Monthly Archives: September 2017

The 25 richest billionaires in fashion

Isak Andic, founder of international retail chain Mango, with Kate Moss.

Isak Andic, founder of international retail chain Mango, with Kate Moss.
Getty/Julien M. Hekimian/Stringer

Although the fashion business might not always be entirely glamorous, there’s something profoundly alluring about the world of runways and spring-summer collections.

Not to mention the amount of money that goes around. Fashion United estimated the global apparel market at $3 trillion (£2.21 trillion).

Business Insider has compiled a list of the 25 richest people in the fashion industry. Using information from Forbes’ 2017 list of billionaires, the list contains designers, founders, CEOs and marketing moguls that have made their fortunes in fashion retail – from fast fashion to haute couture.

Scroll on to discover the 25 richest people in the fashion industry, including a description of each brand’s rise to prominence, ranked in ascending order.

=23. Alexandre Grendene Bartelle — $2.4 billion (£1.77 billion).

My Favourite twins dad & uncle ??

A post shared by Lise Grendene (@lisegrendene) on

Alexandre Grendene Bartelle (right) with twin brother and Grendene co-founder Pedro Grendene Bartelle and daughter Lise Grendene.

Alexandre Grendene Bartelle founded the shoe brand Grendene in 1971 with his twin brother Pedro. Grendene is a household name in its home country of Brazil, and international supermodel Gisele Bundchen even released her own line of flip-flops in partnership with the brand.

Grendene is now the world’s largest sandal manufacturer and Brazil’s leading shoe exporting company, according to Forbes. Some of Alexandre Grendene Bartelle’s fortune is also a result of his investments in sugar and kitchen unit manufacture.

=23. Bernard Lewis — $2.4 billion (£1.77 billion).

Wikimedia Commons/Nataev

Bernard Lewis founded UK high street fashion retailer River Island in 1948 with three of his brothers. Lewis decided to move into fashion retail following the success of his greengrocer’s shop which he founded beforehand, according to nephew and current River Island chief, Ben Lewis. The high street name has come a long way since then, with sales reaching £932.7 million last year, in a report by Fashion United.

River Island has always been a family business. Lewis remains Chairman of the company, with his son Clive taking on the role of Deputy Chairman. Nephew Ben Lewis is now chief of operations.

=22. Miuccia Prada — $2.6 billion (£1.9 billion).

Getty/Kevork Djansezian/Stringer

Miuccia Prada holds a 28% stake in luxury fashion and handbag brand Prada. She shares the role of CEO with her husband, Patrizio Bertelli. The husband and wife have a net-worth of $2.6 billion (£1.9 billion) each.

Prada was founded in 1913 by Miuccia’s grandfather as a luxury luggage company. It was under Miuccia Prada’s leadership that the brand expanded into fashion and designer womenswear. Miuccia Prada is also the founder of the Prada subsidiary, Miu Miu, which was founded in 1993.

=22. Patrizio Bertelli — $2.6 billion (£1.9 billion).

Patrizio Bertelli, pictured with wife Miuccia Prada.
Getty/Vittorio Zunino Celotto

Patrizio Bertelli shares the role of CEO of Prada with wife Miuccia. Bertelli reportedly covers the business side of the brand, while Miuccia Prada addresses brand image and design lines.

The Prada brand’s assets were severely knocked due to a sales slump in the first half of this year and takings dropped to the lowest since 2011, according to Forbes.

21. Doris Fisher — $2.7 billion (£2 billion).


Doris Fisher co-founded high street fashion retailer Gap with her late husband Donald Fisher in San Francisco in 1969. The couple reportedly launched the company after struggling to find jeans that fitted Donald.

Fisher worked as the brand’s merchandiser from the day it opened until she retired in 2003. However, she retains a 7% stake in the company. Since she retired, Gap’s board now comprises of Fisher’s three sons.

20. Horst Wortmann — $2.8 billion (£2.1 billion).


Horst Wortmann founded the German shoe manufacturer Wortmann KG in 1967. Since then, Wortmann’s company has grown to produce 50 million pairs of shoes which are sold in over 15,000 stores across 70 countries.

Although Wortmann stepped down from his role in operational management in 2016, passing the position on to his nephew Jens Beining, the company’s founder is still highly involved in the Wortmann KG’s strategy department.

=18. Do Won and Jin Sook Chang — $2.9 billion (£2.1 billion).

Do Won and Jin Sook Chang founded fast-fashion brand Forever 21 in 1984, just three years after the husband and wife moved to Los Angeles from South Korea.

After an excellent first year, the couple proceeded to open a new store every six months, according to Forbes. The retailer now has 790 stores across 48 countries.

=18. Isak Andic — $2.9 billion (£2.1 billion).

Isak Andic, founder of international retail chain Mango, with Kate Moss.

Isak Andic (left) with model Kate Moss (right).
Getty/Julien M. Hekimian/Stringer

Isak Andic is the founder of international clothing retail chain Mango. Andic launched the fashion brand with brother Nahman when the pair moved to Barcelona, Spain, from their native city of Istanbul in Turkey.

