Superdry founder only reads emails if they are printed out for him by his staff

Superdry founder only reads emails if they are printed out for him by his staff

As a tycoon who netted £440 million from the sale of his fashion label, lives in the splendour of a Cotswolds mansion and travels by private jet, Julian Dunkerton can afford the latest technology.

But the founder of Superdry has some advice for anyone wishing to emulate his success in business: ditch emails and throw away your smartphone.

Mr Dunkerton’s only phone is a battered Nokia that can make and receive calls and texts, but nothing more. If someone emails him, he will not read it unless a member of staff prints it out.

“I watch people everywhere, all looking at their iPhones, and I think I’m lucky that I can take a step back and watch and think without this constant interference that everyone else has.

“My brain is probably freer to comprehend what is actually happening around me and make better decisions because it’s not clogged with rubbish,” he told Tatler magazine.

“Picking up a phone takes a second, whereas writing an email takes 10 minutes, which is a wasted nine-and-a-half minutes.”

Dunkerton retired from Superdry a year ago but returned earlier this month following a boardroom battle. He started out with a market stall in Cheltenham in 1985, setting up the Japanese-inspired Superdry in the 1990s.

In the magazine interview he appears alongside his wife, Jade Holland Cooper, who runs her own fashion company producing country clothes suitable for the races and horse trials.

Ms Holland Cooper, 32, met Dunkerton, 54, met in the bar of one of his hotels and married last summer with a reception featuring a DJ set from Idris Elba. Along with their invitations, guests received ‘mood boards’ illustrating the ‘boho glamour’ theme so that they could select their outfits accordingly.

Ms Holland Cooper said she was drawn to Mr Dunkerton because they share a work ethic and a “drive to conquer”. She explained: “If Julian put his feet up he would die. I’m the same… It can be very wearing but thank God we are exactly the same. I can’t imagine being any other way.”

She made the news last year when she gave an interview detailing how she built her business with no outside investment, only for her aunt to post a public message that read: “Some of us know the truth about you, your family and your money. Please don’t take us all for fools.”

It emerged that her two aunts were unhappy that they had received £50,000 from their father’s will while her uncle was given £100,000 and her father inherited the family’s 415-acre farm and a Grade I-listed house.

A spokesman for Ms Holland Cooper said: “As far as the story Jade’s aunts have put out, Jade has nothing to say. She has maintained a dignified silence, and that’s her position.”

The full feature is in the June issue of Tatler, available on digital download and newsstands from April 25

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