The mastermind behind YDE
Entrepreneur Paul Simon is t he mastermind behind one of South Africa’s most c ut t ing-edge fashion retailers, Young Designers Emporium ( YDE). With a diploma in fashion marketing, a father adamant to see his son t urn i nto a productive member of society and a mother willing to sign surety, Simon launched the f irst YDE store in Greenmarket Square, Cape Town, in 1995.
For 10 yea r s , Simon nur t ured and grew t he business, eventually achieving what few entrepreneurs do – selling at a prof it. The success of the franchise had attracted the attention of retail fashion heavyweight the Truworths Group, which bought a 75% share in the company in 2003, and the remaining 25% in 2005.
“I was made an offer t hat made f i nancial sense at t he t i me,” says Simon about the sale. “I also felt that the designers deserved the resources