Capital: € 40 million
Age: 75
Born: 11/18/1944
Country of origin: Germany
Source of wealth: Entrepreneurs
Last updated: 2022

Short introduction

Wolfgang Joop was born in Potsdam on November 18, 1944, the son of Gerhard and Charlotte Joop. He spent his early childhood on the Bornstedt estate, which belonged to his grandparents and was located near the Sanssouci Palace.

The family left the estate in 1954 and moved to Braunschweig. Joop graduated from high school in 1964 and then began studying advertising psychology. However, Joop broke it off and switched to art education. After a while, he also finished his studies and started working as a restorer instead.

Wolfgang Joop married Karin Benatzky in 1970, who was studying art at the time. The couple took part in a fashion competition held by the Constanze magazine. Joop received the first three prizes and started working as a fashion editor for the Hamburg women’s magazine “Neue Mode”.

The following years were spent as an independent fashion journalist and designer. In 1978 he finally made his international breakthrough as a fashion designer by presenting his own fur collection. Through the New York Times, he received the title “Prussian Designer”.


Wolfgang Joop’s career began in 1978 after his breakthrough as an international designer. In the following years he worked on his name under the trademark JOOP! to make known.

In 1982, his first women’s collection appeared, followed by a men’s collection in 1985. In 1987, a perfume collection joined the JOOP! as a coveted lifestyle brand. The company’s products found a targeted placement in the middle price segment in order to address the largest possible target group. In the 90s, JOOP! finally on the marketing of various licensed products.

As business differences emerged over time, Joop slowly withdrew from the company. In 1998 he sold 95 percent of his company shares for around 150 million DM to the Hamburg wishes group. He initially remained as the brand’s chief designer, but left the company entirely in 2001 and sold the remaining five percent.

In 2003 Wolfgang Joop and his life partner Edwin Lemberg founded the fashion brand “Wunderkind”. The fashion label has struggled with ups and downs since then, but was able to secure international attention. In 2004 the label’s first international fashion show took place at New York Fashion Week. The fashion of the designer brand was also shown at the following three fashion weeks. After the label was shown at the Paris Fashion Week in 2006, the first presentation of a complete collection followed there in 2012.

Joop sold 50 percent of its shares in 2007 and even stepped down as managing director in 2010. In 2011, however, he bought back his shares and returned to the position of sole managing director. “Wunderkind” is considered a non-profitable fashion label that Joop bears at his own expense, but his fashion brand is very important to him.

In addition to this label, Wolfgang Joop supported the jury of “Germany’s Next Top Model” in 2014 and 2015. He appeared as a juror in seasons nine and ten, but then separated from his colleagues.

In addition to his work as a designer and entrepreneur, Joop also works as an author, illustrator and actor. While an autobiography of the fashion designer was published in 2013, his graphic works are in an exhibition at the Hamburg Museum of Art and Commerce. Since 2010, Wolfgang Joop has also worked as a creative consultant with “Galeria Kaufhof”.

Career highlights

Wolfgang Joop received the Fil d’or in Monte Carlo in 1983. In 1984 he was awarded the fashion prize of the “Golden Spinning Wheel” by the city of Krefeld and the European Silk Commission. In 1995, the Forum Prize followed, which Joop received from the trade magazine Textilwirtschaft. The Bild newspaper honored the German fashion designer with the Osgar Media Prize in 2005. The Bambi followed in 2009 as the “Special Jury Prize” and in 2011 Wolfgang Joop received a Men of The Year award from GQ magazine. In the same year, Joop also received the Radio Regenbogen Award, which was awarded to him in the “Media Man” category. In 2012, the Federal Republic of Germany’s designer award honored Joop’s “lifetime achievement”, while the Vienna Awards in the areas of fashion and lifestyle expanded this honor in 2018 as a “style icon”.

Famous quotes

– “The feeling of loneliness shows that you are unique.”
– “The man has discovered himself as a pleasure object and is no longer waiting for Mutti to attract him.”
– “The nice thing about fashion is that it wears out so quickly.”

Amazing facts

In 1985 Wolfgang Joop received a position as a visiting lecturer for design at the Berlin University of the Arts. Among other things, he took over the management of the seminar “Fur fashion with accessories”.

Furthermore, Joop is involved in various social institutions, such as Dunkelziffer eV, the Hamburg Beacon and the German Bone Marrow Donation File. He is also the patron and financial supporter of the animal shelter in Potsdam.

Last but not least, Wolfgang Joop is of the opinion that a division into gay or straight does not make sense. In 2014 he told the Bildzeitung that sexual orientation was completely irrelevant in modern times.


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