styles, colours and prints to work out what suits you best."

C: Your favourite piece from the SS18 collection? BE: "I love the current trend for print and colour that we can see across the key trends for Spring Summer 18. I am in love with our SS18 collection dresses, these are perfect to see you through the season and beyond. We have something for everyone from fabulous sun dresses to shirt dresses to oversized silhouettes in key seasonal prints."

C: What was it like to be honoured by the Queen? Can you share a memory from the day you met her? BE: "It's a huge honour to have been awarded with an OBE for services to retail. I've been lucky to work at some fantastic brands and lead teams that customers are passionate about and offered clothing that they'll truly love. One memory that stands out from the day was my son getting in line with the Queen's Guards for a photo – something that he'd always wanted to do!"