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Don't hold your breath waiting to meet Ted Baker, because the dude doesn't exist. He emerged from the brain of Raymond S. Kelvin, who named his company for a figment of his imagination. Kelvin is nothing if not entertaining. On the Ted Baker website outlining the corporation's time line, he posted this entry: "1987 -- The idea for a global brand came to Ted whilst fishing." You can certainly trust a guy with this much imagination to figure out how to dress you in awesome duds.
Meet the Real Ted
Ray Kelvin (a.k.a. Ted) entered the world of fashion in 1988 when he opened a mens shirt shop in Glasgow, Scotland. Called a cool guy by more than one reporter writing stories on the man behind the man behind the label, Kelvin expanded his empire to London stores, one of which employed his mom, whose name tag reads "Ted's Mum." Averse to traditional advertising, Kelvin believes quality merchandise and distinct branding speaks volumes.
A Healthy Bottom Line
By 2011, the Ted Baker brand had expanded to more than 100 shops and become the darling of trend-conscious men and women. Spring and summer collections featuring hot and quirky styles grew the company's pre-tax profits by nearly 25 percent, a sure sign that Ted and Ray are on the right track. Given the fact that this dramatic sales increase came during a time of international economic decline, it's safe to say that the company's "no advertising" policy works.
Ted and Ray's Wonderful Adventure
It's hard to nail down the Ted Baker look because just when you thought it's all about classic cardigans, trench coats and separates in nice, conservative colors, out pop unique collections of themed clothing. For 2011, there's a charming little collection of tops, wraps, a mini-skirt and a beaded dress, all in a birdcage print; you'll also find camel-colored bags, glam platform shoes and a quirky oversized slouch cape. Ted, it seems, has an eclectic mind filled with surprises and you are the beneficiary of those brainstorms.
Ted Gallops Into the 21st Century
Nobody's sure what Ray Kelvin puts into his breakfast bowl, but if you find out, add it to your shopping list. In just four years, the company launched Sunglasses and Eyewear, jeans, new scents "M" and "W" plus the Ted Baker Home and Watches line. "Global," a luxury limited edition fragrance and "Secondskin," debuted in 2003 and 2004. The Ted Baker brand became an official supplier of designer uniforms to British soccer teams. To show his love of country, alchemists blended a limited edition fragrance, "Pride of England." And you thought Ted was all about feminine fashion.
Ted Plans More Surprises
Ted Baker & Friends, a distinctly Kelvin shopping concept, opened in London in 2008 to mark the company's 20th anniversary. It's a fun place. You browse new Ted Baker designs while your boy toy gets his hair cut and shoes shined at the in-store barber. Lost in the gorgeous merchandise? The concierge will find you, if only to make sure you've seen B by Ted Baker, a gorgeous lingerie collection unveiled in 2009. New horizons? You bet. It's your guess where Ted Baker travels next, but if he says he's going fishing, believe him.