MatchesFashion.com founders Tom and Ruth Chapman sell their online fashion empire to private investors.
Global fashion empire, MatchesFashion.com, has just sold a majority stake in the business for £800 million to private equity firm, Apax Partners. The couple will be taking a step back from the day-to-day running of the business but will still hold an advisory role and minority shares in the business.
The husband and wife duo founded Matches Fashion 30 years ago from a shop in Wimbledon and then launched online in 2007, where it now makes the majority of its revenue. The company also has five shops in London, with plans to open another next year in Mayfair. It deals with some of the biggest spenders in the fashion world and stocks around 450 established and new designers, including Stella McCartney, Gucci and Prada.
Last year Tom and Ruth Chapman moved from their head office in Clapham Junction to new adjacent offices overlooking the city in the Shard – taking up 48,000 sq ft of office space in the London landmark.
Ruth Chapman has always had a strong interest in fashion and started her journey working at Jaeger in London after leaving school. She met Tom at 21 and together they transformed the then struggling Wimbledon boutique into what it is today. They named Matches after the matches Tom used to feed his 40-a-day cigarette habit back in 1987.
Their success has been built on their ability to spot up-and-coming designers, as well as the ability to anticipate the whims of its wealthy shoppers. Now, with a stake worth £130 million, they can deservedly join the ranks of the mega-rich.