The founder of JNBY, which stands for “Just Naturally Be Yourself,” Li Lin has built a global China-based clothing brand with a strong identity and urban taste that now has over 1,800 stores across the globe and owns a 9.6 percent share of the local Chinese fashion industry. She set her sights on the US, having opened a store in Seattle, San Francisco and Bellevue in recent years.
Hangzhou-born Lin studied chemistry at university and remained in the industry for two years after graduation before switching to fashion and opening a showroom, buying clothing from Hong Kong and China. Soon, she began designing her own collection, along with 12 graduates from China’s Institute of Design, after having difficulty with finding clothing she liked. She opened two stores in 1996.
Today, the brand operates nearly 2,000 stores, including China and the US, selling fashionable clothing at affordable-luxury price points, making it accessible across demographics. Its 2016 IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange raised approximately $103 million. The group's portfolio currently comprises of eight brands, targeting women's, men's, kids and homeware markets: JNBY, Croquis, Less, and jnby by JNBY, Pomme de Terre, JNBYHome, Samo and Reverb. The group’s revenue for fiscal year 2018 was RMB 2.8 billion ($416 million).