89 Inspirational Les Wexner Quotes [2021]

89 Inspirational Les Wexner Quotes [2021]

Les Wexner is an American billionaire businessman.

He is the founder and chairman emeritus of L Brands Bath & Body Works American specialty retailer company.

Les Wexner hosted a fundraiser in 2012 for Mitt Romney and donated $250,000 to Restore Our Future, Romney's Super PAC. In 2015, Wexner donated $500,000 to the Right to Rise USA Super-Pac that supported the 2016 presidential campaign.

We've put together an incredible collection of Les Wexner quotes to read.

Here they are:

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List of Inspiring Les Wexner Quotes

We are never, never, never satisfied when the results are terrific. Leslie Wexner


Narcissism, sex, and beauty are real whether it be Cleopatra or Angelina Jolie. Leslie Wexner


Guys are rational and cheap. Women are willing to spend on becoming more beautiful, even in a recession. Leslie Wexner


[On buying ‘Victoria’s Secret for $1 million in 1982.] It was a business on a g-string. Leslie Wexner


I like to believe trees can grow to the sky. Leslie Wexner


[In 1985 on promising good results but then having to deliver.] It’s good to be a prima donna, but tomorrow you have to sing. Leslie Wexner


You can’t just sell to women like they are men wearing skirts. Leslie Wexner


Success doesn’t beget success. Success begets failure because the more that you know a thing works, the less likely you are to think that it won’t work. When you’ve had a long string of victories, it’s harder to foresee your own vulnerabilities. Leslie Wexner


[On not trying to build his business.] The punishment would have been never to be able to try. Leslie Wexner


I don’t want to be blocked from trying my ideas, from being creative. Leslie Wexner


I am difficult to read. I look and smile and do not tell you what I think. Leslie Wexner


I’m like the Chinese. They just sip their tea and look at you. Leslie Wexner


You have to understand why fashion is sexy. Leslie Wexner


Everyone in the business has to work together as a team. Leslie Wexner


I don’t believe bigger is better, I believe better is better. Period. Leslie Wexner


One of the major reasons for our success is that we believe in the taste and good sense of the consumer. Nothing is more annoying to me than hearing a buyer say, ‘I like it, but the customer won’t.’ Leslie Wexner


My idea was to be a specialist, not a generalist. The world values specialists, not generalists. Leslie Wexner


I wanted… to really stand for something and own it. Leslie Wexner


The world is a sexy place. It’s primal. Leslie Wexner


Keep your mental muscle loose. You have to keep stretching. Leslie Wexner


We’ve embarked on systematic change that will never end. Leslie Wexner


[In 1985 on his widowed mother Bella Wexner (He gave 10% of the Limited to his mother)] This is a woman who was buying dresses 22 years ago and now has a personal net worth of over $100 million. Leslie Wexner


These things are stupid. Leslie Wexner


[In 1985 tongue in check on his industry] Dumb business like selling clothes. Leslie Wexner


Carter Hawley Hale war. Leslie Wexner


To answer your previous question about when the stock will split… it is now. [‘Whoooooo.’ Go 600 people.] Leslie Wexner


Now we’ve got to do it. Leslie Wexner


I have all these ideas, and I’m frustrated because I can’t do them all. Leslie Wexner


I hate to think of myself as an adult, because when you do, you die. Leslie Wexner


[On his favorite word for his executives] Focused. Leslie Wexner


I never knew anyone who made $15,000 a year. My parents worked 70 hours a week, and both never made $10,000. Leslie Wexner


I thought that it would improve business if we only sold sportswear, because it was the only profitable thing. If you make money in chocolate ice cream, why sell other flavors? [His father disagreed so he went out and started ‘The Limited’.] Leslie Wexner


[His father taught him.] His [store] lease could always be canceled. Leslie Wexner


[In 1985 at the age of 48.] A lot of people think because I am not married I am asexual or homosexual, but I enjoy a relationship with a woman. Leslie Wexner


[On being told by Alfred Taubman that he should get married.] Me and the pope. Leslie Wexner


I would have been an architect. But no, if I had it to live all over again. I would be me. Not Felix [Rohatyn]. Not Alfred [Taubman]. Leslie Wexner


[On always having two jobs as a boy and always working for himself.] I felt quite proud to be a worker. Leslie Wexner