Mango now has stores in over 100 countries, according to the company’s site, with franchises accounting for 65% of stores. International sales reportedly make up 83% of the brand’s total revenue.

17. Jacky Xu — $3.1 billion (£2.3 billion).

Established in 1999, Jacky Xu manages Trendy International. The fashion group owns many brands including Ochirly, COVEN GARDEN, and Miss Sixty.

Trendy International refers to itself as a “fashion conglomerate that possesses a rich portfolio of fashion brands” and runs many high-profile advertising and marketing campaigns for its brands, including a recent campaign for Ochirly which featured A-List supermodels Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner (above).

16. Masahiro Miki — $3.2 billion (£2.4 billion).


Masahiro Miki founded discount shoe store chain ABC-Mart in the 1980s. The Japanese company has stores under the names of ABC-Mart and NUOVO, and also owns the shoe brand LaCrosse outright.

15. Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak — $3.3 billion (£2.4 billion).


Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak is the owner and CEO of Danish shoe manufacturer ECCO.

The shoe brand’s sales reached $1.3 billion (£960 million) across its 1,300 stores last year and sold over 20 million pairs of shoes worldwide. The company claims that 210 pairs of hands touch each pair of shoes before it reaches the customer.

Toosbuy Kasprzak inherited the company from her father, Karl Toosbuy, who founded ECCO in 1963.

14. Qiu Guanghe — $3.4 billion (£2.5 billion).


Qiu Guanghe is the founder and chairman of Chinese high-street fashion retailer Semir. Established in 1996, Semir prides itself on creating cutting-edge, affordable fashion for young people. The brand currently has over 3,000 stores open across China.

13. Luciano, Giuliana, Gilberto, and Carlo Benetton — $3.5 billion (£2.6 billion) each.

Getty/Vittorio Zunino Celotto

Known for their colourful and affordable knitwear, Italian fashion brand Benetton was founded after Luciano Benetton wore a bright yellow jumper knitted by his sister Giuliana to his job at a clothing store. Upon receiving many compliments from his colleagues, Luciano and his siblings realised there was a gap in the market for fun knitwear and decided to launch the company in 1965.

Benetton’s website states that “our garments go universally hand-in-hand with optimism and creativity. Knitwear is our soul, innovation is our fuel. And in over 50 years we haven’t forgotten our roots.”

Luciano, Giuliana, Gilberto, and Carlo Benetton all hold the same stakes in the company, putting their net worth at $3.5 billion (£2.57 billion) each.

12. Renzo Rosso — $4.1 billion (£3 billion).

Renzo Rosso is President of fashion group Only The Brave – the parent company of brands such as Diesel, Viktor&Rolf, and Marni. After founding Diesel in 1978, Rosso bought out his co-founder and gained complete control of the denim brand in 1985.

As his net worth surged, Rosso bought out other high-end fashion companies such as Viktor&Rolk and Marison Margiela, encompassing them in the Only The Brave group which launched in 2002.

Rosso’s net worth continues to surge as Only The Brave obtains more brands, and has risen by $1 billion (£740 million) since March this year.

11. Philip and Cristina Green — $5.3 billion (£3.9 billion).

Philip Green (centre) with daughter Chloe (left) and wife Cristina (right).
Getty/Dimitrios Kambouris

Philip and Cristina Green own multiple high street fashion brands including Topshop and Topman, Dorothy Perkins, and Miss Selfridge. The couple also used to own the department store chain BHS prior to its collapse.

Green started his fashion empire aged 21 using a $30,000 (£22,053) loan from his family to import jeans from Asia, according to Forbes. Cristina reportedly started her first clothing store in South Africa during a previous marriage. The pair later met and combined their businesses.

Green was publicly vilified for selling BHS for £1 in order to dodge liability for its huge pension fund which put pensions for 19,000 British workers at risk. The consequent backlash at Green resulted in MPs voting unanimously to strip the entrepreneur of his knighthood in 2016. However, Green has retained his title and the majority of his fortune.

10. Ralph Lauren — $5.9 billion (£4.3 billion).

Getty/Mike Coppola

Founder and former CEO of the eponymous American luxury fashion brand Ralph Lauren remains Chairman of the label he started in the 1960s and retains 82% of the voting rights within the company.

Lauren started designing neckties with a wider cut – branding them the “Polo” cut – and selling them in New York department stores while also working at the New York men’s boutique Beau Brummell. 50 years later, the internationally renowned brand took $7.4 billion (£5.45 billion) in sales in 2016, according to Forbes.

9. Anders Holch Povlsen — $7.2 billion (£5.3 billion).


Anders Holch Povlsen is the CEO and sole owner of Danish fashion retailer Bestseller. Povlsen’s parents started the company in 1975 and he was only 28 when his father, Troels Holch Povlsen, made him the sole owner of the company in 1990.

Bestseller is the parent company of many internationally acclaimed fashion labels, including Vero Moda, Only, and Jack & Jones.

