Ted Baker: Origin, inventor & success

Today, Ted Baker is considered an international luxury brand. Based in Great Britain, the brand is represented for men and women, as well as for children. Your trademark: The lush, playful and flowery design. A label that initially specialized only in menswear, and now offers everything from clothing to bags. Only very few people know that the idea of this store came to Ray Kelvin during a fishing trip. But why wasn’t the label named after its inventor, and what was Ted Baker once before? You can find out all this here!

The creation of the fashion label Ted Baker

Ray Kelvin once made a name for himself in 1988 as a shirt specialist. Humor has always been Ray’s greatest strength. The designer also created his fashion then and now according to this motto. This is reflected in the magnificent patterns of his designer pieces and in his store concept at that time. Nowadays, the colorful bags and flowery dresses are what you would imagine under the brand Ted Baker. In the past, Ray was known for something completely different. After his first store offered a laundry service for every shirt he bought, people began to notice him. No Ordinary Designer Label’, they called Ray’s shirt brand. Customers always liked to go to the designer because his personality was part of the business. Ray opened his first store in Glasgow, Scotland, closely followed by King Street, Manchester and the Nottingham Exchange Arcade. Ray also had an eye for quality from the beginning, which is why he showed a great attention to detail. And it was worth it! Although the then 33-year-old had never believed that his label would ever become so famous, he quickly felt his success and became one of the leading lifestyle brands in the UK.

Ted Baker: The ‘No Ordinary Designer Label

But why did Ray christen his fashion label with the name Ted Baker? Ray first heard the name Ted Baker in a conversation. Since he was not sure at the beginning of his label that this would not be a total flop, he decided to keep his own name out of the brand. The designer saw this name as his personal, made-up alter-ego and thought it was appropriate. And all this came about during a fishing trip!

Lukinski Villas

Germany - Spain - USA

Visit Ted Baker’s official store: https://www.tedbaker.com/de/Damen/c/category_womens

An idea becomes a success story

Here you will find a chronological overview of Ray Kelvin’s successes, from the beginning to the year 2000:

  • 1987: The idea for a global brand came to Ray while fishing.
  • 1988: Opening of the first store in Glasgow, closely followed by King Street, Manchester and Nottingham Exchange Arcade.
  • 1990: The first store in London is opened in Covent Garden and the company is taken over completely by Goldberg and Sons
  • 1992: The Blue Baker collection is launched.
  • 1993: Further stores are opened in Soho, London, the Victoria Quarter in Leeds and Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham Ted Baker becomes a private company.
  • 1994: Start of wholesale business in the United Kingdom. A further store in Liverpool’s Button Street opens its doors.
  • 1995: The Ted Baker Woman and Ted Baker Lite collections are launched.
  • 1996: Start of the wholesale business in the USA on the occasion of the Magic 1996 Trade Festival and launch of the Teddy Boy collection.
  • 1997: Ted Baker becomes a publicly traded company and operates under the trade name ‘No Ordinary Designer Label Limited’. The stores in Liverpool and Glasgow are expanded and
  • renovated.
  • 1998: Opening of the very first independent store on American soil in New York and www.tedbaker.co.uk goes online for the first time. The launch of Skinwear and the underwear collectioncompleted the year.
  • 1999: The Endurance Suit is designed and a new women’s fragrance is introduced. The online store records its first sales. A women’s clothing store is opened in Manchester Triangle Centre, a store in Bluewater and the first store in Stockholm.
  • 2000: Launch of the Ted Baker shoe collection and the Teddy Girl collection. Move to The Ugly Brown Building and signing of the licensing agreement with Hartmarx Corp in the USA.
  • Opening of the largest Ted Baker store in Birmingham and new stores in Richmond, Canary Wharf and King’s Road in London.

Ray’s unique marketing strategy

Advertising via television or posters? Ted Baker used nothing of the sort to promote his products. Word of mouth, that was the key to Ray’s marketing strategy. So there were original concepts and giveaways that made people aware of Ted Baker. Since this strategy was not common at that time, the brand name spread rapidly. The awarding of “Paxo Stuffing” at Christmas, chocolate bunnies at Easter or in 2006 special World Cup soccer tickets ensured Ted Baker’s success. Without a single advertising campaign, the designer managed to develop into an international fashion label.

