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Drapers Top 100 2017 – 24. Tom and Ruth Chapman, founders, Matchesfashion

Tom and Ruth Chapman

The founders of Matchesfashion have had an exceptional 2017, during which they celebrated 30 years of trading, sold the business to private equity firm Apax for an undisclosed amount (rumoured to be £800m) and received the Drapers Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The business has come a long way since the Chapmans began selling designer clothing in a small shop in Wimbledon, south London, in 1987. Last November, it revealed a 61% jump in turnover to £204m for the year to 31 January 2016, and said it was on track to reach £425m by 2019.

Although 95% of sales are now made online, Matchesfashion is loyal to its four bricks-and-mortar stores, private shopping “townhouse” concept and the store for its own brand, Raey, all of which are in London.

Today, the business is led by chief executive Ulric Jerome, but the Chapmans retain a minority stake and an advisory role – and remain very much at its heart.

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