Tycoon brother of ‘Silver Bullet Murder’ victim returns to the High Street with Ariella fashion brand after 30 yearsComments Off on Tycoon brother of ‘Silver Bullet Murder’ victim returns to the High Street with Ariella fashion brand after 30 years
Achilleas Constantinou’s brother Aristos was killed by six nickel-jacketed bullets when he returned home from a New Year’s Eve party. His killer was never found.
A founder member of the British Fashion Council, Constantinou told the Evening Standard how the murder had left him without the “hunger” to expand their successful Ariella fashion brand, forged by his brother in the Swinging Sixties.
But he is back, with a star-studded celebrity launch of his first Ariella shop in Brent Cross shopping centre tonight.
Plans are afoot for a further four in the City, King’s Road, Kensington High Street and South Molton Street.
The wholesale business which has won awards such as The Queens Award for outstanding Export Achievement, will remain separate with exclusivity for clients retained and protected.
Achilleas Constantinou is planning to open five Ariella stores in the capital
After decades out of the headlines, the Silver Bullet Murder resurfaced last month after the late Aristos’ financial trader son Anthony Constantinou was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and money laundering.
He was one of 13 arrested at the company he runs, Capital World Markets, in the Heron Tower. He denies any wrongdoing.
Speaking for the first time of the arrest, his uncle Achilleas said: “Anthony is the youngest of my brother’s three sons and we had not seen him or his brothers for the last 23 years.
“When he came to London and visited us a few years ago we welcomed him to our family with open arms and it gave me particularly a lot of closure. He is very much his own man and we have nothing whatsoever to do with each other in business. We wish him well.”
He added: “My dear late brother and I were both multi-millionaires before we turned 30. But after my brother’s death I did not have the hunger or the inclination to expand. I did not need the money and instead I wanted to try and solve his murder.”
Achilleas’ four children are now working there, including his daughter Lana as creative director.
“The company’s new youthful team of fashion graduates that now head all of its divisions from design and garment technology to sales, is demanding expansion” said Constantinou.
The shops will offer designer collection Ariella Couture collection and diffusion range Ariella London. The target is women aged 20 to 60 with occasion dresses from £95 to £2,000.
Constantinou added: “My brother would say ‘you should have done this 20 years ago, but I understand why you didn’t. Thank you, but enjoy doing it now’.”
The late Aristos Constantinou and wife
The Silver Bullet Story:
1966 – Aristos and Achilleas Constantinou team up to sell dresses.
1970s – Their company named Ariella opens 11 shops and launches wholesale.
1985 – Aristos Constantinou is killed, the company’s shops close to focus on wholesale.
2015 – Ariella makes its High Street return.