Michelle Mone

(Michelle Allan, Baroness Mone)

1971 -

Entrepreneur and inventor of the Ultimo gel-filled bra. Born Michelle Allan in Dennistoun in the East End of Glasgow, daughter of the manager of an ink manufacturing plant who lost his job due to illness, Mone was brought up in a modest household without even a bath. She was educated at Whitehill Secondary School. A difficult pupil with entrepreneurial instincts from an early age, she left school at the age of 15 to begin her career in modelling. Having found her traditional bra extremely uncomfortable at a dinner-dance, she invented the Ultimo bra, which uses silicone gel pouches to provide support with comfort and enhance the cleavage. In 1998, following redundancy, she formed her own company, MJM International, which she runs with her husband. Based in Govan, the company is now worth more than £20 million and Mone has successfully brought her bra into the lingerie mainstream. In recognition of her success, Mone was named 'World Young Business Achiever' in 2000, was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Paisley (2002) and received an OBE in 2010. In 2015, she was raised to the peerage as Baroness Mone of Mayfair, taking the Conservative whip.

Controversy struck in 2000 when another Scots lingerie designer accused Mone of stealing her idea in creating the Ultimo.

Mone bared her soul on the BBC TV programme Trouble at the Top (2002).

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