Business beginnings you might not know about. – Superdry.

Posted on 13 August 2021

Even the biggest brands started somewhere -and you might be surprised where.
In a new blog series, Almagrove Private Asset Finance takes a look at the beginnings of big brands. 


15 year old fashion giant Superdry is now found in more than 157 countries worldwide – both in its own stores and in concessions in leading department stores across the world, plus has has the backing of celebrities such as David Beckham and Idris Elba.  It’s Japanese right? – wrong; the roots of this company can be traced back to a simple market stall in Cheltenham.

Julian Dunkerton began his then brand ‘cult clothing’ selling Americana inspired vintage look clothing. When Julian Dunkerton and friend were inspired by a trip to Tokyo to create American and Japanese inspired graphics on clothing then Superdry was born. That co-founder of Superdry, was James Holder, founded Bench, the well-known skatewear brand .

Dunkerton and Holder say they were looking at all the amazing logos and patterns on the food wrappers in Tokyo and were inspired to start designing clothing with logos  like that. The Japanese logos and characters often used on the clothing are auto generated and don’t really mean anything – they translate to things like ‘sunglasses companies’ or ‘membership citizen’

In the Beginning

When the Superdry brand was first launched, there were only five T-shirts in its collection. Now, Superdry offers regular seasonal collections that comprise more than five hundred distinctive ‘Superdry’ logos and incorporate thousands of different items. It’s a long way from five t-shirts.

The famous ‘Osaka 6 T-shirt’ was one of those first five, and was seen being worn by British footballing legend David Beckham. The footballer was the first of many stars to wear the brand’s products including Kate Winslet, Pixie Lott, Zac Efron, Helena Christensen and Leonardo di Caprio. In 2015 the brand paired with Idris Elba for a collaboration that was one the most highly publicised ranges. 

Superdry does not advertise on TV – it insists it finds its market just by being on the right people – see list of celebrities above. Despite some squabbles and board member reshuffles hitting the news recently the brand is set to continue doing well and has begun to announce exciting plans for the coming year.