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Which are the UK’s fastest-growing private fashion firms?

Gymshark, Pink Boutique, Lindy Bop, Hype, Skinnydip, Missguided and End are among those named as Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales, while Chi Chi London is “one to watch”.

An online activewear retailer called Gymshark has been crowned the UK’s number one private company with the fastest-growing sales in the Sunday Times Fast Track league table for 2016.

Newcastle-based online fashion retailer Pink Boutique was number 12 in the list, followed by Manchester-based vintage fashion designer Lindy Bop at number 20, Leicester-based fashion brand Hype at 26, and north-west London-based fashion accessories label Skinnydip at 43.

Manchester womenswear etailer Missguided was ranked at number 67, while menswear independent End, based in Newcastle, came in at number 80.

Worcestershire-based Gymshark made £12.8m for the year to 31 July, almost trebling annual sales by 193% over the last three years. It was founded in 2012 by teenager Ben Francis and a group of his school friends, who started his own brand by screen printing in a garage. The firm now has 53 employees, as well as 18 “athletic ambassadors” that boast around 20 million followers on social media.

Alice Hall, founder of Pink Boutique

Alice Hall, founder of Pink Boutique

Alice Hall, founder of Pink Boutique

Pink Boutique was started in 2012 by entrepreneur Alice Hall, who decided to launch a website for Glamorous women’s clothing with just £90. It has since grown to a firm with a turnover of £7.7m for the year to 29 February, rising by an annual 138% over the past three years. Pink Boutiuque now has 44 employees and ships 2,000 garments a day from its 30,000 sq ft Warehouse and factory in Newcastle, and plans to replicate its business model in the US and Australia.

“Our growth has been phenomenal having started with a handful of dresses posted every day to our present level of around 2,000 garments a day,” said Hall, explaining that the firm can now release up to 20 new styles every day.

Lindy Bop made sales of £10m for the year to October 2015, up by an annual 108% in the past three years, and offers vintage-inspired womenswear, which is especially popular in Scandinavia. It was formed in 2010 and now has 54 employees.

Hype was founded in 2011 by university friends Liam Green and Aidy Lennox and their streetwear brand now boasts celebrity fans such as Jay-Z and 50 Cent, as well as a wholesale stockist base that includes Asos, JD Sports and Footasylum. Sales of £14.9m for the year to 16 April have been rising by 94% a year over the last three years, and the company now has 51 employees.

Skinnydip London James Gold

Skinnydip London James Gold

Skinnydip London founder James Gold.

James Gold founded accessories brand Skinnydip London in 2011 with his brother and his best friend. The brand’s fun and innovative phone cases and quirky bags soon caught on and now its website attracts more than a million visitors a month. Skinnydip made sales of £6.6m in the year to 31 December 2015, rising by an annual 71% for the past three years, and has 50 employees.

Manchester-based Missguided, which opened its first retail store in Westfield Stratford City last month, has the highest turnover of all of the fashion retailers named in the list, with sales of £117m for the year to March 2016. However, the high base has not dampened its growth, with that figure the result of a 60% annual increase over the last three years. Founded in 2009 by Nitin Passi, the firm’s new four-storey headquarters boasts a light tunnel to help staff take better selfies.

Passi is also poised to launch a new menswear label called Mennace for spring 17, which will be separate from Missguided, although will sit within the same group.

Chi Chi London founders Gio and Daniel Najar

Chi Chi London founders Gio and Daniel Najar

Chi Chi London founders Gio and Daniel Najar

Inspirational menswear independent End, which moved to a new flagship store in Newcastle city centre in November last year, was founded in 2005 by Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker and has built a strong online presence both in the UK and internationally over the last decade. The firm now makes half of its £37.9m sales overseas in markets including France and Germany and employes 146 people. Its turnover has grown by an average of 57% each year for the last three years.

Fast fashion womenswear brand Chi Chi London was named as one of 10 “ones to watch” in the list, having tripled sales to £8.1m in the last three years. Chi Chi London was founded in 2008 by brothers Gio and Daniel Najar and now boasts a thriving online business, as well as a stockist base including Asos, House of Fraser and Very.





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