No. 41-60: Neil Clifford, Aldo, Ralph Lauren…

A look at some of the industry's big players.

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Neil Clifford CEO; Kurt Geiger

Photo By Courtesy Photo

Neil Clifford
CEO; Kurt Geiger
2008 Rank: 43

Does Clifford have the Midas touch? Or are the weak British pound and strong tourist sales in London just making him look good? Either way, the results are indisputable. Clifford, 42, is on track to again post solid gains, thanks to noteworthy performances at tony destinations including Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty, where Kurt Geiger runs upscale multibrand shoe retailer. Over the summer, Clifford also inked deals with Nine West and Brown Thomas, the chi-chi Dublin retailer, bringing its high-profile roster of store concessions in cities across the U.K., France, Italy and the Middle East to 70. No wonder, then, that while others have been shedding jobs, Clifford has created tons of them, with plenty to come once he opens four planned Kurt Geiger stores before year end (bringing the total to 32). And he’ll need even more manpower next year, when he starts to license and distribute the Nine West and Easy Spirit brands.

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