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Touker Suleyman

Touker Suleyman was born in Famagusta, Cyprus and moved to the UK in 1958 at the age of five years old, settling in London.

His first taste of entrepreneurship was buying clothes for his grandmother to sell on to her friends.

He started off his retail career proper at the age of 18 via a joint venture in leather company. He had something of a false start in accountancy after his dad forced him into a ‘stable career’ at the age of 18, but he couldn’t resist the call of running business.

One of his key learnings was an ill-advised investment into retailer, Bamber, with another of his businesses (Mellins). As he didn’t do any due diligence, he later discovered that the firm was £20m in debt and at risk of liquidation. Mellins was in need of a cash injection so he was forced to sell off his home.

He certainly bounced back though. A connoisseur of fashion, he bought menswear brand, Hawes and Curtis for £1 in 2001. He hails it as the best investment he’s ever made. What he didn’t realise was that the firm was £500,000 in debt and had no stock. He transformed the company and today it is globally renowned. He did much the same reinventing 90s womenswear brand, Ghost, in 2008. Later he bought Finery and Low Profile Holdings. He admits that he likes a fixer-upper, reportedly telling Drapers that he prefers to buy struggling businesses over large chains.

Business investments in the Den include: Bad Brownie, Collagin, Timberkits, Beamblock Yogo

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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