Matchesfashion.com co-founder: "Leaders must rethink what's possible and deliver meaningful change"

Tom Chapman, co-founder of luxury retailer matchesfashion.com, is championing the next generation of high-growth, high-impact firms.

by Kate Bassett
Last Updated: 17 Dec 2019

"Businesses, whatever their size, must remain agile. They need to challenge pre-conceived ways of operating," says angel investor Tom Chapman.

Chapman set up luxury retailer matchesfashion.com in 1987 with his wife, Ruth. The pair started out with a single bricks-and-mortar store in Wimbledon and expanded across London throughout the nineties, bringing luxury brands such as Versace, Prada and Bottega to the UK. Matches was one of the first British luxury fashion retailers to go online in 2007. "With every single decision we made, we put our customers first above everything else," says Chapman.

In 2017, they sold Matches to Apax Partners in a deal that valued the company at more than $1bn.

Since then, Chapman, 56, has invested in start-ups such as beauty brand Heyday, size-inclusive fashion label Universal Standard and medical cannabis supplier Caliva. "We must celebrate and recognise the companies that are rethinking what’s possible and delivering meaningful change," says Chapman.

That’s why he’s supporting Management Today's NextGen Awards, which aim to shine a spotlight on the next generation of ground-breaking, high-growth businesses in the country – and the leaders at their helm.

Nominations for the NextGen Awards close on 21st January. Alongside Chapman, entries will be judged by: Dame Cilla Snowball, chair of the GREAT Private Sector Council; Julian Birkinshaw, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School; Linda Grant, chair of Virgin StartUp; and Ewan Kirk, founder of Cantab Capital and Turner-Kirk Charitable Trust.

Winners will be profiled in Management Today in March. For more details, visit www.mtnextgenawards.com

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