8. Giorgio Armani — $8.6 billion (£6.3 billion).

Getty/Tristan Fewings/Stringer

The sole owner of the Armani empire, Giorgio Armani’s luxury fashion house has ventures in haute couture, sportswear, beauty, and ready-to-wear fashion, among others.

The Italian-born fashion designer founded his company in 1975 after leaving medical school early. Now, Armani is often dubbed one of the most successful Italian fashion designers in history, with sales in 2016 estimated at €2.78 billion (£2.45 billion).

7. Heinrich Deichmann — $10.6 billion (£7.8 billion).

Heinrich Deichmann (right) with Dutch model and TV personality Sylvie Meis (left).
Getty/Alexander Koerner/Stringer

Heinrich Deichmann is the chairman and CEO of international budget shoe manufacturer Deichmann. Heinrich Deichmann’s grandfather started the business as a cobbler’s shop in Germany in 1913. When he died during the Second World War, his wife managed the store until their son, the current Chairman’s father, finished university and could take on the business.

Deichmann’s reputation for creating affordable footwear is ingrained in its history. The family company organised a second-hand shoe exchange scheme in order to help struggling customers after the Second World War, according to the company’s website.

Heinrich Deichmann took over from his father in 1999. Since then, Deichmann has grown to become Europe’s leading shoe retailer with 3,700 stores across 34 countries.

6. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer — $12.7 billion (£9.3 billion) each.

Queen Elizabeth II (left), pictured with Alain Wertheimer (right) and his brother Gerard (centre).

Alain Wertheimer co-owns the French fashion house Chanel with his brother, Gerard, who manages the company’s watch department. The brothers have a net worth of $12.7 billion (£9.35 billion) each.

Alain and Gerard Wertheimer inherited the Chanel empire from their grandfather, Pierre Wertheimer, who founded the brand with Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in 1913. When Chanel died in 1971, the fashion house continued to recycle the designer’s same styles and trademark cuts until the company hired Karl Lagerfeld in 1983. Now, Lagerfeld acts as the fashion house’s creative director while Alain and Gerard Wertheimer oversee the business side of the brand.

5. Tadashi Yanai — $14.9 billion (£11 billion).

Tadashi Yanai (centre) with UNIQLO brand ambassador and tennis player Novak Djokovic (left), and UNIQLO creative director Naoki Takizawa (right).
Getty/Julien M Hekimian/Stringer

Tadashi Yanai is the founder and owner of Japanese clothing empire Fast Retailing – the parent company of Uniqlo.

Yanai began his career at his father’s roadside tailor shop in suburban Japan, according to Bloomberg. Yanai later changed the name of the company to Fast Retailing in the early 1990s in order to reflect his fast-fashion business strategy.

Last year, Fast Retailing made ¥?1.78 trillion ($16 billion, or £11.8 billion) in sales according to their annual reports – over a third of which was made by Uniqlo alone.

4. Stefan Persson — $19.7 billion (£14.5 billion).

Wikimedia Commons/Prolineserver

Chairman of best-selling fashion retailer H&M Stefan Persson was managing director of the company for 16 years until he passed the role on to his son, Karl-Johan Persson, in 1998. The Swedish fast-fashion business is the world’s second largest clothing retailer, according to its website, and has over 4,500 stores in 62 countries around the world, employing 130,000 staff.

Persson’s sister, two sons, and daughter are all also billionaires as a result of their stakes in the company. Together, the Persson family own approximately 33% of H&M.

3. Francois Pinault — $23.7 billion (£17.4 billion).

Getty/Vittorio Zunino Celotto

Francois Pinault owns the majority stake in the Paris-based luxury retail group Kering – the parent of a multitude of luxury fashion brands including Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga. Since March this year, Pinault’s net worth has increased a staggering $8 billion (£5.9 billion).

The French businessman and art collector also owns a plethora of auction houses, wineries, and French publications.

2. Bernard Arnault — $58.8 billion (£43.3 billion).

Getty/Pascal Le Segretain

Bernard Arnault is the Chairman and CEO of LVMH – the world’s largest luxury goods company. LVMH is the parent company of over 70 household names, including Louis Vuitton, Sephora, and Bulgari.

Arnault’s vast $58.3 billion (£42.9 billion) fortune is made up of stakes in LVMH, and stock in Christian Dior, French supermarket chain Carrefour, and Hermès. He is the eighth richest person in the world according to Forbes, and is France’s richest man. Arnault’s net worth has increased a staggering $16.8 billion (£12.4 billion) since March earlier this year.

1. Amancio Ortega — $82.5 billion (£60.7 billion).

Getty Images / Xurxo Lobato

Amancio Ortega is the richest man in Europe and the wealthiest retailer in the world, according to Forbes’ 2017 rich list. Ortega made his vast $82.5 billion (£60.7 billion) fortune through the Spanish fashion retail group Inditex, which he founded with his ex-wife Rosalia Mera in 1975.

