The man behind some of the most iconic brands in British fashion is set to join the next series of Dragons’ Den. Touker Suleyman, the award-winning businessman and entrepreneur, has been appointed to the panel for the 13th series of the popular show.
Touker is best known as the founder of quintessentially British menswear brand, Hawes & Curtis and the man credited for the reinvention of seminal ‘90s womenswear label, Ghost. With 40 years of retail and manufacturing experience behind him, Touker brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise to scrutinise fledgling entrepreneurs entering the Den.
After a false start in accountancy, Touker kicked off his retail career at the age of 18. He entered into a joint venture in a leather factory and soon after established a clothing manufacturer, supplying to some of the biggest names of the British high street by his early twenties.
However, Touker’s rise in the business world has not been without its challenges. In the 1980s, crucial investment was pulled from one of his most lucrative business ventures, putting the company into liquidation. Forced to start again with nothing, Touker soon rose from the ashes to become a property entrepreneur and retail tycoon.
Today, Touker plays an active role in his considerable retail and commercial property interests and in the past year alone has invested in four UK-based start-ups: Docks Rio, Huxley and Cox, Bike Soup and Intelligent Futures. He looks forward to adding to this portfolio once the show commences.
Touker said: “It is a privilege to join the panel of Dragons’ Den and support the next generation of UK entrepreneurs. Dreams and big ideas are plentiful, but few people have the courage to realise their ambitions. I want to support those people with the guts to pursue their dreams and provide the financial backing, opportunities and support that will ease their path to success.
“I am a long-standing fan of the show and would have loved to have the opportunity to stand before the Dragons in my early days. I know precisely what it takes to become a business success and I will certainly draw upon my own experiences when considering whether to invest. I can’t wait to get started and look forward initiating new business partnerships over the coming months.”
Touker joins long-standing Dragons, Deborah Meadon and Peter Jones as well as recently announced panellists Nick Jenkins and Sarah Willingham. Dragons’ Den launched in 2005 and filming for the 13th series will commence this month.