I was seven and it was my mother’s birthday and I took her to lunch, but there wasn’t enough money to go to the movies and buy her a present and I wanted to buy her white gloves. She said she didn’t need them. And I said, ‘I really want to buy you a present, Mommy,’ and she said then I wouldn’t be able to go to the movies. [She always set high standards.] Leslie Wexner


[On what his mother used to say to him.] You can do it, we can do it, the world will be perfect. Leslie Wexner


[In 1985] Mother just gave $3 million to the children’s pediatric hospital in Columbus. Leslie Wexner


[In 1985 on hating making the Forbes 400 list] Someone could get robbed and kidnapped… people get crazy. Already someone offered me an eel farm. A lot of rich people love it. Leslie Wexner


I like the anonymity. Leslie Wexner


When the doorman says, ‘Hey, I read abut you in Forbes,’ some people like that, but I don’t… You see in their eyes that they recognize you. I stopped in the bar of a hotel here in Columbus for a glass of water, and the bartender gave me one of those looks that my face had registered. I’d rather do without it. Leslie Wexner


We’re not going to spill our guts to WWD. Leslie Wexner


The sense of urgent secrecy builds the espirit. The club knows the secrets. It makes it better to be in the club. Leslie Wexner


Why did God put me on earth? God doesn’t say, ‘How many stores do you have, Les? How many Mercedeses? Do they know you at ‘21’? Leslie Wexner


[On friends saying he had outgrown them.] When I had a mediocre year in 1977, and only made $6 million, they delighted in it. I felt very alone. I had been a golden boy to myself and never had a major reversal, and now I had bopped myself on the nose. I felt like I was going broke, and I was terrorized. Leslie Wexner


[On his success] Oh, I’m just lucky, and I work hard. Leslie Wexner


My skill was to work. People say, ‘Why work hard?’ but it’s a creative thing. Leslie Wexner


[On him preferring to work hard.] In his heart of hearts, the plow horse knows the racehorse is different. Leslie Wexner


[On the names of his dogs in 1985 - the] Wexner kids. Leslie Wexner


[On telling his father he was running his clothing business all wrong. His father believing his best sellers were dresses and coats when they were doing disastrously.] They worked eighty-hour weeks to scratch out a living, but they never made $10,000 a year. [His father’s store later went bankrupt and in the third year of his son’s store he went to work for him.] Leslie Wexner


Women need underwear, but they want lingerie. I like to be in the ‘want’ business. The margins are better than in the ‘need’ business. Leslie Wexner


[In the early 1990’s on the business getting out of hand after three decades of expansion.] Everyday I was coming to work and I felt as though it was a zoo. All the cages were open and the animals were running around. Leslie Wexner


Before I could change my business model, I needed to change from sole inventor to the leader, the teacher, the coach. It was the darkest time, but also enlightening. Leslie Wexner


[Charles] Revson said women all hope they get laid, and I agree. They’re sensuous. They’re different from men. They dress to please men… That’s why uptight women stockbrokers will put on a G-string when they get home. Leslie Wexner


[On working part-time as a 21 year old at his parent’s dress shop.] I saw the differences then. The fashions were different then, of course. But when a woman tried on outfit after outfit you could see it. Women want to be striking and beautiful. Leslie Wexner


Women want to be striking and beautiful. Cosmetics is a case study. There is no equivalent of makeup for men. Leslie Wexner


[In 2009] Narcissism, sex, and beauty are real whether it be Cleopatra or Angelina Jolie. In history, women had enormous influence. Today they are rising to absolute power. They are the most valuable consumers. Guys are rational and cheap. Women are willing to spend on becoming more beautiful, even in a recession. Leslie Wexner


[In 2009] The fashion cycle is less important. People are looking for different choices for emotional content. Every woman still wants to be as sexy as she can be. Leslie Wexner


If they buy during a recession, you can only imagine what it will do during the upside. Leslie Wexner


[In 2000] I was an entrepreneur… You start with one store and you do all the jobs in the store, and then you have two stores, and then 10 stores, and then 50 and 100… I think what went wrong was the… entrepreneurial style was working (any longer). The business had outgrown that in terms of complexity. Leslie Wexner


[In 2000 on going from managing a collection of specialty stores to managing a family of brands.] The reason I like that word is that I like the association of family, in terms of relationships. I think what it really speaks to is that it is a team. Everyone in the business has to work together as a team. Leslie Wexner


Better brands, best brands – I don’t believe bigger is better, I believe better is better. Period. Leslie Wexner