Inditex has been dubbed the largest fashion group in the world and conducts business in over 7,200 stores. Inditex’s subsidiary brands include the likes of Zara, Bershka, Oysho, Zara Home, and Pull&Bear.

The head of the New York Stock Exchange explains the overlooked trait he sees in almost every great entrepreneur

Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange with John Tuttle, head of global listings.

Tom Farley, president of the New York Stock Exchange with John Tuttle, head of global listings.
Frank Chaparro

Thomas Farley has seen countless entrepreneurs walk in and out of the New York Stock Exchange since he assumed his position as head of the iconic Wall Street institution close to four years ago.

So he has a pretty keen sense of what it takes to be a successful business leader.

The NYSE, the largest stock exchange by market capitalization, is the listing venue of some of the biggest companies in the world, ranging from energy giants like Chevron to global tech companies such as Alibaba.

Business Insider recently visited Farley at the New York Stock Exchange and asked him for his best advice for making it big as an entrepreneur. He said there is one often overlooked trait, which he thinks is shared by just about every great business leader he’s come across.


“Optimism is a far more scarce commodity than people think,” Farley said.”The leaders who come through the exchange whether it’s Johnny Chou or Alibaba’s Jack Ma – are incredibly optimistic people.” Chou is the CEO of Best, a Chinese logistics company that just listed its shares in New York.

Farley said the difficulties that underpin the process of taking an idea and turning into a successful business requires an unbridled optimism.

“When you are an entrepreneur starting a business you are going to encounter hurdle after barrier after rejection,” he said.”Ultimately to be successful you need to be optimistic.”

“You need to see the world for what it can be, not what it is.”

Farley, 41, got his break when Jeff Sprecher, CEO of Intercontinental Exchange Group, appointed him head of New York Board of Trade in 2007. In 2013, Intercontinental acquired NYSE Euronext, and Farley was named COO. In May 2014 he was named president, becoming the second youngest person ever to run the NYSE.

Islamists lure youngsters in the Philippines with payments, promise of paradise

Marawi City, Philippines – When he saw his commander holding the severed head of one of his neighbours, teenage Islamist fighter Jalil knew it was time to escape from Marawi City.

Churches and homes had been ransacked, people had been shot or taken hostage, and now Philippines government troops, planes and helicopters were pounding the Islamic State loyalists who had taken over large parts of the town on May 23.

Six days into the occupation, 17-year-old Jalil said he came across a crowd of fellow fighters led by rebel chief Abdullah Maute, including a boy who looked about 10.

They were cheering the beheading of a Christian from Jalil’s neighbourhood who was accused of being a spy.

“Abdullah Maute was holding a man’s head, he was shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is Greatest),” said Jalil, who spoke on condition his identity was not revealed to protect him from reprisals.

“They chanted with him. At that point, I realised I had to get away. I wanted no part in this.”

Jalil’s story could not be independently verified. Authorities have placed him in protective custody and say he has helped identify militants fighting in Marawi.

Jalil is one of hundreds of Muslim youths lured by Islamic State followers in Mindanao, a poverty-plagued southern island of the Philippines, that governments in Southeast Asia fear could become a regional stronghold for the ultra-radical group as it loses territory in Syria and Iraq.

Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR), says foreign recruiters have been active in Mindanao for years but Islamic State’s powerful propaganda and the rise of the local Maute clan of militants have brought a surge in followers.

“The recruitment is now happening very, very rapidly,” said Banlaoi, who monitors mobilisation in Mindanao via informants and police interrogation reports of militants.

“They’re very sophisticated. They are serious community organisers and serious recruiters.”

Schools, madrassas (Islamic schools) and even day-care centres with extremist leanings have been identified as recruiting grounds.

Authorities are working with religious teachers to keep radical ideas out of mosques and off curriculum, according to army spokesman Colonel Romeo Brawner.

But provincial leaders and some military officers say the efforts are weak, partly because militants have plenty of money to reel youths into their ranks.


Jalil said his involvement began when he was 11 at a mosque in Piagapo, a rustic municipality 20 km (12 miles) from Marawi, where an imam convinced him to join 40 youngsters at a training camp in return for meals and 15,000 pesos ($294) per month.

He underwent daily weapons and combat training, and teachings from the Quran.

He was expelled from the programme after only three months, he said, when he revealed details about his network during a mock interrogation.

Jalil heard nothing from his recruiters for six years, but the day before the Marawi siege began, there was a knock at his door.

Outside was a teenager, and behind him a pickup truck with 10 other youngsters on board.

“I knew them, they were my classmates in training,” he said. “They told me ‘you’re now back in service.'”

The ubiquitous villages with tattered mosques, wooden homes and dirt-track roads carved into the jungles and mountains of Mindanao are fertile ground for recruiting unschooled youngsters and turning them into militants in camps far off the radar.

The army discovered one such training ground in Piagapo, after a three-day battle that killed 36 Maute fighters, among them foreigners and an imam. That was one month before the Marawi siege.

Reuters spoke to two teenagers from that camp, who said they were lured by promises of money, marriage and paradise after death.

