News

‘I’d buy TopShop and bring it back like the good old days’: PrettyLittleThing tycoon Umar Kamani, 35, who turned accessory business into multi-billion-pound online fashion giant ‘is serious about snapping up struggling brand from ASOS’


PrettyLittleThing tycoon Umar Kamani today vowed to buy Topshop and ‘bring it back like the good old days’ as its struggling owner ASOS eyes up a sale. 

Topshop was a British fashion phenomenon from the late 2000s to the early 2010s before ASOS bought it from the ruins of Sir Philip’s Green’s collapsed Arcadia empire in 2021. 

Umar – who founded PrettyLittleThing in 2012 before selling his stake in 2020 for £330m and stepping down as CEO in April – announced his interest in the brand on Twitter today. 

Commenting above a report about ASOS considering a sale of TopShop, he wrote: ‘I would buy this and bring it back like the good old days.. rockin and rollin.’

A purchase would represent the latest milestone for the 35-year-old’s wildly successful career. He set up PLT alongside his brother, Adam, in 2012 – and grew it from a simple website selling accessories to a global brand now worth an estimated £3.8billion.   

Umar Kamani with his fiancee, the model Nada Adelle, at Naomi Campbell's birthday party at Cannes in May

Umar Kamani with his fiancee, the model Nada Adelle, at Naomi Campbell’s birthday party at Cannes in May  

The couple were seen posing with Campbell and the American model Alton Mason

The couple were seen posing with Campbell and the American model Alton Mason

Umar with his father, Mahmud, who founded Bohoo in 2006 with Carol Kane

Umar with his father, Mahmud, who founded Bohoo in 2006 with Carol Kane

The businessman announced his interest in the brand on Twitter today

The businessman announced his interest in the brand on Twitter today

Umar is a member of the founding family of the Boohoo group, which now owns a portfolio of brands including Nasty Gal, Coast, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins, and Debenhams. 

While the Kamanis have enjoyed stunning success, Bohoo was at the centre of a major scandal following claims sweatshops in Leicester were part of their clothing supply chain. 

It recently emerged the firm is facing a £100million lawsuit after allegations in 2020 that staff were working in awful conditions and being paid just £4 per hour. 

After the claims first emerged, Bohoo said it was ‘shocked and appalled’ and was ‘doing everything in our power to rebuild the reputation of the textile manufacturing industry in Leicester’.

The firm launched an independent review into its supply chain, led by Alison Levitt, QC. 

Pretty Little Thing, which is based in Manchester, is known for their celebrity collaborators including Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Little Mix, Gemma Owen, and Molly-Mae Hague, who’s also the online giant’s creative director.

Often photographed rubbing shoulders with A-listers such as Naomi Campbell, Paris Hilton, and Liam Payne, Umar is now a celebrity in his own right, and over the years has handpicked the talent he’s aspired to see wear his brand of fashionable clothing.

But following a decade in the hot seat, he announced in April that he would step down from his position as CEO after previously selling his remaining 34 per cent stake in PrettyLittleThing to Boohoo, which is run by his father, Mahmud. 

Umar is engaged to the model Nada Adelle after proposing to her in 2021 with a £1.45million ring. Today a source insisted he was ‘serious’ about buying Topshop and wanted to rescue the brand from its current slump. 

They told MailOnline: ‘He’s confident that he can bring it back to its former glory in the late 2000s to early 2010s when it became a fashion powerhouse.  

‘Umar has a proven track record of incredible entrepreneurial and marketing skills, as evidenced by his previous ventures at PrettyLittleThing and more recently in property.

‘He’s been particularly innovative in leveraging influencers to drive sales, and his financial acumen is well-documented.’ 

Umar’s father Mahmud co-founded Boohoo in 2006 alongside Carol Kane and the website quickly became a success because unlike its competitor ASOS, the brand only sells its own clothing, increasing profit margins. 

Umar with Kylie Jenner at a 2016 PrettyLittleThing launch party in Hollywood

Umar with Kylie Jenner at a 2016 PrettyLittleThing launch party in Hollywood 

A purchase would represent the latest milestone for the 35-year-old's wildly successful career

A purchase would represent the latest milestone for the 35-year-old’s wildly successful career

The family’s fashion empire dates back to their grandfather, whose wholesale textile business that sourced garments from India became a major supplying for high street stores such as New Look and Primark.

During his decade as director and CEO, Umar has not only made PLT appeal to the masses but also his celebrity pals, whose popularity has elevated the brand to desirable effect.

Love Island viewers now associate the most successful Islanders with securing partnership deals with PLT following Molly-Mae’s ongoing relationship with the business.

Last year, Umar personally selected Gemma Owen and Indiyah Polack as ambassadors and in September PLT set up their first marketplace, where users can buy and sell preloved outfits.

In recent weeks, PrettyLittleThing has also signed Katie Price and Peter Andre’s teenage daughter Princess and unveiled their first London showroom.

Umar founded PrettyLittleThing in 2012 before selling his stake in 2020 for £330m and stepping down as CEO in April

Umar founded PrettyLittleThing in 2012 before selling his stake in 2020 for £330m and stepping down as CEO in April 

Originally launched in the 1960s, Topshop enjoyed its heyday under one time king of the British high street Sir Philip Green

Originally launched in the 1960s, Topshop enjoyed its heyday under one time king of the British high street Sir Philip Green 

While the Kamanis have enjoyed stunning success, Bohoo was at the centre of a major scandal following claims sweatshops in Leicester were part of their clothing supply chain. It emerged workers at this factory in Leicester earned £4 an hour

While the Kamanis have enjoyed stunning success, Bohoo was at the centre of a major scandal following claims sweatshops in Leicester were part of their clothing supply chain. It emerged workers at this factory in Leicester earned £4 an hour 

The brand, which also has exclusive spaces for their VIP customers in Paris, Miami, and Los Angeles, celebrated the opening with a huge party attended by the likes of Liam Payne, Molly-Mae, and a performance from ArrDee. 

Umar has other business interests outside fashion, and this year broke the record for Dubai’s largest ever land sale after selling part of the Jumeirah Bay Island for 128m dirhams (£28.07m). 

It was the second time he had broken the record in a month, having sold off a 30,000ft undeveloped ‘bunch of sand’ on the island for over £27m in April. 

The fashion entrepreneur bought the parcel of land just two years ago for a modest $20mn (£16.1m), making a total profit of around £12m with the sale on May 11. 

The combined total from the land sales comes to almost $70m (£56.34mn).

Located off the coast of Dubai, Jumeirah Bay Island is known for its exclusive properties and panoramic views of the city’s skyline. The new record underscores the heated demand for high-end properties in the region. 

Umar with his girlfriend Nada Adelle in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Umar with his girlfriend Nada Adelle in Monte-Carlo, Monaco

If his plans to buy Topshop go through, Umar would face a major battle to revive its fortunes.  

Originally launched in the 1960s, it enjoyed its heyday under one time king of the British high street Sir Philip Green, becoming known for its fast, affordable fashion and high-profile collaborations with designers and celebrities. 

The brand – owned by the billionaire’s Arcadia Group – was a staple of London Fashion Week and in 2007 partnered with supermodel Kate Moss. 

But the party ended in November 2020 when Arcadia went into administration following the outbreak of Covid.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button