Several years ago, I could see that the business model that my colleagues and I had used so successfully over twenty years – a model that revolved around fast fashion, significant promotions, and dominant real estate positions – would not sustain us into the future. The future was in brands. Leslie Wexner


Our business successfully made the shift to brand, and, in 2003, Fortune named us the ‘world’s most admired specialty retailer.’ Our business model works, and we continue to make progress. Leslie Wexner


One of the major reasons for our success is that we believe in the taste and good sense of the consumer. Nothing is more annoying to me than hearing a buyer say, ‘I like it, but the customer won’t.’ I’ve been shopping the world for over forty years, and I’ve never over-reached our customers. They stay with you if you pay them the compliment of acknowledging their good taste. Leslie Wexner


American consumers do love wonderful goods and will pay a premium to buy them. They’ll trade up. All you have to do is give them the opportunity. Leslie Wexner


[On Victoria’s Secret] I was determined to design and market a specialty lingerie boutique that would become the best in the world. Leslie Wexner


I have to see a lot of things and then somehow I just make conclusions. If I see enough stuff, get out and around, I can put it into trends and put things together in funny ways. Leslie Wexner


I think they saw me as kind of a mad scientist until I was about fifty. My friends just thought I was nuts. Leslie Wexner


[On focusing on the bestselling women’s sportswear segment instead of low-turn, low-profit dresses and outerwear] I thought it would improve business if we just sold sportswear, because it was the only profitable thing. My idea was to be a specialist, not a generalist. The world values specialists, not generalists. I wanted to have a focused, well edited, concise point of view – to really stand for something and own it. Leslie Wexner


[On his first business goal after opening the first ‘The Limited’ store in 1963 after borrowing $5,000 from his aunt.] The primary goal was not to go broke, because I did want to pay back Aunt Ida. I wanted to have a new car every three years. And someday make $15,000 a year. Leslie Wexner


Women want things they haven’t seen. And whatever it is, women see it as sexy. Leslie Wexner


When women are wearing loose Levis and loose flannel shirts, for whatever reason, it’s sexy. And if they’re wearing tight jeans and tight T-shirts, it’s because it’s sexy. Apparel, for men and women, has a lot to do with sex appeal. The world is a sexy place. It’s primal. Leslie Wexner


It was in that period of the 1960s and 1970s that the central business district began to come apart. People moved to the suburbs. Shopping centers were created. I saw the potential of something very large. Leslie Wexner


I think temperamentally I’ve always lived in my own world, and that world is very much in the future. I don’t get much pleasure out of today. Leslie Wexner


[In 1994] I believe in entrepreneurship, but we went too far in decentralizing the businesses. I essentially said to the presidents of the various divisions, ‘You’ll figure things out.’ We didn’t give them enough support. Leslie Wexner


In a world with so many ideas, it is necessary to filter things. Leslie Wexner


Clearly, brands win and we have some of the most compelling brands in retailing. Well planned. Well bought. Well coordinated. Well displayed. Well marketed. Well done. Leslie Wexner


[On building stores initially and then in the second stage replicating, creating and making acquisitions.] We were kind of a venture-capital company in hindsight. Leslie Wexner


Entrepreneurial style wasn’t working. The business had outgrown that in terms of complexity. Working harder at the specialty store format wasn’t the way. Leading brands is different from being an entrepreneur… It was about looking at how the business was organized… Leslie Wexner


[In 1993 at marrying at the age of 55 to 31 year old Abigail S Koppel a corporate attorney.] Marriage? I was kind of neutral about it. I figured it you meet someone and you fall in love, you get married. If you don’t, you don’t. Leslie Wexner


[In 1993] Entrepreneurs, guys that start businesses, grow with them. It’s more painful than it would appear. Leslie Wexner


I didn’t want to go into the retail business. I hated it. Leslie Wexner


I dropped out of law school; I hated it because it wasn’t creative enough. Leslie Wexner


I opened the second store in August 1964. When my dad found out that I was going to open a second store, he quit talking to me for almost a year. He thought I was crazy. I respected my dad’s judgment, but he was always cautious. He came to this country from Russia when he was a teenager. Leslie Wexner


[On being asked why he keeps on working when he had made a lot of money as a young man.] I think that if you stop to smell the roses, you’ll get hit by a truck. Leslie Wexner


Sometimes I wish I lived more in the day, but I’m happier thinking about tomorrow or the day after. The way I see it, there’s always a new or next thing. Leslie Wexner


When you’ve had a long string of victories, it’s harder to foresee your own vulnerabilities. Leslie Wexner

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