Philip Mountford has been credited for saving Hunkemöller, a 130 year-old Dutch lingerie company, from collapsing.
Since giving up his role as CEO of Moss Bros and joining Hunkemöller in 2009, the company has quadrupled its sales and launched into new territories, including the UK, and has big plans to dominate the lingerie market across the whole of Europe.
Explaining the turnaround, Mountford told Lingerie Insight: “Seven years ago, [previous owner] KKR gave me a white piece of paper and said, ‘Philip, we’ve got a business that isn’t moving – it’s regressing and we want it to be transformed’, and I was lucky enough to create that dream.
“We started off with the customer, which I think most brands don’t – they start off with a product and say ‘you need to buy it’. What we said is, ‘we’ve got a customer; let’s provide her with something she wants’.”
Under Philip’s leadership, Hunkemöller interviewed 39,000 customers and created a persona called Shero.
“We asked her what she wants, how she wants it, where does she want to shop and how does she want to be looked after. On the back of that, we created our whole content strategy,” said Philip.
“Starting with the customer is quite unique and not many CEOs have that opportunity.”
Hunkemöller operates 800 stores in 20 territories and launched its UK site in September 2016.
The business recently attracted global media attention for collaborating with former Victoria’s Secret Angel Doutzen Kroes.
The supermodel joined the company as brand ambassador in 2016 to create Doutzen’s Stories, a series of fashionable and functional lingerie, swimwear and sportswear collections.
A romantic collection of lingerie was launched first, followed by sportswear in December 2016, swimwear in May 2017 and a second lingerie collection inspired by Hollywood glamour in October 2017.
Since Philip joined the company, Hunkemöller has also engaged with fashion bloggers Caro Einhoff and Pamela Reif, collaborating on new lingerie and sportswear collections.
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