Sir Philip Green is a British entrepreneur, and the chief executive of Arcadia, a British retail group that includes the Topshop and Topman brands, both of which Green has built to become a global presence.
Green bought the ailing Arcadia group, which included British high street chains Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Outfit, Topshop and Topman, in 2002, and sold it to his Monte Carlo based wife within 24 hours, installing himself as chief executive instead.
As chief executive, Green’s development of the Topshop brand has seen the company become a global fashion force. Green expanded product offerings, built numerous flagships, and enticed Kate Moss to collaborate with the store on a branded fashion line. Topshop’s products are now featured in the best of the industry’s publications, both commercially and editorially.
Green opened a Fashion Retail Academy in 2008, which offers students the opportunity to study over ten courses including fashion design, merchandising and finance. Green said of his academy, “Over 8 years it's smooth, it runs properly as a business and as an academic [institution], we’ve got the retailers on board, which is as it should be. We want to keep the momentum here and hope people can learn from what we do. There can never be a better time for young people to come into the business. Us old guys need new talent.”
After leaving boarding school at 15, Green worked for a shoe importer before travelling to the US, Europe and the Far East. It was on his return that he set up his first business with a £20,000 loan, importing jeans from the Far East to sell on to retailers in London; the first of many successful entrepreneurial ventures for one of fashion’s savviest retailers.