Johnnie Boden, the founder of Boden, discusses with Ivan six things which he thinks should be better known.
Johnnie Boden founded Boden in 1991 with eight menswear products, sold through a catalogue hand-drawn on his kitchen table. As ambitious as he was, he couldn’t have imagined that the fashion line bearing his name would become a multi-million-pound global business producing a huge range of clothes for every member of the family.
The success of the business – which last year chalked up 2.5 million customers worldwide and sales of over £350 million – is all the more impressive given that Johnnie started out with no fashion training. He had, however, spent much of his teens hunting down vintage tweed overcoats and Converse high-tops in Portobello Road, and cut his teeth as Men s Fashion Editor of Harpers & Queen s teenage edition in August 1977.
After graduating from Oxford, Johnnie fell into a job as stockbroker. An overseas posting to New York in 1988 opened his eyes to how well Americans operated in the mail-order market for top-quality basics – and, more importantly, how the UK was failing to compete.
In 2017, Boden opened its first central London flagship shop on the King’s Road. Boden’s stylish range of clothing and accessories are available to buy via catalogue in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Australia and Austria, and online – trading in over 60 countries with more than 1000 employees across all markets.
1. Greek wine https://www.botilia.gr/en/botilia/greek-wine
2. Fashion illustration https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/importance-of-fashion-illustration
3. Antique buying in regional sale rooms https://antique-marks.com/antique-auction-houses.html
4. Lemon juice and olive oil https://www.seloolive.com/blogs/olive-oil/olive-oil-and-lemon
5. Choral music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLkX3g58vT8
6. Majella national park in Italy https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/apr/19/walking-majella-national-park-italy