They spoke on condition their full identities be withheld because authorities were not aware of their involvement, which they said ceased when the imam was killed.

Their accounts could not be independently verified.

“We were trained how to evade checkpoints. We were trained how to ambush, to move silently,” said 18-year-old Abdul, who described how he and others learned to dismantle rifles, make bombs and engage in hand-to-hand combat.

Faisal, 19, said the imam held Quran classes in small jungle huts, while foreigners, whose nationalities he did not know, trained them to fight non-believers.

“The imam told us we would be rewarded with marriage to any beautiful girl we want,” he said.

The government says poor and uneducated males like Abdul and Faisal are easy prey in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which comprises five of Mindanao’s 27 provinces.

In 2015 and 2016, the ARMM had the lowest secondary-school enrollment and the highest dropout rate, according to the education ministry, with just 32.4 per cent of ARMM youth in school compared to the national average of 68 per cent.

Nearly half of ARMM families live in poverty, under the government’s monthly income threshold of 9,064 pesos ($177), according to official data, compared to the national average of 16.5 per cent.

In Lanao del Sur, where Marawi is located, 66.3 per cent of families live in poverty.


But not all targets are poor, rural and uneducated.

Urban youth and students are also on the radar of recruiters who have infiltrated schools and universities and mastered social media, both to spread propaganda and to spot candidates for radicalisation among Mindanao Muslims, known as Moros.

Prime targets, said Banlaoi, are those posting on social media about economic and social exclusion, or historical injustice.

A hot topic is the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) peace deal with the government, which promised to make ARMM a self-governing region called Bangsamoro (nation of Moros) but has been dogged by delays, breakdowns and mistrust.

Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF’s top negotiator, said extremists exploit disillusionment with the Bangsamoro plan and promote violence by teaching only selected verses of the Quran.

“We monitor them, but because the recruitment is so secretive, we cannot do everything,” he told Reuters.

Banlaoi said extremists had access to technology used in the Middle East by Islamic State to track chatter on platforms like Facebook and Telegram, find suitable candidates and probe their friend networks.

These recruiters included Indonesians and Malaysian militants who were “very persistent”.

The government’s fight is as much about winning hearts and minds among the Bangsamoro people as it is the battle for Marawi that has now ground on for nearly four months.

Militants try to sway public opinion with slick videos celebrating their triumph over “crusaders” they say are destroying Muslim homes and businesses in Marawi with artillery and air strikes.

The military says its focus groups have shown some displaced Marawi children “idolise” the militants.

It has sent female soldiers to counsel children in evacuation camps and identify those already radicalised.

Jalil, the teen fighter said he was at first inspired by the rousing speeches of Abdullah Maute and his brother, Omarkhayam.

But he was appalled by the bloodletting that ensued.

“I can’t forget what I saw. Every street corner there were dead bodies, Christians and Muslims,” he said.

On the night of the execution he witnesses, Jalil abandoned his post guarding a bridge and rode a motorcycle for 50 km (31 miles) to evade army checkpoints.

He turned himself in to police two weeks later.

A former military intelligence officer who has tracked the Maute clan said the military under-estimated them as a “ragtag group”.

But the Mautes have demonstrated a capacity to regroup and, thanks to deep pockets and the respect they command among local youth, would probably strengthen after Marawi is retaken by “filling vacancies” left by hundreds of dead fighters.

The worst-case scenario, the officer said, was if the Maute brothers survive. “Recruitment will be massive,” he said. “There are lots of students idolising them.”

N.Korea’s foreign minister calls Trump’s UN address “sound of dog barking”

Seoul – North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho called US President Donald Trump’s address to the United Nations “the sound of a dog barking”, brushing aside Trump’s remarks that the United States may be forced to “totally destroy” North Korea.

“There is a saying that goes: ‘Even when dogs bark, the parade goes on’,” said Ri in televised remarks to reporters in front of a hotel near the United Nations headquarters in New York.

“If (Trump) was thinking about surprising us with dog-barking sounds then he is clearly dreaming.”

When asked by reporters what he thought of Trump calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “rocket man”, Ri quipped, “I feel sorry for his aides.”

Ri is slated to make a UN speech on Friday.

His comments were the first official reaction from North Korea after Trump had issued his sternest warning yet to Pyongyang in his address to the United Nations, urging member states to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it halts its hostile behaviour.

If North Korea threatens the United States or its allies, Trump said: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” he added.

South Korea’s presidential office had later said Trump’s warning to North Korea had been “firm and specific”.

Bran Stark just started university in the UK — and Twitter is going crazy

Isaac Hempstead Wright's Instagram suggests he has been travelling in the lead up to heading to uni. He posted this photo while in Japan in July.

Isaac Hempstead Wright’s Instagram suggests he has been travelling in the lead up to heading to uni. He posted this photo while in Japan in July.

Isaac Hempstead Wright, aka Bran Stark from “Game of Thrones,” has been spotted on campus at the University of Birmingham during Freshers’ Week.

