Prof. Rodney Fitch CBE 1938- 2014
Rodney Fitch was born in London and studied architecture and building, furniture, interior and theatre design at various London colleges of art and design, including Central Saint Martins.
In 1972 Rodney founded his firm, Fitch and Company Design Consultants, which as Fitch, grew to become one of the largest and best-known design brands. Working from offices in London, Europe and the USA the firm employed some 450 staff working on a broad range of multidisciplinary projects. Supported by Cazenove, Fitch took this business public on the LSE in 1982, the first design business ever to be so listed. Following this listing, the Fitch agency continued to grow both organically and through acquisition becoming one of the largest and most successful of its kind. In 1994 Rodney Fitch resigned from Fitch in order to form a new, smaller, more focused consulting firm, Rodney Fitch International (RFI), specialising in retail, entertainment interiors and brand communication graphics, with projects and clients located in, SE Asia and China. This was a joint venture with Sir Richard Branson of Virgin.
In 2004 at the invitation of Sir Martin Sorrell, Rodney sold RFI to WPP and rejoined his original firm, Fitch, now owned by WPP, as Chairman and CEO. Having subsequently built Fitch into a truly global agency, through a combination of both organic and M&A growth, with 18 studios in the USA, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, he stepped down in December 2010 and now works as an independent practitioner, consultant, advisor and academic.
During some 40 years of practice, Rodney has built an unmatched portfolio of successful projects and connections across public and commercial sectors and geographies; particularly so in hospitality and retailing. In recent years he has enjoyed significant involvement with the emerging retail industry in SE Asia and India.
Rodney Fitch has for long been identified with innovative retail design and in 1990 Phaidon published his book ‘Fitch on Retail Design’ which has become one of the standard texts on this subject. He is a regular conference speaker, commentator and contributor in the creative press and media and passionate proselytizer for Design and Creative innovation as an integral component of successful business strategy.