The Top 5 Fashion Entrepreneurs
We take a look at some well known and high earning entrepreneurs of the fashion world.
This self-made billionaire from the modest surroundings of Croydon, South London has become one of the most famous businessmen in fashion; making 17th place on this year’s Rich List with a net worth of £3.3 Billion. In 2002 he helped his wife buy the Arcadia group, which he is, CEO of and has expanded business into the UAE, Singapore, Australia, Japan and recently the US. Green learnt his trade through the shoe industry, and was a millionaire by the age of 23, then moving onto importing jeans from Hong Kong. As well as earning money he certainly knows how to spend it, splashing £6 million on his recent birthday party, hiring the Rosewood Mayakoba resort in Mexico for four days. Well if you can’t party with Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Campbell on your 60th birthday then when can you?
Although Christina Ong was born into wealth, she is a businesswoman and multi-millionaire in her own right. By owning franchises to the biggest names in the fashion circle, such as Bvlgari, Prada, Donna Karen and Armani, she has become ‘Queen’ of Bond Street. Turning one of the world’s most exclusive roads into her own, with persuasive cash deals to make tenants quit and in turn built her portfolio of fashion franchises. With her investment into the Somerset based handbag business, Mulberry, the company has blossomed with expansions overseas and profits up by 207% in 2011. Sharing her time between fashion and her other passion for health, Ong is now developing the Como Shambhala brand of spa centres and resorts.
From selling shoes on a stall on the South Bank, it wasn’t a given that this Malaysian born shoemaker would one day gain worldwide success. Even though Choo is the brains behind the beautifully designed shoes, he was only thrown into the spotlight in 1996; when fashion journalist, Tamara Mellon saw great potential in his designs and they soon came together to produce a ready-to-wear collection under the name ‘Jimmy Choo Ltd.’ They decided on a 50% ownership each of the company but after a turbulent business relationship and due to Mellon’s strong business ethic they parted ways in 2001 with Choo selling his share to Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd for £10 million. Even without Jimmy Choo the company turnover alone last year was £166.8 million. With Tamara Mellon’s abrupt leave to the company late last year, will the Jimmy Choo Ltd profits continue to soar?
For Hindmarch, Italy was the step to success into the fashion world, spotting a trend that would be big in the UK – the duffel bag and shipping 500 of them over and selling out. Carrying on her accomplishments at the age of 19 Hindmarch opened her first shop in Belgravia, now 20 years on she’s has over 50 shops worldwide, specialising in women’s handbags, and bespoke men’s wallets and bags. With a turnover of over £20 million, the handbag entrepreneur has sidelined other ventures, such as designing the British Airways amenity kits; a collection in collaboration with British brand Barbour, as well as having been awarded an MBE in 2009.
We could not go without mentioning Calvin Klein, one of the biggest and most respected names in the industry, with his name being internationally recognized there is not an avenue of fashion Klein hasn’t pursued. Originally borrowing $10,000 from friend and later business partner, Barry Schwartz allowed Klein to take the risk of starting up his own business, luckily the risk was worth it and it’s been said they took in $1 million in their first year of business. In true businessman style Klein branched off into different aspects of fashion such as sportswear, perfume and most famously underwear, where controversial ads made Calvin Klein Ltd the centre of attention. In 2002, Calvin Klein Ltd was sold to Phillips Van Heusen Corp for an estimated $400 million, but the company lives on as one of the leading in the fashion industry.