As a booming UK fashion industry snaps up established brands, founders should be prepared for a huge pandemic.
Boohoo sells jeans and dresses for PS5 for less than PS10 but its founders, multimillionaires, are hoping for a PS100m payout after online sales surged during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Boohoo is still valued at PS3.5bn, despite a plunge in its share price.
Mahmud Kamani, 55 years old, is the co-founder of it. He and his wife Aisha, along with their sons Umar and Adam, have moved from Chorlton, Manchester to luxurious lifestyles that include properties in New York, Dubai and New York. Umar’s Instagram account, “Pretty Little Thing,” documents the family’s glamourous lifestyle to his 780,000 followers.
It all started with a Manchester market stall. Abdullah Kamani was Mahmud’s father. He sold handbags as a way to support himself after fleeing war-torn Kenya during the 1960s and starting a new life in the UK.
Abdullah started a wholesale textile company, selling and sourcing garments mainly from India. He became a major supplier to high-street brands like New Look and Primark. His son Mahmud, who started at the stall, worked in the wholesale business Pinstripe and delivered goods in a van for his dad.
Pinstripe hired Carol Kane (now 53), a graduate in fashion design who had just returned from a stint in the Hong Kong garment-sourcing sector. In her twenties, she established the group’s design department and became a major player. She co-founded Boohoo in 2006 with Mahmud Kamani.
The pair have been working together for over 25 years and are so familiar with each other that they can complete each other’s sentences.
Kamani is known for being a hard-working deal-maker, with a strong personality and sharp mind. Kamani is a former business associate who has been described as an inspiration to his employees. However, he is also well-known for his direct-talking style.
While Kamani’s main focus is on Boohoo’s infrastructure behind the scenes of Boohoo, Kane manages product ranges, relationships and customer-facing aspects. Although she is less fiery than Kamani but has the ability to hold her own against him. Kane also holds a black belt from kickboxing.
In 2006, the idea of the couple was to use the new-fangled internet to sell directly to customers, eliminating the middleman.
John Lyttle, the chief executive of the company, said that he could have a design up on the site in 48 hours. Both men are well-versed in fashion sourcing and have made use of their connections and knowledge to create a fast-fashion engine.
Boohoo does not sell Asos clothing. This gives Boohoo more control over its profit margins and product. Because it can source garments quickly from Leicester factories, it is more responsive to social media-fueled trends.
Boohoo is now the most prominent retail group in Leicester dealing with suppliers. It had ‘nbsp.stifled any demands from unions, MPs and NGOs to make significant changes to its business practices up until this week.
The company’s fast-fashion model is so popular that profits rose 54% to PS92m last year. The stock market listed the company in 2014. It now has a greater value than Marks &. Spencer and Asos.
Boohoo revealed record profits shortly after a controversial bonus scheme. It allowed its bosses to receive a PS150m bonus if their shares rose by at least two-thirds over the next three year. Two-thirds would be paid to Kane and Kamani.
It has clear ambitions to grow. Boohoo raised PS200m in May to buy up brands. It has already bought up Oasis, Warehouse and other high-street names. In addition, it has also consolidated its stake in Pretty Little Thing – giving Umar Kamani, his business partner, Paul Papworth more than PS260m for their 35% stake.
Boohoo now has Coast and Karen Millen on its roster, which it bought in August last year. Boohoo’s brand portfolio allows it to reach older markets that are more expensive than its target audience of teens and twentysomethings. There could be more acquisitions.