The multimillionaire founder of Superdry has bagged £17.8million after offloading a chunk of shares in the fashion retailer.
Julian Dunkerton, who began his career selling clothes after getting three Es at A-level, sold one million shares at £17.80 each.
The co-founder of the clothing chain, who founded the business in 1985 from a market stall in Cheltenham, still holds 25 per cent of the company and remains Superdry’s largest shareholder.
Nearly two years ago he sold just under £50million of shares to fund a costly divorce settlement with his wife Charlotte Abbot, with whom he has two children.
The 51-year-old entrepreneur insist he’s not a materialistic person despite owning a private jet which he described as a ‘tool rather than an indulgence’.
Julian Dunkerton, who began his career selling clothes after getting three Es at A-level, sold one million shares at £17.80 each
Mr Dunkerton stepped down as chief executive four years ago, but remains heavily involved in the creative side of the business.
Worth £366m Mr Dunkerton’s fortune is built on flogging hoodies and T-shirts bearing the company’s garish, neon-coloured logos.
Fourteen years since it first appeared on the High Street, Superdry remains a great British retail success story.
Mr Dunkerton had wanted to be a doctor, but in 1985, after getting three E grades in his A-levels, he opened an indoor market stall after moving from London to Hereford.
That year, he opened an indoor market stall in Cheltenham which he called Cult Clothing and grew over 15 years into a nationwide chain.
He said: ‘I saw that all the clothes I could buy in London, like winkle-pickers, were not available. So I went down to London, bought bagfulls and started selling them.’
In 2003 he teamed up with James Holder, the entrepreneur behind the Bench fashion brand, and launched Superdry, specialising in hoodies and jogging bottoms, after noticing a gap in the market for bold street clothing.
In July 2013, Mr Holder also sold off £20million worth of shares to fund divorce proceedings from his wife, Jessica.
Worth £366m Mr Dunkerton’s fortune is built on flogging hoodies and T-shirts bearing the company’s garish, neon-coloured logos
Mr Duckerton pictured with wife Charlotte (pictured next to him), who his nine years his junior – he sold shares in the firm is he built up from a market stall in Cheltenham – to fund his divorce
The brand got its big break when David Beckham wore one of its Osaka 6 T-shirts on the cover of his 2005 calendar.
The second boost was not long after, when a contestant in Big Brother wore a Superdry T-shirt every single day, which meant it was on TV permanently for eight to nine weeks.
Superdry has also had celebrity endorsements from Leonardo DiCaprio and Luther star Idris Elba.
After raising £400m floating Super Group on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, there are now more than 500 stores in 40 different countries, 130 which are in the UK.
Superdry has had celebrity endorsements from Leonardo DiCaprio and Luther star Idris Elba
As well as Superdry, Mr Dunkerton owns a number of upmarket gastropubs.
He’s also taken on his parent’s award-winning venture, Dunkerton’s Organic Cider, which is also based in Cheltenham.
He’s admitted to being a bit of a leftie, once standing as a Labour councillor.
Nowadays he claims to be politically neutral, though insists he cares passionately about the UK.
The fall in sterling since the Brexit vote proved a boon for Superdry, boosting the fashion brand’s performance overseas, although sales growth has slowed recently.
RISE OF ‘PREPPIE’ BRAND THAT STARTED AS A CHELTENHAM MARKET STALL
From humble beginnings, Superdry has risen to become one of the top British fashion brands with fans including David Beckham, Zac Efron, Leonardo Di Caprio and Idris Elba.
Julian Dunkerton co-founded his fashion business in Cheltenham when he was just 19, with former business partner, Ian Hibbs.
They were funded by a £2,000 loan from Dunkerton’s father Ivor and £40 a week grant awarded in 1985 from the Thatcher government’s Enterprise Allowance Scheme.
Dunkerton initially targeted the 16-25 market, calling his stall ‘Cult Clothing’ and bringing London fashions to the spa town.
The trader – whose father was a former BBC television producer who left to persue his dream of making cider – also tried his hand at running a nightclub and coffee shop chain, plus a foray into the record industry.
He continued to run Cult Clothing, which had expanded into a chain of stores, and used it to launch Superdry in 2003.
Dunkerton (left) joined up with Holder (right) in 2003, when they launched Superdry which they turned into a global multi-million pound clothing brand
Dunkerton worked with James Holder, a designer who had previously worked on the Bench label, initially producing stripey polo shirts which have become the brand’s trademark.
Superdry’s designs are inspired by a combination of the North American ‘preppie’ style and Japanese graphics.
The company, which grew despite little advertising, now has a wide range of clothes for men and also expanded into womenswear. Its current range is in the low thousands of products.
Over the last three to four years, Superdry has expanded to become a global phenomenon.
It has its own chain of stores – including the former Cult branches – and is now sold in 40 countries from North American to Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Dunkerton is also a partner in No 131 & Crazy Eights, a new bar, restaurant and hotel in his hometown of Cheltenham.
He has also bought Hotel On The Park in Pittville, which has been turned into a boutique bed and breakfast called The Pitt.
He also acquired the Wild Duck at Ewen, near Cirencester.