Simon Whitaker
Simon Whitaker
Founder
Master Debonair

Simon Whitaker is CEO of Master Debonair who are a menswear independent retailer with 3 stores which are in; East Boldon, Sunderland and Chesterfield as well as an ecommerce store with a further store in Glasgow opening in 2022. Simon and his business partner Eve launched Master Debonair in February 2016 after Simon lost his Dad suddenly in November 2015. Bob, Simon’s Dad loved his clothes so Simon wanted to wear something a little different for his funeral. Simon looked for a tie clip and pocket square that had a little more detail than most but was disappointed he couldn’t find anything. So the idea of Master Debonair was born. He wanted to find products with detail that were different to what you could buy on the High Street. So he found a number of suppliers, built a website in his office at home and launched Master Debonair online February 2016. Simon and Eve built up and online following via social media and instantly saw sales come in online. They then decided to find a shop in East Boldon, the village they lived in and opened that in April 2016. Both had no b2c retail experience and wanted to create a destination where the shops were like a home/hotel lounge where customers felt at ease shopping. Simon and Eve had over 30 years combined sales and marketing experience prior to setting up Master Debonair. Customers from day 1 travelled from all over the country to visit the Boldon shop which was expanded to 3,000 sq ft in July 2019. Chesterfield was added in November 2019 as well as Sunderland in August 2021. Master Debonair has grown to a £2.5m revenue business with 30 staff, with plans to increase the number of stores in the coming years with Glasgow due to open in late 2022.Master Debonair has won 2 Drapers awards. Best New Business in 2017 and Best Retailer in 2019. Our mission is to Number 1 menswear retailer for Outfitting Self Confidence. We want to make our customers feel epic when they shop with us and walk out feeling super confident.