Watch Ted Baker’s commercial about her party collection:

33 years of Ted Bakers: The assortment today

Today the brand offers a wide range of collections, including Men’s and women’s apparel, Global, Endurance, Pashion, Langley, accessories, fragrances, skinwear, shoes, eyewear, cell phone cases and watches. The designer’s British collection is mainly known for its original look. Large floral patterns, frills, pleats, bows and flounces set the stage for the unique products. Extravagant, timeless and classic – with Ted Baker you will stand out!

Here you can find some of the most popular products of the brand:

  • Ted Baker Shopper: https://www.tedbaker.com/uk/Womens/Accessories/Bags/GABYCON-Bow-detail-icon-bag-Duskby-Pink/p/229320-DUSKY-PINK
  • Ted Baker sneakers: https://www.tedbaker.com/de/Damen/Accessoires/Schuhe/Sneakers-fr-Damen/PIIXIE-Snake-effect-leather-platform-trainers-Wei/p/244060-WHITE
  • Ted Baker Flower Dress: https://www.tedbaker.com/de/Damen/Kleidung/Kleider/NOLLA-Elderflower-V-neck-skater-dress-Wei/p/243758-WHITE
  • Ted Baker sunglasses: https://www.tedbaker.com/de/Damen/Accessoires/Sonnenbrillen/MIINAA-Mittelgroe-runde-Sonnenbrille-Schildpatt/p/244505-TRTOISHELL
  • Ted Baker Watch: https://www.tedbaker.com/de/Damen/Accessoires/Uhren/FITZYIA-Uhr-mit-floralem-Zifferblatt-und-Lederarmband-Hellrosa/p/245390-LT-PINK
  • Ted Baker cosmetic bag: https://www.tedbaker.com/de/Damen/Outlet/Accessoires/Gifts/CAHIRA-Kosmetiktasche-mit-Schleifendetail-Schwarz/p/150966-BLACK

Ethical principles of the brand

Three important principles determine the label today. First, Ted Baker is very respectful of its impact on the environment. By reducing production waste or managing sustainable packaging and transportation, they contribute greatly to improving the environment. The well-being of the employees and the customers is also a priority. Last but not least, Ted Baker tries to focus on the sustainability of its products, which is why quality is paramount in order to increase the lifetime of all products. Do you think the brand keeps its promises?

Ray Kelvin’s resignation after harassment allegations

Hugs and ear massages: Many of his employees accused this behavior in 2019. CEO Ray Kelvin is said to have hugged employees against their will, as well as urged them to sit on his knees and have their ears massaged.  The 62-year-old did not confirm these accusations. Despite all of this, he resigned from his position as CEO with immediate effect, after numerous media outlets demanded Ray’s resignation. COO Lindsay Page, is to continue to run the company in his place. But what exactly is the truth of the accusations?

“I’ve decided it’s the right step to leave Ted to allow the company to focus on being the outstanding brand it is. So it can face 2019 with fresh energy and a new spirit”.

Ray Kelvin has always been a mystery. At official photo events, the inventor of the fashion label liked to keep a hat or even a shoe in front of his face to stay in the background as much as possible. There are also no interviews with the designer, which underlines his anonymity. And no wonder, hardly anyone knows that behind the luxury brand hides this somewhat quirky guy. His sense of humor also shaped his success story, but in the end he was accused of harassment. According to him, hugs have probably always been part of the corporate culture. But they were never imposed, he says.

What does the brand’s future look like?

After inventor Ray Kelvin left the company, he stayed out of the spotlight for a while. Lindsay Page, the company’s new CEO, now has power over the fashion label. But what happens to the brand now? Shortly after the accusations about Ray’s misconduct, the company’s stock fell sharply. The share price already dropped from GBP 32 (EUR 35.4) per share in March 2019 to GBP 18 (EUR 19.9). At the close of trading, the value was below GBP 15 (EUR 16.6). However, the figures recovered again after the scandal was slowly forgotten.