Monsoon is a private limited British company founded in 1973 by Peter Simon. The brand operates alongside their sister company Accessorize and often these stores are located alongside each other in the high street or shopping mall. The company's head office is located in Notting Hill, London. There are a total of 1175 Monsoon Accessorize stores in operation around the world in five different continents. In 1998 the company was listed on the Stock Exchange.
Peter Simon, the current owner, originally opened a stall in Portobello Market, London after returning from extensive travels which took him from Ibiza to India and Afghanistan. His stall sold clothing he discovered on his adventures; items that were colourful, handmade, individual and exotic. Three years later, he opened the first Monsoon shop in Beauchamp Place and the company grew from there.
Monsoon sell clothing for women and children that have a distinctive style. Prints, fabrics and details that have a bohemian flavour influence almost everything item in stock. The clothing is comfortable to wear and has a more casual style. They draw inspiration from batik, tie dye and hand printed traditional patterns. The company also believes in using hand crafted products from global sources. Blouses, skirts and dresses that are floaty and embellished with beads, tassels and embroidery are some of the main items stocked. Trousers, coats and jackets are also sold to complete outfits. Jeans, footwear, cardigans, jumpers and hats are available, with a change of collection to reflect the different seasons. A luxury range of occasional wear, suitable for special events, parties and proms is available. This line of clothing uses sequins, velvet and beadwork to create items that are glamourous and very special. There is an affordable bridal collection too with pretty bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride outfits and an assortment of accessories on offer.
Monsoon childrenswear includes outfits for boys and girls from newborn babies up to 15 year olds. The clothes have a wholesome and traditional style with party dresses being one of the favourite items for shoppers. Nightwear, daytime clothing, tights, socks and knitwear can also be found on the shelves along with coats, hats and denims.
Monsoon has very strong ethical values which is part of the company ethos. Working with craftspeople who live in villages or smaller communities has been part of their practice since the beginning. They also have a trust in their name which was started in 1984. The trust helps disadvantaged women and children in Asia and offers education and income-generating projects that assist people to help themselves. The company also believes in ethic trading at all times. A robust sustainability scheme is in place ensuring that waste is kept to a minimum and packaging is made from renewable sources. Animal welfare schemes are followed and adjustments to company policy are made when new issues are raised.