Shaper: Ruth Chapman

Transcript of the show

My husband started our business with his sister, then she got married and moved away, so he was left holding the baby. I was helping him out around my own working life and he said, come and join me.

It has always been an organic journey and we have always taken every opportunity that we could at the time.

We started to see that when we experimented with something that was more luxurious it was a runaway success.

I think my husband was the first to introduce the idea of having a coffee machine in a store.  His whole ethos is based around customer service and he never takes his eye off that ball. 

My passion has never diminished because I always think, how can we do this better? How can we make it a better experience for the customer? What’s next?

It’s astonishing that we’re still together and still adore each other, but there are times when we disagree, and we can never be seen to disagree in a meeting, so we have to take the argument outside.

Be clear, be honest, be truthful, be kind and listen to what the other person has got to say. Honesty is really important but you have to be tactful as well.

Most people are pretty charming, hardworking people and the fashion industry is not the glamorous world that a lot of people imagine that it is.  There is a lot of hard work and it’s an industry like any other.

As a business we have lived through several recessions and there have always been new challenges and that is possibly what keeps us in there.

Ruth Chapman

Tom and Ruth Chapman are joint CEOs and co-founders of MATCHESFASHION.COM.

Tom and Ruth Chapman opened their first two Matches stores in Wimbledon in 1987. Since then, the company has grown into a global luxury retailer, with 14 London stores, including DVF and MaxMara, and an international site that operates in 200 countries worldwide. In April this year, all platforms of the business were renamed MATCHESFASHION.COM, unifying the brand and creating a truly omni-channel experience for the customer. MATCHESFASHION.COM offers a curated edit of the world’s hottest designers, from established international brands to hard-to-find, cool contemporary labels. Now stocking more than 400 designers across menswear and womenswear, the rostrum of designers includes Christopher Kane, Lanvin, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Kenzo, Carven and Givenchy. As a long-term supporter of young British talent, Ruth sits on the British Fashion Council NEWGEN selection panel. Ruth also conceived and launched MATCHESFASHION.COM’s own line Freda in 2006.