Standing proud, this is Sir Philip Green pictured in 2005; unaware that things would come to a head with the collapse of his Arcadia empire.
The billionaire businessman was at the climax of his career when this picture was taken – the same year he splashed £1.2 billion on his family, paid for by a loan taken out by his firm.
The man who took the photograph, Jake Walters, distinctly remembers the day he met Sir Philip on an assignment for the Guardian and has shared his memory – and how he got his revenge.
Jake said: ‘My portrait of Sir Philip Greed sorry Green taken on his Arcadia office balcony on Oxford Street.
‘He was unpleasant and rude to me and my assistant when we arrived to photograph him for @guardianweekend.
‘So I thought… well if it’s ok for you to act like a prick, it must be ok for me to make you look like one. So I did.’
Jake added that the Guardian did not end up using that particular shot.
‘I tried to persuade them but I’m afraid they didn’t,’ he said. ‘Still, my portrait lives on.’
Pictures aside, Sir Philip has become a divisive figure, presiding over the demise of British Home Stores and the empire behind Topshop, Burton and Miss Selfridge.
He has been branded the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’, commuting into London from Monaco on a private jet.
Workers in Arcadia are still facing a potential shortfall in their pensions after the collapse of the business.
Sir Philip has also faced criticism for his tax affairs, although Arcadaia has paid substantial corporation tax.
In 2005, his wife Cristina, the official owner of Arcadia, received a £1.2bn dividend – but she paid no tax in the UK as she is a resident of Monaco.
So that might explain part of why the picture has received such a rapturous reception.
There’s at least one lesson we could all learn: always try to stay on the photographer’s good side.
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