Michelle Mone

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Michelle Mone OBE
©2012 DAN KENNEDY
Michelle Mone OBE
Born Michelle Georgina Mone
(1971-10-08) 8 October 1971 (age 43)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality British
Occupation Entrepreneur, model
Known for Founder of Ultimo, entrepreneur, businesswoman
Net worth £20 million (2011)
Spouse(s) Michael (separated)

Michelle Georgina Mone (née Allan) OBE[1] (born 8 October 1971) is a Scottish entrepreneur and former model. Via MJM International she was the founder of award-winning lingerie company Ultimo, in which she now holds a 20% stake, and is 100% owner of fake tan brand UTan.

Early life[edit]

Mone was born Michelle Georgina Allan in 1971,[2] and grew up in the East End of Glasgow. She left school aged 15 to become a model, but this career came to an end after she became pregnant with her first child and married.[3]

Career[edit]

Mone returned to employment, gaining a marketing job with brewer Labatt, having entered fictional qualifications on her CV.[3] Within two years, however, she had become their head of marketing in Scotland.[3] After being made redundant by Labatt, Mone set up her own company.[3]

Mone decided, while wearing a very uncomfortable cleavage enhancing bra at a dinner dance, that she could create a better design. Her stated aims were to create a brassiere that was both more comfortable, and better looking, creating more cleavage.[4] Mone had read about a new silicone product while on holiday in Florida, and obtained the European licence to make bras from it.[3]

MJM International[edit]

In November 1996 with her husband Michael she founded MJM International, and three years of research, design, and development resulted in the patented Ultimo bra. In August 1999, a month after having her third child, Mone launched Ultimo at Selfridges department store in London using hired actors playing Plastic Surgeons to "protest" that her new Bra would put them out of business, accompanied by a few models wearing her lingerie, all outside the store. Selfridges sold the pre-launch estimate of six weeks of stock within 24 hours, which was claimed as the biggest ever bra launch in the UK.

In April 2000, Mone won the World Young Business Achiever Award. By 2011, the Ultimo business held via MJM International was claimed to be worth £20M, run by Mone and her husband.

Following the breakdown of her relationship with her husband, whom the media claimed he was having an affair with Ultimo's chief designer, Mone left the company briefly in 2013. She then bought her husband out of MJM International for £24M.[5] This left both Mone and MJM International with considerable debts, and so the Ultimo business was transferred to a new JV company Ultimo Brands International Ltd, in a 49/51% partnership with Sri Lanka-based lingerie group MAS Holdings. MJM International was then wound up. In November 2014, Mone sold down her stake in Ultimo Brands International to 20% to partner MAS Holidings, and bought fake tan company UTan.[6]

Awards[edit]

Mone won 'Best Newcomer' at the British Apparel Export Awards.

In 2001 Prince Charles invited Mone to join the board of directors for The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust, and more recently the Board of Main Council; "Michelle Mone is... the first assisted business to be invited to serve on the PSYBT Board." "MJM International Ltd [is] a company she set up... with a £5,000 loan from PSYBT"[7]

In November 2002, Mone was awarded an honorary Doctorate by Paisley University. In January 2010, Mone was awarded an OBE for her contribution to business.[1]

Political views[edit]

Mone was a longstanding supporter of the Labour Party, but withdrew her support in 2009 and pledged to leave the UK if Gordon Brown increased the top rate of income tax to 50p. She accused Gordon Brown of mismanaging the country and said she was "disgusted by the government's inept handling of the economic crisis".[8]

In January 2012, she gave an interview in The Sunday Times where she pledged to move to England if Scotland became an independent country after the referendum in 2014.[9]

The Guardian said in a 2010 profile, Mone "grew up a Scottish, Labour voting Protestant and is now a Conservative voting Catholic whom David Cameron invited to come and address his cabinet."[3]

Personal life[edit]

At 18 years old, she became pregnant with her first child, Rebecca. She then converted to Roman Catholicism and married Michael, an anaesthetist's son from a Catholic family.[3] Mone lives in Thorntonhall with her husband Michael and their three children: Rebecca, Declan, and Bethany.[10][11] On 27 December 2011, lawyers announced the couple's formal separation.[12] Despite their separation the couple continue to share their Thorntonhall mansion, residing in separate sections.[13]

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About Michelle, Michelle Mone". Michellemone.com. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Michelle Mone, the Bra Queen". Telegraph. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Carole Cadwalladr (12 September 2010). "The first lady of lingerie | Fashion | The Observer". Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Michelle Mone Ultimo". Retrieved 30 April 2015. 
  5. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2326662/Michelle-Mone-reveals-shes-24m-poorer-husband-left-her-bra-designer-Samantha-Bunn.html
  6. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-29883072
  7. ^ "PSYBT Annual Report 2004" (PDF). 2004. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Lingerie boss drops her support for Labour | The Sunday Times (25 April 2009)
  9. ^ "BBC News – Scottish independence: Michelle Mone threatens to leave Scotland". bbc.co.uk. 29 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "Michelle Mone's mansion plans fall foul of elderly neighbour". East Kilbride News. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Richard Kay (1 February 2012). "Michelle Mone still living with her estranged spouse Michael | Mail Online". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  12. ^ "Bra tycoon Mone in marriage split – Scottish Headlines – Kirkintilloch Herald". kirkintilloch-herald.co.uk. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012. [dead link]
  13. ^ Alanah Eriksen (29 January 2012). "Michelle and Michael Mone: Her obsession with success contributed to end of marriage | Mail Online". dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 

External links[edit]