Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2021

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Mahmud, Umar and Adam Kamani


UMAR KAMANI co-founded PrettyLittleThingsin 2012, when he was just 24, along with his brother Adam.

Selling womenswear, footwear, accessories and beauty products aimed at the age group 16-24, PLT, as it is also known, gained significant traction when the likes of Miley Cyrus, Michelle Keegan, Rita Ora, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj were all spotted wearing the product range.

Boohoo, the pioneering online fashion retailer started by their father Mahmud Kamani six years ago in 2006, bought a 66 per cent stake in the brand in January 2017. In May 2020, Booohoo once again exercised its option to buy stakes in PLT, and took complete control of the brand, acquiring the remaining 34 per cent in a deal that could be worth up to £324 million.

Umar, who began working in the family business as a manager at Boohoo and started his own venture inspired by its success, would not mind, as the business has grown exponentially since Boohoo’s entry, posting net sales of £516m in the year ending February 29, 2020, compared with £55m in 2017. Adam, meanwhile, has shifted his focus to the family’s property business.

Boohoo has been a standout success story, a result of Mahmud’s foresight when the internet was beginning to transform retail in the early 2000s. Already supplying clothing chains across Europe, he was keen to set up his own label and trade online, where there were fewer overheads and where he could sell more quickly and cheaply directly from the warehouse.

Mahmud, who followed his father into the clothing business, has already built his own brands in Pinstripe, Starsign and Jogo, while supplying to the likes of Primark and New

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