Visible Start Graduate
Dawn is deservedly enjoying the rhythm of life between the bustle of the city and the serenity of the coast.
A Brit by birth, Dawn Neale grew up near Toronto with two ambitions: the first to study economics, and the second to become a hairdresser. Her father — a working class man from the Midlands who did well for himself after leaving school at 14 — promised Dawn a salon of her own if she pursued an apprenticeship in hairdressing. So off to Vidal Sassoon she went. And off to travel the world as a stylist.
Her father never did come good on his promise, but she paved her way to stardom on the professional circuit and, in her 10 years in Berlin doing session styling for photographers, it was clear Dawn had a knack not just for hair, but also for business.
When the wall came down in ‘89, she and a friend opened a hair/make up/styling agency and were soon the go-to duo for photographers needing everything sorted for a shoot. The agency was an entry into production from which Dawn went from strength to strength, leaving Berlin for London with her German partner and becoming a photographer’s agent repping some of the biggest names in the business – from David Bailey to Mary McCartney.
She still cites this time as being the happiest moment in all her career: creating a portfolio of work alongside her photographer husband at this pivotal moment in history; the possibility of a new world standing before them, just waiting to be captured on film.
From photographer’s agent to print producer, Dawn shifted into mail order catalogues with One World Production before inadvertently landing the role that would become her dream job of 16 years: Senior Produce at Boden. There, she grew as a manager and creative producer, first promoted to Head of Production and Art Buying, then to Associate Director – a role she held for the next 8 years. Running a team of 24, Dawn watched the brand she loved grow exponentially and presented her with evermore interesting challenges. Embracing each with equal enthusiasm, soon she had set up — and was subsequently running — their eCommerce team from scratch.
With 16 years’ fashion leadership under her belt, Dawn left Boden in 2021 to take a 3 month consultancy post as Studio Director at Notting Hill-based design agency CreativeDrive. She continues to freelance as a Creative Executive Producer, leading shoots for a variety of well known brands, and is working with her business partner to establish True South Production, a production and location company based in The Lizard, a peninsula in Cornwall.
Dawn has taken up open water swimming, and is enjoying the rhythm of life between the bustle of the city and the serenity of the coast.