Another thriving clothing business is Boden, launched in 1991 by Johnnie Boden, a former stockbroker/banker (ex-BZW and Warburgs).
He left the City in 1988, feeling that life as an institutional salesman was not really his metier. He then tried a variety of jobs, including retail consultancy, running a bar, and teaching English in a pre-prep school, before he came up with the idea for Boden.
While he was working in America he noticed the tremendous strength of mail order for innovative clothes there and decided it was the kind of business that could be successful in the UK.
From these very small beginnings his company has rapidly expanded and now has 10,000 mail-order customers. He has most of his products made in England - his bright Rupert trousers, for example. The cloth is produced by a firm in Somerset and the trousers are made in Yorkshire.
Boden's catalogue is unusual for its choice of models - from Lady Mary Keen (author of a number of gardening books), to Charles Aboah, county cricketer. The catalogue, written in a very chummy style, urges people to 'be brave'. Johnnie Boden was, and his business is succeeding.