My London: Hannah McGhee – UK market lead for Clique Brands

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Hannah McGhee is the UK market lead for Clique Brands – home of Who What Wear and Byrdie. Considered as one of the World’s most innovative brands by Fast Company, Clique is at the forefront of bringing together digital content, data and commerce in fashion, beauty and lifestyle for its communities.

With an early interest in fashion, Hannah studied at London College of Fashion and Nottingham Trent University in design. Quickly identifying her skillset away from the design studio and more in fashion business, Hannah has built a ten year career up the ranks in marketing and operations from an admin assistant to more recently establishing herself as a Leader at Banana Republic, Europe and now Clique UK.

Hannah declares she ‘wears many hats’ in her role but then who doesn’t working in digital these days? As a self-confessed (and proud of it) jack-of-all-trades, Hannah leans on her experience with people, teams and making the numbers meet the creative to nurture sustainable growth as the winning formula to her career.

We caught up with Hannah McGhee for the latest in our ‘My London’ series.


Favourite neighbourhood:

Just one? That is hard. I would pick the City at the weekend, first thing in the morning. There is something amazing about how serene it is compared to during the week—eerie, even. And, for the nostalgia, it is has to be Brick Lane. I lived in Hackney many years ago and this was my Sunday haunt for bagels and vintage bargains.


Favourite place for brunch:

Food and going out for dinner are the driving forces behind a large number of my decisions, but right now I’m particularly impressed by Aprés Food Co, Clerkenwell. Aprés pride themselves on bringing you nutrition-based dishes that are organic and delicious—you can’t argue with that combination.


Best coffee in London:

My daily local drop-in for work is TAP in Russell Square, very close to our office. They provide great coffee and their service is authentic, with a team of genuinely friendly, individual characters. You get to know people just a little more each day rather than hear the same old script. I love that.


Favourite gallery or museum:

For its combination of art, film and music it has to be the Barbican. It is the best cure to a bad mood. And it’s not so far away from the aforementioned brunch spot.


Tell us a secret:

I have many musical guilty pleasures – I would declare I still know all the words to ‘Scrubs’ by TLC (yes, including the rap). Okay, to put my hands up fully and admit the real truth – I also still know all the words to ‘I’m the Scatman’ too. Clearly those lyrics really meant something to my 10-year-old self. I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but these lyrics still live with me. Shameful.


Favourite place to shop:

Naturally I shop online a lot – you cannot question the convenience of buying in this way and with time I look forward to that delivery process becoming a more ‘green’ one. My favourite online stores are The Modist (beautifully packaged, scented purchases), Net-a-Porter for its ‘New In’ section, Cult Beauty for skincare and Depop for second-hand finds. I do of course still shop in real life but always for the experience more than specific goods – Daunt Bookshop in Marylebone is a treasure, as is Liberty for its beautifully edited fashion and homeware.


Favourite place to find inspiration:

I find my inspiration when I give myself a moment to think. I am guilty of forgetting to take a moment for myself (but not for too long as I also get bored very quickly too—a paradox!) but when I do I will undoubtedly be plugged in to Spotify and you will find me wandering through the beautiful gardens at Kew or the amazing halls at the British Museum. That said, my favourite place to find inspiration is with my friends. There’s nothing like an hour’s pow-wow to make you feel like you can change the world. I am extremely grateful of all the friendships in my life.


Best London destination for a date:

A successful date-night is all in the variety. It’s drinks at Scarfes Bar (try the Mary Poppins potion, Make The Medicine Go Down – it’s all nostalgia and sugar lumps). I also enjoy down-to-earth eats at Cafe Pacifico. I will be at the last cinema viewing of the night (Curzon cinemas are the best, no question). And for dancing, well that would be telling. No-one outside of a selected few need to see that.


Favourite park:

My first job out of university was at Forward PR, in an office overlooking Green Park. Back then, I was all nerves and excitement experiencing everything in my work-life for the first time. The park on a sunny day just brings all that back. Such a lovely, leafy space in the hustle and bustle of London.


Favourite food market:

I’d be trying too hard if I didn’t say Borough Market. It’s the obvious choice but there really is such a great selection of amazing food on offer. I am the person at Christmas who would happily bypass the traditional lunch just to get to the evening snacks and cheeseboard. A little bit of everything is my way so lunch at Borough is the ultimate treat.


Your sanctuary in the city:

Finding a quiet spot in town isn’t easy. A lot of my job involves client meetings, so sometimes having a quiet spot to connect to WIFI in-between meetings for a quick catch up is precious. The Garden Cafe at the Charles Dickens Museum is the best for a slice of cake and a cuppa. And if it’s quiet, you can just pretend it’s your very own courtyard garden, in your very own Georgian townhouse, in central London – what’s not to love?


What inspires you?

Such an enormous question and I could be here for hours explaining the intricacies of how my mind works. Inspiration for personal projects stem from chatting with friends, a home idea I have seen scrolling through Pinterest, fashion ideas is of course Who What Wear and Byrdie for beauty and wellness. But the bigger picture, I draw a lot from understanding the journey of incredible women and music. I love Desert Island Discs for this very reason. Kirsty Young has a great mix of amazing people and I especially draw from the line-up of women she interviews. I thought Professor Dame Jane Francis’ story was incredible along with the stripped back honesty of Davina McCall’s interview.


This season I’m loving:

My original sportswear from the nineties and the noughties. I feel lucky that I kept hold of some of it. Although somewhat in denial that this is it’s second life. On me. Which makes me feel super old but hey, I wear it with fond memories and of course styled slightly differently now. Unless of course I am slumming in in front of Netflix watching Stranger Things making it a) ok to a be in head to toe sportswear despite being no-where near a gym of any kind and b) in all your throwback threads – because you really want to be Eleven’s new bezzie and fight the The Upside Down together. No, just me?


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