Tanya Sarne on losing Ghost, surviving rehab and living life to the full

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a woman who was alive in the 90s who didn’t own one of this designer's dresses (or at least one heavily inspired by her from the high street). From the moment they hit the shops, the bias cut slip dress became ubiquitous and it still is. And for that we have to thank Tanya Sarne, the founder of Ghost. Personally I still have five of her dresses and I’m neither a dress girl nor a sentimental clothes hoarder. Those frocks are keepers. 

Tanya was a single mum of two in her thirties and on benefits when she founded Ghost. Divorced and grieving the death of her mum, she thought she was unemployable, until she took one look at the lack of well-priced, multifunctional, comfortable, feminine clothes which went in the washing machine and didn’t need ironing, and resolved to put that right. She borrowed two thousand pounds and fuelled by fury and, frankly, necessity, the brand that changed a thousand wardrobes was born.

Now, 78 and still beyond fabulous, Tanya joined me to talk about her memoir, Free Spirit, the snobbery of the fashion industry and the sexual harassment you “just had to put up with” in the 60s and 70s. We also discussed her alcoholism, the pain of losing her beloved business, the joy of marrying a younger man, her horrific menopause and why she longs to go back on HRT.

* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at The Shift bookshop on Bookshop.org, including Free Spirit by Tanya Sarne and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me.

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The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker

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