History, Heritage and Changes to COPRA



Every year COPRA pays tribute to an outstanding individual and beauty brands the Association feels have made an extra special contribution to the retail beauty industry.

Last year’s beneficiary was Margaret Attwooll, General Manager of Parfums Christian Dior for UK and Ireland. Margaret commented, “The award means the world to me, to be recognised by peers with this Gordon Whitehead trophy. For many, many years, I’ve seen lots of amazing people win, so I’m very honoured to receive it today.”

In 2019, we announced a change of format for our non-beauty product awards:

"We have decided to move and rename our two non-beauty product awards, previously known as the Supplier Service Award and the Gordon Whitehead Award. The Supplier Service Award has been rebranded as the Supplier Excellence Award, and the Gordon Whitehead Award has been rebranded as the Industry Excellence Award. We wanted not only to give a new look and a new dynamic to this year’s events, but also to recognise our recipients of both these prestigious awards. Moving these awards to the COPRA Ball gives us more time to really take in these achievements, and to celebrate with the winners’ friends and colleagues. Our evening event will perfectly allow this. Therefore, I am delighted to announce both awards will now be presented at this year’s COPRA Ball in November" explains Vesa Kalho, COPRA Chair.

As COPRA moves forward into a new future, planning the next COPRA Ball and making other exciting updates, we feel it is important to reflect on our heritage and the history of our association through a timeline of previous winners. This year’s Gordon Whitehead Award, now named the ‘Industry Excellence Award’, will be announced at the COPRA Ball on the 7th November.


The award was formerly named in memory of Gordon Whitehead, a much-admired retailer who, despite his premature death, had established an enviable reputation for outstanding customer service at his family-owned department store in Bolton.


The first Gordon Whitehead Award was recognised in 1988 and listed below are the previous honoured recipients of this utmost industry accolade:


2018 Margaret Attwooll - Parfums Christian Dior

2017 Linda Key Jackson – The Fragrance Foundation UK

2016 Ian Marshall & Gail Bojarski – Benefit Cosmetics

2015 Nicky Kinnaird – Space.NK

2014 Jo Malone – Jo Loves

2013 Sarah-Jane Robertson - Look Good Feel Better

2012 Jill Hill - Aspects Beauty Company

2011 Ken Lamacraft - KLM Beauty

2010 Simon Kippin - Glamour Magazine

2009 Robert McClatchie - Puig UK

2008 Marigay McKee - Harrods

2007 John Stevenson - Chanel

2006 Jackie Armatage - Beatties

2005 Per Neuman - Estée Lauder Companies

2004 Susan Taylor - Elizabeth Arden

2003 Harry Ganz – The Garden Pharmacy

2002 Rod Kelly - L’Oréal Luxury Goods

2001 Robin Vincent – Clarins (UK) Limited

2000 Roja Dove - Professeur des Parfums

1999 Andrea Jones - Esprit Magazine

1998 James Lange - Fragrance and Beauty Association (FBA)

1997 Kenneth Green - Kenneth Green Associates

1996 Barry Anderson - Riviera Concepts

1995 Brenda McKenzie - Jenners

1994 Ken Swallow - Parfums YSL

1993 Mary Brogan - Selfridges

1992 Beryl Lake - Harvey Nichols

1991 Aileen Taylor - Guerlain

1990 Janet Parker - Cosmetics International

1989 Brian Kerner - Underwoods

1988 Lesley Kenton - Harpers & Queen


(Company listed at time of winning award)

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