Charles & Keith

Topics: Fashion, Entrepreneurship, Brand Pages: 11 (3205 words) Published: August 19, 2012

Mr Charles Wong, the managing director of Charles & Keith International Pte Ltd, together with his younger brother, Mr Keith Wong, founded the fashionable brand field in 1996, mainly targeting on the ladies footwear and accessories. Being at the forefront of the footwear and accessories retail industry, both Mr Charles and Mr Keith have produce excellent results by proving the capability in achieving eponymous brand which is currently well known in the 23 major cities such as Cairo, Dubai, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh and Nicosia with add up to over 160 stores.

In recognition for Mr Charles Wong’s entrepreneur spirits, he was been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the National Youth Council in 2004 and was also the winner of the ASEAN Youth Awards in 2005. In 2007, he was being featured as 1 of the top 40s in the Young Southeast Asia 40 Inspiring Youths Publication. In year 2008, he was awarded as the Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2008 – A Rotary – ASME Award and also the Enterprise of the Year Award 2008, which was joint organized by The Business Times and DHL Worldwide Express, mainly to acknowledge outstanding local entrepreneurs who delivered excellence and drive in their own field of business, while comprising social contribution a significant part of their business philosophy.

A glance back at the 1990, that was when Mr Charles Wong and his younger brother, Keith Wong formally stepped into the footwear field by helping out at their parents’ shop selling ladies shoes in Ang Mo Kio Central, a populated residential district in Singapore. In 1996, Mr Charles Wong started to realized that imported shoes which dominated the market during that period of time, were not only costly but also unbefitting for the Asian feet. After noticing that local ladies have gradually becoming more and more fashion conscious, he decided to tailor-made shoes that was truly meant to fit the Asian ladies. Knowing that they need to have an edge over their competitors, the two brothers launched their very own label with the concept of providing fashionable and trendy tailor-made shoes at the affordable prices using top quality materials, near the end of 1997. Having Keith to be in charge with the shoes designs while Charles managing the sales, the two brothers made the business cost efficient by buying materials directly from China instead from the wholesalers in Singapore. This strategy was proved to be a very successful one which build up the confidence in Charles & Keith to establish itself with 12 outlets in major shopping centres and suburban malls in Singapore. From designing, manufacturing to retailing, Charles & Keith has certainly made a mark across the international fashion industry which allows them to grow as a fashion-forward brand to compete on the international platform.

Charles, together with his younger brother Keith launched their first Charles & Keith store in Amara Shopping Centre, the financial district, in 1996. The popularity of the 500 sqft store exalted in a few months of operations. Driven by their success in the first shop they had, the brothers joined forces and expanded locally and internationally four years later, in 2000.

Year 2000 was a key year for the company as the brothers decided to take their first step into foreign markets. As Charles & Keith have little knowledge of the overseas market so the brothers decided to adopt a franchising model to gain entry. Starting from neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, well known for the beautiful and unique designs yet at an affordable price, the label gained its popularity among countries in Southeast Asia region within just a short period of time. With the aim to expands the business international and the precious experience gained from SEA region, the...
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