Steve Wright: Passionate to grow his business in fashion and a resolute leader

Elite League of Transforming Leaders 2021

Fashion has been trending since the time when people came to know its meaning. Many companies and industries have tried their hands in fashion, but not all of them have become successful. Irrespective of that, there are some lucrative personalities who tremendously brought the best they could in fashion, and Steve Wright is one of them. As the CEO of Christy’s London, Steve and his team have steered the company to the top in the industry.

Christy’s London was established in 1773, and today, they have positioned themselves as a global force thanks to the efforts of Steve and his team. With an eye on helping those less fortunate, recently during the pandemic, Steve helped the community by leading the business into supporting thousands of underprivileged people in Ecuador by setting up a Christys’ London foundation, building schools, roads and homes for rural villagers who support the craft of hat making.

Long journey to success

A former National swimming champion and semi-professional footballer, Steve had a sporty upbringing. From a very young age, he had the spark to reach the top. He states, “This foundation taught me how to be part of a team and that when a team performs to its best when each member of the team supports one another and have the same goal, you can achieve great things.”

He expanded his education base in the business domain from New College Swindon and Oxford University- Keble College.

He started his professional career as Trainee Dispensing Optician in Haine and Smith. Then he went up to grab different titles and handle various roles, which allowed him to expand his skill set. He gained valuable experience throughout his career in various leadership positions, moving into the role of CEO Christy’s London in 2017

He adds, “The brand has been established since 1773, myself and my team are custodians of this wonderful institution, and it is my job to pass it on to the future leaders of the company in a better position than when I inherited it.”

Dashing up the fashion industry with Christy’s London

Christy’s London is one of the most recognized brands in the world, and its reputation is extended over the past 200 years. Christy’s London is well acknowledged for production of around 70% of its products in the UK, from their factory in Oxfordshire by the conventional tactics and machinery dated from more than 200 years. Steve quotes, “This really sets us apart from our competitors, our history and heritage are genuine, and we would never compromise the quality of our products by trying to cut corners. As a business, we stand by these core attributes, and these core attributes provide a solid foundation in which to grow.”

Even though the brand maintains its quality and standards to the fullest, the team is still keeping up with trending, current, and futuristic fashion. Steve and his team have diversified their boundaries and stepped into unique channels that have benefited them and influenced them. Additionally, they collaborate with many of the worlds’ top designers and remarkable brands that has given Christy’s London a new perspective.

Steve adds, “We now sell our seasonal collections to over 1000 customers in 44 countries around the world, hold exclusive licenses for headwear and accessories for some of the world’s most iconic sports brands and events, operate our own stand-alone retail stores and global eCommerce site, and manufacture for some of the worlds largest brands.”

Steve further states, “At Christy’s London, the craft is key. Since its founding in 1773, our passion for impeccable quality and skilled craftsmanship has passed through generations, safeguarding Christy’s red and gold insignia as a symbol synonymous with fine traditionally crafted hats.” Christy’s London is a unique brand that beholds its traditional roots and methods while also keeping up with the currents trends that have been followed by people. They still have an eye to expand their business and work with more of the fashion industries.

Wearing the hat of CEO

Being the CEO of such a significant enterprise, Steve has a lot on his plate and has to juggle innumerable things for the company. For him, every new day is a fresh opportunity as well as a challenge to do something considerable.

He states, “My job involves setting the company strategy and budgets, agreeing on them with our investment board and mobilizing a high performing team to execute and deliver on our objectives through each division of the company.”

He is a self-driven man who likes to take the challenges with a positive attitude. He expresses, “I am decisive, supportive and always try to work with a smile on my face. I don’t believe in putting up barriers. There is always a way forward if you can see the bigger picture. I believe these are important attributes for somebody in a leadership position to demonstrate.”

He believes that sitting back and resting on the laurels can breed complacency, and that would not be a good example to set as a leader.

Having a long corporate experience in the industry has allowed him to get first-hand experience of what it is like at the coalface of a business. So, he can really understand what is required through the business and how to understand and relate it to his team and their needs through every level of the company.

Balance in work and life

Work life Balance is key, and at this point in this life, he has mastered this.

Steve says, “When things get difficult, I try to see solutions instead of problems and focus on the things I can do to find an outcome. Family time is so important to me and really helps me keep my feet on the ground and appreciate the moment.”

Upcoming formula and escalation

Handling such a large company, keeping up with today’s vogue, balancing personal and professional, controlling the retail and e-commerce stores, manufacturing and wholesale channels, these such things and many more to go, Steve balances all the things on his plate well.

For the future development, he states, “We aim to build on our position as the authority in premium headwear and accessories, and the manufacturer of choice for brands who include own label headwear and accessories in their collections.”

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