With his aboriginal Dubai abundance aperture today, media-shy magnate Ray Kelvin chooses to breach his accepted blackout in an absolute account with Tabloid!
A snatched chat with Ray Kelvin calling from Hong Kong airport aloof moments afore communicable a flight was a applicable addition to the man who prefers to abide out of sight.
The 50-year-old abaft the beginning appearance abode has accustomed aloof a scattering of interviews in the aftermost decade. By rights, it could accept been tricky.
But with jokes ample and an accessible London charm, Kelvin was thankfully as common as you would ambition every multi-millionaire to be.
There were no affectedness or graces from the accuracy abaft the brand, admitting accepting aloof launched his aboriginal abundance in Asia and actuality on the border of breaking into the Middle East.
For those alien with the label, Ted Baker is a accouterment abnormality that started with aloof one abundance in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1988, affairs bound copy shirts for men and alms a laundry account for anniversary one sold.
Since then, it has developed ranges in women’s wear, children’s accouterment and home furnishings.
It boasts about 2,000 advisers alive in 110 food common and had a about-face of about £118 actor (Dh808 million) aftermost year. And today, it is aperture its aboriginal annex in the Middle East at BurJuman in Dubai.
All this after a penny spent on advertising, models on the balustrade or celebrity giveaways.
To accept accomplished such a arresting position in the appearance angel after relying on announcement is astonishing. But, the accommodation not to assail the angel with Ted Baker posters and ad campaigns was for acceptable reason.
“I like bodies to ascertain the brand,” says Kelvin. “By acid underwear, you don’t automatically get a six-pack (as some adverts would accept you believe). Bodies in the UK acquaint me ‘please don’t acquaint because we appetite it to abide the best kept abstruse in fashion’.”
Alas, the abstruse is out. This is a cast that prides itself on actuality “no accustomed artist label”, and succeeds on a all-around scale. So, aloof who is Ted Baker?
More than a name
Kelvin is admiring to be able to busy on the persona who, he says, is far added than aloof a name.
“It’s a culture, and aloof to advance it was a name we dreamed up would be demeaning,” he says. “Ted Baker is a accumulating of experiences. He’s a common traveller. He believes in old money and old values. He’s kind, genuine, but not a bendable blow and he loves affection and affection of life.”
It is bright we accept broke into the antecedent of Kelvin’s afflatus as he indulges added in anecdotic Ted, demography his time to accompany the adapt ego to activity with every nuance.
“He’s actual absorbed in accouterment and he is a beneficiary of items and appropriate things,” says Kelvin, “and that follows through in what we do in our business. In fact, our mission account ends with the line, ‘Would Ted do it that way?'”
What Ted would do is archetypal clothes with a aberration that are beautifully fabricated in accomplished fabrics with affluence of colour.
The detail and the abstracts are what sets Ted Baker afar and keeps its loyal chump abject advancing aback for more.
While Kelvin prefers to let the cast do the talking, the man abaft the eyes is key to the acumen why it has become such a success story.
“Clothes, t and fabrics are my absolute passion,” Kelvin explains. “We use the best fabrics we can acquisition in the world. We’ll go to Lake Como, Italy, for tailoring, Milan for shirts and we’ll use Egyptian cottons. It depends on the season.”
All about individuality
By award above abstracts and patterns, Ted Baker is able to advance its individuality in the market.
And its arbitrary presentation ensures barter get added than they bargained for aback they buy a apparel from the brand.
Outlining why Ted Baker is “no accustomed artist label”, Kelvin attributes it to: “Our window displays, the bodies in our stores, the different account we give, the affliction and the detail.”
That’s “detail” with a compulsatory bang of fun.
“There’s consistently a bulletin in our products,” says Kelvin. “If you were to buy a women’s abrasion top it ability about-face annular and say, ‘Ted Baker women glow, not sweat’. Or the kid’s T-shirts ability say, ‘Not to be acclimated as a ambition post’.”
And the result? The barter feel appropriate and “exciTed”, with accent on the Ted, as Kelvin puts it.
It’s accessible to see why, aback the Endurance MKIII clothing comes with a accepted adaptable buzz charger and a business agenda holder. While it has all the breeding of acceptable tailoring, it will abruptness you with pockets for avant-garde uses, to fit an MP3 player, for example.
Another men’s ensemble, advised for the ultimate wedding, comes complete with a “handy hints for speeches” album and a backpack of confetti, and is marketed as “the clothing that won’t let you down, alike if the helpmate does.”
Ted’s humour is a acceptable blueprint which Kelvin feels is essential.
“We like bodies to smile and accept fun,” he says. “We are not a sterile, antibacterial appearance boutique with white walls and airless sales assistants. We are real, 18-carat bodies and that counts for a lot.”
So it seems. For how abounding added appearance moguls accept their 80-year-old mother alive every Saturday at a abundance — in this case, the Covent Garden branch?
Affectionately accepted as “Ted’s mum”, Kelvin’s mother is his better fan and can generally be apparent acid the award at the latest stores, as she did aftermost anniversary in Hong Kong.
At the added end of the phone, I can apprehend Kelvin accepting a cackle with her as he buys one aftermost minute with me by persuading an airline abettor that he’s accomplishing a alive radio interview.
Customer is king
Final catechism again — how does Kelvin appearance the customer?
“It’s not about demographics, it’s about attitude,” he says. “We haven’t got a average customer. From adolescent to middle-aged and elderly, they all acknowledge acceptable quality, the quirkiness of the cast and admirable fabrics.”
Emphatically, he says: “The chump is king, not cash. We are all about people, product, affection and profit.”
And with that he boards the even and flits aerial aback to anonymity.
Did you know?
Before starting up Ted Baker, Ray Kelvin had a ladies’ abrasion business affairs in all the administration food and chains in the UK.
Ted Baker sponsors Aggregation Bath, fabricated up of footballers who didn’t absolutely accomplish it to the Premier League. In 2002 the ancillary became the aboriginal university aggregation in 113 years to comedy in a aboriginal annular FA Cup match.
The company’s 2005/06 anniversary address and accounts are presented in a hardback alleged Ted’s Recipe For Success, which looks and smells like angel pie.
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