“Ray Kelvin founded the Ted Baker brand in 1988, when he opened up a men’s shirt specialty shop in Glasgow. Kelvin relied on word of mouth and early viral marketing initiatives alongside the creation of a rich personality to anchor the brand.
U.K. designer label Ted Baker (www.tedbaker-london.com) is a British lifestyle brand known for applying innovative and unique twists to all of its products. Following the opening of the first store in 1988, stores quickly opened in Manchester, Cambridge, and Nottingham. Initially, Ted Baker exclusively offered men’s limited edition shirts. Six years later, a store in Covent Garden opened and Kelvin bought the company outright from part-owners Goldberg and Sons. Additional stores in Soho in London, Nottingham, and Leeds opened in 1994. In 1995, Ted Baker launched Ted Baker Woman. Ted Baker has since become a global brand, which produces men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. The company also produces fragrances, eyewear, footwear, watches, and accessories. The Ted Baker collections are also sold by other retailers. Ted Baker has launched new collections in partnership with Debenhams, including Baker by Ted Baker and B by Ted Baker. Ted Baker has stores, outlets ,and concessions across Europe, the U.S., Australasia, Asia, and the Middle East, and has expanded its presence in these territories through its wholesale and export business, which now covers Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., Canada, Norway, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Finland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, as well as the U.K.
When you look back to 1988 and the creation of the brand, what did you see in the market that made you feel there was an opportunity?
I started the business and called it Ted Baker because I thought, from day one, that it would be a failure, and I didn’t want to be “Ray Kelvin the bankrupt.” So it was a good name to hide behind.
Now that it is a global success, Continue reading