Meet The Team

John McGrath

Managing Director

John started his career as an Accountant working for Volvo and then Associated  British Foods. He has worked in both the UK and abroad and specialised in commercial, finance and in particular acquisitions/ disposals and business development.


John joined Meller Designs in 2006 as Group Finance director and took over the running of fashion accessories and hosiery in 2021.


When John isn’t at work or at home with his family he can be found walking his Boxer dog “Max” or on-court playing squash or racketball.

Richard Hoy

Commercial Director

Having spent the first 20 years of his career at M&S, starting on the youth training scheme and working his way to senior merchandiser in Ladieswear, Richard has a deep understanding of retail and the workings of a buying department.


He led departments such as Autograph collection, Autograph Weekend and Ladies Accessories during his tenure at M&S. Having left M&S to join Meller designs in 2011 Richard has a detailed understanding of both retail and supply and has a thorough understanding of the complex and multi-product accessories area. 


With 5 daughters and 2 Grandsons life is always busy! The knees have gone so football is no longer possible but I try and play badminton every week followed by a couple of pints with friends.

Simon Hoy

Compliance Manager

Simon has dedicated his career to the Cityfax/Meller Designs business since 1985 and has undertaken various roles during that time, including running the cutting room, IT Manager, and business systems manager, through to his current role as Compliance Manager. He ensures that our supply chain complies with the most up to date and relevant industry standards, and is a key driver of our ethical and sustainable sourcing strategy.


He has a keen eye for detail and is a bit of a geek when it comes to spreadsheets!

Julia Redman

Sourcing & Business Development Manager

Julia is a former Head of Buying, with over 30 years diverse buying experience, and is also a Lecturer for the Fashion Business School at UAL, and the Fashion Retail Academy in London. 


Having completed a BSc in Food, Textiles and Consumer Studies, Julia has since worked in the buying departments of Arcadia Group, Marks and Spencer, Woolworths, Debenhams and M&Co, buying private label, licensed and branded clothing. Julia’s global sourcing experience includes men’s, ladies, children’s clothing and accessories, and homeware, managing the process from planning to production and onto the British high street. She recently joined Meller Designs to drive future business development and sustainable sourcing strategies.


When not working Julia can be found in a Pilates class, out playing golf or singing with the Rock Choir.

jo Dean

Head of Design

Jo is a highly creative, commercial and proactive accessories product specialist with  20 years’ experience designing for both retail and the supply chain. She enjoys working in a fast paced highly responsive environment, and has vast experience developing fashion ranges from concept to delivery. Jo is well known for her talent in converting catwalk trends into commercial designs across multiple product areas including formal/casual hats, knitwear, scarves and leather gloves, ensuring ranges meet customer requirements for style, sustainability and profitability.


She has been inspired by her extensive experience of travelling to the Far East, liaising with suppliers, understanding the manufacturing process and exploring the markets for new ideas.

Victoria Gray

Head of Merchandising

Victoria is our Head Merchandiser and has 20 years of experience working on both the retail and supply side of the fashion industry.


Having started her career at TM Lewin as an assistant buyer, she progressed to John Lewis in the role of assistant merchandiser. Subsequently, having moved from retail to the sourcing and supply side of the business, she spent 5 years as an account manager at Peter Black, managing mens luggage, bags and small leather goods.


Since joining Meller Designs in 2008 Victoria has managed the accounts for mens, ladies and childrenswear including a variety of products from knitted accessories, to woven scarves, cut and sew hats & gloves and jewellery.

Buket Okcay


With a First Class BA in Fashion, Buket also has over 7 years’ experience in Merchandising, working with soft accessories, jewellery and clothing. She has a track record of driving improvements in sales for a number of high street brands which include M&S, Tesco’s, River Island, Mint Velvet, Topshop, Coast, Primark and Penneys. 


Having worked at Meller’s for 3 years, Buket is our merchandiser for Tesco’s Ladies and M&S Men’s accounts, managing the critical path from order placement to production and delivery.

Melissa Wilde

Product Technologist

After emigrating from South Africa, Melissa completed a BA Hons in fashion and textile design at Bournemouth University in 2004. Her first role was as pattern cutter and designer for a corporate clothing manufacturer, after which she turned to product technology, following her passion for working with the factories to develop new and exciting product.


Melissa has collaborated with both designers and manufacturers to create innovative performance sportswear, ladies fashion and soft accessories. At Meller Designs she can usually be found buried in kids hats ensuring that they meet the fit and risk assessment criteria of our customers before the manufacturing process starts.


In her spare time Melissa is a keen interior up cycler and diy enthusiast that loves a project. She is also an enthusiastic triathlete, as health and fitness is a key priority in her life.

