EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Samantha Cameron’s £2m tumble in the fashion stakes
Fashion designer Samantha Cameron looked typically stylish at Glorious Goodwood’s Ladies Day yesterday in an elegant burgundy frock from her own label, Cefinn.
On the same day, newly published accounts for her high-end fashion business revealed the label has suffered its fourth consecutive loss, ending last year with £561,000 less than it started. The amount of cash in the bank has also halved.
The wife of former PM David Cameron knows all too well that fashion is a famously tricky industry in which to achieve sustained financial success — with only a handful of British brands, such as Burberry and Jasper Conran, achieving it.
The results mean the mother-of-three, 50, has never made a profit, and her cumulative losses since Cefinn launched in 2017 have mounted to £2.2 million.
The brand, which sells dresses ranging from £150 to £400, has won fans including the Duchess of Cambridge and former First Lady Michelle Obama, while Samantha’s status in the industry has seen her attend parties with Vogue U.S. editor Anna Wintour and designer Christopher Kane.
Samantha Cameron (pictured) looked typically stylish at Glorious Goodwood’s Ladies Day in an elegant burgundy frock from her own label, Cefinn
Fashion, alas, is fickle. Three years ago, investors — including Tory donor Lord Brownlow of Shurlock Row — were so confident in her vision they poured in £2.5 million.
Though the pandemic has been hard on businesses, Samantha, whose pop-up store on the King’s Road is one of the most popular in London, remains optimistic and will soon release a summer collection.
In May, she said of the effect of lockdown on her label: ‘It’s been very tough and like most people we weren’t prepared.
Newly published accounts for Samantha Cameron’s high-end fashion business revealed the label has suffered its fourth consecutive loss, ending last year with £561,000 less than it started
‘But we’ve just had some big orders come in for the first time in a year, so everyone’s feeling more confident.’
Her prominence in fashion derives from her time as chief creative officer of luxury stationery brand, Smythson, where she earned £400,000 a year —more than twice her husband’s Prime Ministerial salary.
‘No one denies that Sam has tremendous style and is determined to give it ago,’ says a friend. ‘Fashion, for everyone, is a very slippery slope on which to succeed financially.
‘Covid has been a really rough time for many industries.’
Sad Camilla mourns her racing pal
The Duchess of Cornwall is mourning the death of her horse-racing chum Broderick Munro- Wilson, who died on Monday, aged 76, after a fall at his home in Little Venice, West London.
The former SAS officer, who won the Grand National in 1980 and 1981, used to go hunting with her in Sussex and was also a contemporary of Prince Charles at Cambridge University.
‘It is very sad,’ his daughter Emma, 42, tells me. ‘He had an amazing life and certainly lived it to the full. He used to say “life belongs to the optimist”.’
Broderick was once an unsuspecting victim of Sacha Baron-Cohen’s alter ego, Borat, when he likened sipping wine to ‘lovemaking’ in an episode of Da Ali G Show in 2000. ‘Dad thought that was absolutely hilarious,’ adds Emma. ‘He loved it.’
A service will be held at Golders Green Crematorium on August 9. Poignantly, he had requested his ashes be scattered on the finishing line of Sandown Park Racecourse, where he had lots of winners.
Jo’s hunt for love on hold
Searching for romance, Ronnie Wood’s ex-wife, Jo, turned to a dating agency earlier this year which has a £5,000 joining fee.
Sadly, the former model reveals she’s had to put her hunt for husband number three on hold.
Jo Wood, 66, at the LG Signature OLED R TV launch party in South Kensington
‘Last year was so tough. My brother died, my sister got Covid, my grandson got really ill, Ronnie got cancer and all these situations just made me not want to be in a relationship,’ she tells me at the LG Signature OLED R TV launch party in South Kensington.
Jo, 66, split from businessman Carl Douglas last year.
She adds: ‘I couldn’t deal with it emotionally. We’re not even friends any more — men aren’t good at getting their hearts broken.’
Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, who became a new dad at 73 in March, enjoys having someone new to perform to at home. A former chorister at Winchester Cathedral, he says: ‘I sing a lot. If not in the bath, certainly in the car.
Anywhere I’m alone, I let go. But because of my job, I don’t belong to a choir. Now I’ve got my son, I will be singing to him extensively.’ Snow, who is married to Zimbabwean scientist Dr Precious Lunga, 46, adds: ‘I have two daughters from an earlier marriage and I will be singing to their children in turn.’
Forget climbing the walls.
When eccentric film star Helena Bonham Carter gets frustrated, she paints them.
The 55-year-old reveals she ‘did a bit of home improvement’ at her North London house to keep boredom at bay in lockdown.
‘Half of my hallway is now pink,’ she says. ‘I have yet to finish it. I’m very good at not finishing things.’
All white on the night for Eliza
Lady Eliza Manners is turning up the heat on her romance with dashing pearl dealer Charlie Barron.
The Duke of Rutland’s youngest daughter, 24, is on holiday in Greece — her first trip abroad with 25-year-old Barron, who has designed jewellery for European royalty and Hollywood stars.
Lady Eliza Manners, 24, on holiday in Greece with 25-year-old Charlie Barron, who has designed jewellery for European royalty and Hollywood stars
Wearing matching white for a night out in Mykonos, Charlie and interior designer Eliza — who grew up at her family’s magnificent ancestral home, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire — also sport identical tans.
Loved-up Eliza prefers to say they are ‘sun-kissed’.
Top restaurateur Jeremy King is savouring his victory over Sadiq Khan.
Earlier this month I revealed that King confronted the London mayor at his Piccadilly venue, The Wolseley, about his ‘crippling’ congestion charge which prevented diners from travelling to restaurants in the capital.
The levy end time is being rolled back from 10pm to 6pm, and King tells me: ‘I’m delighted the Mayor has seen sense and given London the boost it needed.
On the other hand, why on earth is the charge remaining at weekends in the daytime?’
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