Reports that he had enrolled at UoB initially surfaced on Twitter.

Birmingham’s edition of The Tab has since confirmed sightings of Hempstead Wright with current students at the university who say they spotted the actor at various locations on campus.

He is reportedly studying Maths and staying at the university’s newest halls, Chamberlain.

So far the actor’s been spotted both on nights out and at various locations on campus, including the sports fair.

Bran Stark surprised Game of Thrones


Harry Mackenzie told The Tab he saw Hempstead Wright while he was working at the Student’s Union bar – Joe’s Bar.

He said: “I saw him walk past a couple of times and I served two customers that sat near him. It was a society and they were sat with him.”

The lunchtime sighting at Joe’s Bar was corroborated by Matt Cleary, a UoB graduate, who told the Tab: “I saw him across the bar, I wasn’t sure it was him at first but then the bartender confirmed it for me. Holy shit winter is here.”

That afternoon Hasan Ayub, a second-year student, reported seeing the star getting mobbed at the sports fair.

“He was walking out of the sports centre about 2pm,” he told The Tab.

Early reports that the actor had enrolled at the university initially surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday, September 19.

Having confirmed sightings of Hempstead Wright with fellow students, The Tab searched Birmingham’s university email, which revealed an option to send him a message. The actor is reportedly staying at the university’s newest halls, Chamberlain accommodation.

And people are getting pretty excited on Twitter…

TGI Fridays will start delivering booze — and it could help defeat a curse sweeping the restaurant industry

TGI Fridays has found a way to deliver margaritas.

TGI Fridays has found a way to deliver margaritas.
TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays wants to give customers the chance to chug the chain’s margaritas from the comfort of their own couches.

On Thursday, Fridays announced it had partnered with the delivery startup Lash to begin delivering alcoholic beverages with food orders placed via the chain’s mobile app. The Texas-based company plans to test the service in Houston and Dallas in the coming months before rolling it out across the US next year.

“We’re a bar-centric business,” Caroline Masullo, Fridays’ vice president of digital strategy, told Business Insider. “Right now, no one – from within their own technology – is delivering both food and alcohol.”

To-go and delivery sales are a rare bright spot in the casual-dining industry right now, with Fridays growing take-out sales by 30% since launching online ordering last summer.

Booze is also crucial to TGI Fridays’ strategy. The chain has recently emphasized its history as a bar as millennial interest in sit-down casual-dining chains has withered.

But delivering alcohol is a legally tricky proposition. TGI Fridays and Lash will tweak the service on a state-by-state basis (what Masullo calls a “block by block” strategy) to follow local ordinances.

TGI Fridays Apps

TGI Fridays

While food and alcohol will be delivered together when ordered on TGI Fridays’ app, the delivery person is actually making two stops, first at a liquor store and then at Fridays.

For cocktails, the company says, customers will be able to order an “everything but the booze” kit, which is sold by Fridays, alongside a suggested bottle of liquor from a local liquor store. Customers can then mix the drink themselves at home. Fridays is also considering making bartenders available for hire via the app.

Here’s a video showing how the process is supposed to work:

While TGI Fridays’ booze-delivery plan is a bit complicated behind the scenes, the chain hopes it can help drive incremental sales and stand out from what the company calls a “sea of sameness” among sit-down restaurants.

Casual-dining chains including Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Ruby Tuesdays are facing slumping sales and store closings. Factors including millennials’ indifference to casual-dining classics and the rise of fast-casual chains have played a role in their downfall.

As a result, many chains have doubled down on aspects of their business that they hope will differentiate them from the competition. Applebee’s wants to win back baby boomers, while Chili’s has revamped its menu to refocus on burgers and ribs.

Now, TGI Fridays is betting on delivery and booze – together and apart – to win over customers.

The 2 key reasons behind the $1.1 billion Google-HTC smartphone deal

    Google is buying part of HTC’s smartphone division for $1.1 billion and acquiring 2,000 new employees. It’s a lifeline for HTC, which has struggled in recent years. And it demonstrates that Google is serious about its smartphone ambitions as its Pixel phones go head-to-head with Apple and Samsung, analysts say.

A person trying a new Google Pixel phone at the Google pop-up shop in the SoHo neighborhood on October 20 in New York City.

A person trying a new Google Pixel phone at the Google pop-up shop in the SoHo neighborhood on October 20 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

After weeks of rumours, it’s finally official: Google is buying part of HTC’s smartphone business.

The California-based technology giant is spending $1.1 billion, or £820 million, to acquire a significant portion of the struggling Taiwanese firm’s engineers, as it doubles down on its hardware plans.

There are two key reasons for the deal, analysts say.

First, it offers a lifeline to HTC – helping the company keep going and ensuring that a key partner for Google doesn’t drop out of the hardware game.

And second, it means Google can further refine its flagship Pixel smartphone offering, making the Pixel more competitive against the likes of Apple and Samsung while acting as a shining example to other smartphone makers of what can be possible on Android.