Laura Martin

Product Developer

Specialising in product development, Laura works closely with our expert designers to build exciting, innovative ranges each season. She is pro-active in sourcing new yarns and fabrics, analysing trends and driving innovation across multiple product areas. She enjoys building productive relationships with our customer buying teams and forging close ties with our international factory base. 


As well as the initial development process Laura is very much involved in the whole product life  cycle and critical path. She loves seeing our products on the shop floor or being worn. 


I have been working on the accessories department at MD designs for over 18 years which has given me with great knowledge and expertise over several product areas. I previously studied Fashion Design and Technology and have worked in various buying offices. 

Kellie Kells

Senior Designer

As one of our Senior Designers, Kellie has worked at Meller Designs for 6 years. With a passion for inspirational design and product, she loves to excite our customers by creating new styles which incorporate the latest seasonal trends in fashion & sustainable yarn development.


Working in partnership with our customers and providing direction across Ladies, Men’s and Kids accessories is an important part of Kellie’s role, and with over 20 years of design experience, her attention to detail is the key to her success.


In her career, Kellie has worked on both the brand and supply sides of the fashion industry, enabling her to gain understanding and knowledge of a wide variety of product types including both knitted and woven accessories, as well as print design.

Joanne Piasecki

Account and Product Manager

With over 25 years in global retail design, Jo has experience designing and sourcing products for brands across Europe, North America and Asia.


With previous experience in footwear, clothing and accessories for multi-channel retail, including stores, e-commerce and mail order, she is now focused on soft accessories.


Jo previously worked for Next in their Hong Kong sourcing operation, before joining Meller Designs in 2014 to set up their Hong Kong office. Now back in the UK Jo’s role is as account & product Manager.

Achaia Gay

Office Assistant

Achaia is our invaluable office assistant – a fashion design graduate from De Montfort University, specializing in knitwear. She is endlessly creative and enjoys coming up with innovative ways to work with knitwear. After working in China for 6 months, Achaia rejoined the team at Meller Designs, having completed a year’s placement as a design and technical assistant with the business previously.


She has a comprehensive understanding of the buyer/supplier relationship and supports the team in the creation and delivery of beautiful products to all our customers. She loves being involved in the creative process, from inspiration, trends and design to meetings, fittings and seeing the final products online or in-store.


Achaia’s spare time is spent developing her own knit creations following on from her graduate collection and also competing in a weekly netball league.

Alexa Clark

Childrens Accessories Designer & Product Developer

Alexa is an experienced accessory designer with a particular interest in texture, colour and knit. She has been heavily inspired by trips abroad to build seasonal trend direction, injecting innovation and fun into into our children’s ranges.


She has nurtured our childrenswear business, expanding it into a comprehensive range of multi-seasonal knitted and woven products. Alexa has gained a thorough insight and understanding of the development and production process, and is highly focused on attention to detail at every stage of the critical path.


Alexa also has extensive knowledge of licensing and licensed product development, having worked directly with brand & IP owners, and licensing agents to create bespoke licensed designs for some of our key retail partners. She is well versed in the licensing process, including working to strict style guides, artworks through all stages of the approval process.

Kirsty Szymanski

Product Technologist

Kirsty is one of our very talented product technologists. She started her career as a Lingerie Technologist, working with factories and suppliers all over the world to bring intricately detailed product to a variety of retailers and brands across Europe.


With over 20 years fabric & product technology experience, she is an invaluable member of our team, helping our designers and product developers turn creative ideas into stunning ladies and mens soft accessories and gadgets.

Georgina Holden

Account Manager

With over 20 years’ retail experience, Georgie began her career as a buyer for Etam and Monsoon. She has utilised her previous experience to identify market opportunities and deliver growth for our customers, which has been pivotal in the development of Meller Designs accessory business.


By working closely with buyers and designers she successfully executes creative and commercial ranges from concept to delivery.


Along with a keen eye for trend, Georgie has extensive sourcing, sustainability, and technical knowledge. She combines her expertise to optimise business goals and profitability for the portfolio of accounts she manages.


Georgie loves life, especially her family and her dog. She is a real foodie, and a has a wanderlust for travel.


Rita Qiu

Head of Meller Designs Shanghai Office

Rita started career as a merchandiser of accessories after graduating from university in 2006, and joined Meller Designs in 2010. She became merchandising manager in 2015 and Head of Meller Designs Shanghai office in 2018.


Rita works closely with all our team members in Shanghai and the UK, monitoring factories in China and across Asia, to ensure smooth management of the critical path, quality, compliance and on time delivery.


She has a knowledgeable and experienced team, which offers fantastic support and follow up for our designers, product developers and merchandisers. They are focused on sourcing, product innovation and development, merchandising, sustainability, inspection and auditing. Rita really enjoys working with the factories, communicating with their owners and workers. She relishes the challenges that her role brings, and likes having a hands on approach to problem solving and resolution. She also has a passion for learning, and enjoys the fact that no two days are ever the same.