Jackets are off in fight for young fashion fans: top brands facing court clash over lookalike coats 

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Superdry 

A good fit: Euan Sutherland, left, now runs the firm co-founded by Julian Dunkerton

A good fit: Euan Sutherland, left, now runs the firm co-founded by Julian Dunkerton

A good fit: Euan Sutherland, left, now runs the firm co-founded by Julian Dunkerton

Established: Cheltenham, 2003  

Founders: Julian Dunkerton and James Holder

Stores: 139 in the UK and Europe.

Sales: £872 million in 2017/2018

Motto: ‘We are a lifestyle, Superdry is a way of life’

It has been a rollercoaster year for Superdry and its co-founder, Julian Dunkerton.

The 53-year-old shocked investors in March by announcing his exit from the brand he had built up over 15 years. He had stood down as chief executive in 2014, but remained on the group’s board until this year.

Dunkerton, who has amassed an estimated personal fortune of £440 million, remains the largest investor, but sold a 6.7 per cent stake – worth more than £70 million – last month, reducing his holding to 18.5 per cent.

Superdry shares have fallen 30 per cent since March. The company is now led by Scottish businessman Euan Sutherland, a former executive at Kingfisher and Co-op Group, who has seamlessly traded in his City suit for a leather jacket.

But Dunkerton continues to hog the headlines. The anti-Brexit campaigner was lauded last week after donating £1 million to the People’s Vote campaign for a second EU referendum.

He also recently celebrated his second marriage, to 31-year-old designer Jade Holland Cooper. Actor Idris Elba was DJ at the wedding, while pop star Craig David also made an appearance.

Jack Wills

Established: Salcombe, 1999

 Leaving: Jack Wills boss Peter Williams is on his way out

 Leaving: Jack Wills boss Peter Williams is on his way out

 Leaving: Jack Wills boss Peter Williams is on his way out

Founders: Peter Williams and Robert Shaw

Stores: 104

Annual sales: £142 million in 2016/2017

Motto: ‘Intrinsically charming, endlessly optimistic and unapologetically British’

Peter Williams, 44, a University College London economics graduate, set up Jack Wills with a childhood friend aged just 24.

Under Williams’ leadership, Jack Wills marketed itself as the ‘University Outfitters’.

Suzanne Harlow is being lined up to replace Williams

Suzanne Harlow is being lined up to replace Williams

Suzanne Harlow is being lined up to replace Williams

The brand, born in a seaside town in Devon, became associated with posh campuses. 

For many students in the Noughties, a Jack Wills gilet or hoodie was a must-have item. 

But the company, like many retail rivals, has fallen on tough times of late.

Williams stood down as chief executive in 2012, with his personal wealth estimated at £200 million. 

After a tough couple of years, he was brought back in 2015 and hauled it back to profitability.

But with the firm experiencing further financial challenges, its private equity backer BlueGem is ousting him and is lining up former Debenhams executive Suzanne Harlow, right, as his replacement.

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