The deal itself

So what exactly has Google paid for? It hasn’t bought HTC entirely or even its entire smartphone unit in the way it acquired Motorola.

Instead, it has effectively acquired HTC’s Pixel unit – the employees at the Taiwanese company who were already working on the Pixel. It is getting 2,000 new employees. Separately, Google also signed a nonexclusive deal to license HTC’s intellectual property.

The deal was jointly announced early Thursday, with Google’s senior vice president of hardware, Rick Osterloh, writing in a blog post that “these future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team.”

But the twin announcements are also fairly light on details, the CCS Insight analyst Ben Wood said in a telephone interview, including on whether Google will get any factories or manufacturing capabilities as part of the deal.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts guessed that it wouldn’t, writing in a note to clients that “product details related to the transaction are somewhat opaque … no mention of manufacturing assets … Google likely to continue to outsource hardware manufacturing.”

1. HTC’s in trouble – and this deal is a lifeline

The HTC U11.

The HTC U11.
Jeff Dunn/Business Insider

HTC, once a major player in the smartphone game, has struggled in recent years against the likes of Samsung and Apple, and it is increasingly looking at its virtual reality division as a key part of its future.

But it has also been a key partner of Google for years, most recently with the Pixel devices. Google will have been worried about the future of HTC’s phone business and the resources it provides, Wood said.

“Arguably it could be seen as a defensive move insofar as Google feel as though they want to keep developing the Pixel platform, and they were probably concerned that one of their key suppliers was not in particularly good shape … They probably thought in order to have those resources available on tap to push the envelope on Pixel, they needed to make sure they shored it up.”

But that’s not the complete picture.

2. Google is doubling down on the Pixel

The Pixel, announced in 2016, was a major shift in direction for Google. While it had launched its own phones before with the Nexus line, those phones were largely symbolic standard bearers. They demonstrated the possibilities of Android to other manufacturers but never sold in large numbers.

In contrast, the Pixel is marketed as a premium consumer phone, and it goes head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy devices.

So with the HTC acquisition, Google isn’t just trying to maintain the status quo. It is demonstrating that it remains committed to that Pixel vision and wants to accelerate it by bringing all the relevant engineers under its direct control.

“To me this is about Google getting more serious into the hardware business,” Gartner’s vice president of research Annette Zimmermann wrote in an email. “This is different than when Google bought Motorola – they were after the patents then. HTC doesn’t have any important patents. Hence there is not much value to get apart from building up its own hardware business to get the hardware, software, experience and AI all optimized for Google.”

Wood also said the purchase would also help to ensure that Pixel remained a clear example to other Android manufacturers of what Google sees as Android at its best: “At the moment, when all the smartphones are starting to look the same, and there’s a growing wave of apathy towards this sea of sameness in smartphones you need someone pushing from the front, saying: ‘No no no, smartphones aren’t boring, look at this cool stuff you can do!'”

There are still questions surrounding the future of HTC’s phone business

HTC has said that this isn’t the end of its phone business and that it will produce another flagship in 2018. But analysts are uncertain about its future.

“Let’s say Google wouldn’t have announced this deal today – HTC would continue to burn money the next quarters and eventually have a very small business with remaining vendors they work with and possibly exit the phone business,” Zimmermann wrote. By agreeing to the deal, she continued, “they are sending their smartphone know-how to Silicon Valley, which is a short-term fix money-wise but certainly not a long-term strategy for their smartphone business.”

Wood added: “HTC has stated that it will stay in the phone business but I still think it is hard to see how it continues long term given the tough market conditions for all smartphone makers.”

‘The sound of a dog barking’: North Korean foreign minister mocks Trump’s fiery threats

North Korea’s foreign minister has cited a local proverb in likening US President Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric against his country to “a dog barking.”

“If he was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that’s really a dog dream,” Ri Yong Ho told reporters on Wednesday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

This was a reference to a North Korean proverb that says a parade will go on even if dogs bark.

In Korean, a dog dream refers to an absurd fantasy that makes little sense, Yonhap said.

US President Donald Trump addressing the UN General Assembly.

US President Donald Trump addressing the UN General Assembly.
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Ri issued the remarks in Korean outside his hotel in New York, where he’s attending the United Nations General Assembly this week.

This was also the nation’s first response to Trump’s speech to the UN on Tuesday, in which he threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if Pyongyang didn’t back down on its nuclear threats.

Here’s the relevant passage from Trump:

“No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”

When asked about the US president’s “Rocket Man” remark, Ri said, “I feel sorry for his aides.”

Photographs of Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, looking down and covering his eyes during Trump’s speech went viral after the event. (Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Kelly was “tired.”)

Other Trump aides have applauded Trump’s fiery UN speech.

“Every other international community is referring to him as Rocket Man,” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on the “Good Morning America” programme on Wednesday.

“Look, that’s a President Trump original. As you know, he’s a master in branding,” Huckabee Sanders told the TV show “Fox and Friends.”

North Korea is also no stranger to issuing inflammatory rhetoric against the US.

Following the latest round of US-drafted UN sanctions, which capped the nation’s crude-oil imports, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Han Tae Song, threatened to “make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history.”

10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones seen during a concert of the band’s

Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones seen during a concert of the band’s “No Filter” European tour at the Letzigrund stadium in Zurich.

Here is what you need to know. Sign up here to get “10 Things” delivered directly to your inbox.

The Fed will start to unwind its financial-crisis measures in October. The Federal Reserve will begin unwinding its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in October by starting to not reinvest some of its bonds as they mature – that way, they’ll roll off its balance sheet.

Rate-hike odds are surging. The market sees a 60.5% chance the Fed hikes interest rates this year, according to Bloomberg data. That’s up from about 20% just two weeks ago.

China gets downgraded at S&P. The credit-rating agency lowered China’s rating one notch to A+, citing its rising debt load, South China Morning Post reports.

The Bank of Japan keeps policy on hold. With an 8-to-1 vote, the central bank kept interest rates, asset purchases, and its assessment on the Japanese economy unchanged from July.

Warren Buffett says the Dow could hit 1 million in 100 years. Speaking at an event celebrating Forbes’ 100th anniversary, the legendary investor said it was not unreasonable considering the Dow was trading at 81 a hundred years back, Reuters reports.

SPONSOR CONTENT BY NUCLEUS MARKETINGThink advertising needs to get real? We’ve got news for you. Learn about the new platform with 147MM UVs in the brand-safe news environments you can trust at

Google signs a cooperation agreement with HTC. “With this agreement, a team of HTC talent will join Google as part of the hardware organization,” the Google hardware exec Rick Osterloh said in a statement.

Tesla and AMD are reportedly teaming up. The two sides are joining forces to make chips for self-driving cars, CNBC said, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Equifax mistakenly sent consumers worried about its data breach to a spoof site. Equifax mistakenly sent consumers to a fake phishing site that was designed to show how easy it was to spoof the webpage the credit-reporting agency created to inform consumers about its recent massive security breach, The Verge reports.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. China’s Shanghai Composite (+0.27%) led the gains in Asia, and France’s CAC (-0.22%) trails in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,506.

US economic data flows. Initial claims and the Philly Fed will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET, and FHFA home prices will cross the wires at 9 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is unchanged at 2.26%.

EU Parliament chief Brexit negotiator calls Boris Johnson ‘old-fashioned and reductionist’

Guy Verhofstadt.

Guy Verhofstadt.
REUTERS/Yves Herman

    EU parliament chief negotiator launches scathing attack on Boris Johnson after the foreign secretary accuses young British people of having “split allegiances” between EU and UK. Guy Verhofstadt accuses Johnson of an “old fashioned and reductionist” views. Comments come during visit to Northern Ireland to discuss future of the border with UK. Theresa May due to set out Britain’s negotiating plans in major speech on Friday.

LONDON – The EU Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator today launched a scathing attack on Boris Johnson, accusing the UK foreign secretary of having an “old-fashioned and reductionist” views.

Guy Verhofstadt criticised Johnson for suggesting in an article for the Telegraph that young Brits who wear EU have “genuinely split allegiances.”

“I am troubled with the thought that people are beginning to have genuinely split allegiance,” Johnson wrote about pro-EU young people in an article he penned last week.

Speaking to Irish parliamentarians in the Oireachtas on Thursday morning, Verhofstadt accused the foreign minister of having an outdated understanding of identity, suggesting British people can feel a sense of both national and European pride.

“I know some British politicians, not to name Boris Johnson, criticise their countrymen and women for wanting to keep their European identity. He accused them even of split allegiance. I think this is a binary, old-fashioned and reductionist definition of identity,” the former Belgian prime minister told Irish politicians.

“So I think it’s nonsense to talk about split allegiance. It’s perfectly possible to feel English, British and European at the same time,” he added.

Verhofstadt is in the Republic of Ireland to speak to politicians there about how the issue of the Irish border can be resolved in Brexit negotiations between the EU and Britain.

The EU Parliament’s chief Brexit spokesperson said that full responsibility for providing a solution to the border issues lies solely with Theresa May’s government.

“The solution for this problem [Irish border] is entirely a responsibility for the UK government,” he said.

Explainer: Why does the Irish border matter so much?

The border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is currently more or less invisible. There are no border controls meaning goods and people move freely to and from the neighbouring countries.

However, Brexit creates complications. When the UK officially leaves the EU in March 2019, Northern Ireland will be removed from the 28-nation bloc alongside England, Wales and Scotland. The Republic of Ireland, on the other hand, will remain an EU member state.

Why does this matter? Well, if May sticks to her current plans to leave the customs union, then there will need to be some form of new border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, in order to avoid smuggling between the UK and EU.

The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has previously warned that “frictionless trade” is “not possible” following Brexit.

This is deeply important to the UK economy. A House of Lords report published in December said that €60 billion is traded between the UK and Ireland each year, and an estimated 30,000 people cross the Irish border every day. A hard border would put this at risk.