"The greater the failure, the greater the lesson" seems quite justified in the case of Susannah Constantine, an English fashion guru & designer, TV presenter, and author, whose first business lost almost £10 million. Born in a wealthy family, Constantine ventured on her own to the ladder of success as a co-author of the book What Not to Wear, alongside co-hosting the TV show of the same name with fashion partner Trinny Woodall.
Turned professional in 1994, the English TV personality & fashion guru now stands with a net worth of £6 million in 2020. Especially, her fashion-based TV works in What Not to Wear (2001-2005) and Trinny & Susannah Undress (2006-2007) got her wide fame, thanks to her stints at Giorgio Armani and John Galliano.
Including the most recently released book The Body Shape Bible, Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2007, Susannah has co-written 9 fashion-advice books in total. Besides the bright part of success, she went through the dark reality of alcoholism and states her husband had to bear the burden; the mother of 3 is sober for 7 years.
As of November 2020, 58-year-old Constantine has a net worth of £6 million. The Mirror reported her fortune at £5 million in 2018.
After her TV appearance at Trinny & Susannah: Making Over Israel (2011) with Trinny Woodall, with whom she co-wrote fashion books, the fashion partners parted ways, which Susannah is not shy to refer to as "divorce". They had started to work together in 1994 & got their major breakthrough with the TV show What Not to Wear in 2001, eventually earning a hefty sum.
In 2015, she competed in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (Series 15) that possibly earned her a payroll in the 5-digit figure for participation. She finished 12th & exited on Day 13; the Geordie Shore star Vicky Pattison won the show.
Susannah then competed in Series 16 of Strictly Come Dancing, where the winning prize is valued at £100,000, while a celebrity contestant receives a salary of £25,000. There, she partnered with professional dancer Anton du Beke but was voted out in Week 2.
Born on June 3, 1962, to father Joseph Constantine, a successful figure in real estate and shipping, Susannah attended St Mary's School in Wantage, Oxfordshire, paying £20,000-per-year.
Despite being from a wealthy family background, the English fashion guru believes in self-empowerment & took gradual steps to rise up from the grounds. In her early days, Susannah Constantine trained for a year at Montessori and later taught students.
After that she briefly worked as a shopgirl at Harrods and then moved to the United States, to work as a shopgirl at Giorgio Armani. Following her return to London, she worked for many years under fashion designer John Galliano that got her an impeccable fashion sense.
For a brief period, the Hammersmith, London-born TV personality worked as a sports editor of The Daily Telegraph. Later, she wrote about cars & then fashion; it would later grab her writing experience to become an author.
At a party in 1994, Susannah met Trinny Woodall, a fashion & makeover expert; they soon began to collaborate and wrote Ready to Wear, a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph. In November 1999, they founded a fashion advice business Ready2shop.com, however, it saw major problems as the funding ran out and staff cut-outs, leading it to cease trade in late 2000 & dissolved in July 2001.
Reportedly, the venture sunk the investors' investment of £10 million.
Later, in 2001, she and Woodall co-hosted BBC TV show What Not To Wear (2001-2005), where they criticized the outfits of TV participants & their fashion taste. Along with topics of controversy for their straight forward harsh comments, the TV show got them career breakthrough as well.
After that, the fashion partners moved to ITV and ran the show Trinny & Susannah Undress... (2006-2007) and Trinny & Susannah Undress The Nation (2007).
Susannah and Trinny became the face of Littlewoods Direct, a home shopping company, in 2007 and were part of its £12 million advertising campaign- one of largest ever for a home-shopping online.
The deal came after, as the sponsorship on the duo's show Trinny & Susannah Undress rose the orders of Littlewoods by 30%. Moreover, after the advertising campaign, the actual sales of the company grew by 18%.
In September 2007, the fashion duo launched their own clothing line with Littlewoods that featured a series of 8 dresses, cashmere knitwear, faux fur, and sequinned shrugs.
With Trinny Woodall, Susannah has co-written 9 fashion-advice books and records a total sales of 2.5 million copies in the UK and the USA. Some of them even earned a place in the Sunday Times bestseller list and The New York Times best-seller list.
Although their first book Ready to Wear (published in 2000) was unsuccessful with barely 13,000 copies sold, the second book What Not to Wear became a hit. It was released in 2002 and sold 670,000 copies, including 250,000 copies in Britain.
Even if the book What Not to Wear sales worth reported £8.7 million; Susannah and Trinny only got £10,000 advance but later secured a deal of £1 million for other fashion-books.
List of books:
After parting with Trinny Woodall, Susannah divides her time between writing on her novel and interviews on her podcast My Wardrobe Malfunction. Her first novel After the Snow published in 2017 and its sequel, Summer In Mayfair was released on June 25, 2020.
In November 2020, in a podcast My Mate Bought A Toaster hosted by Tom Price, Constantine revealed her dark secret about her battle with alcoholism. Reportedly, she has been sober for 7 years since 2013.
Quite popular for her bold comments at What Not To Wear, the English TV personality & fashion guru talked for the first time being an alcoholic:
"I'm an alcoholic and I've been in recovery for nearly seven years now and at that time, as an addict, often what you would do was put all my own defects and find someone else to attach them to, so I thought my husband was passive aggressive, but actually I was the one that was passive aggressive and I've realised that over time and in recovery."
Furthermore, she added about the problems her husband faced due to her alcoholism:
"I was the awful passive aggressive and my poor husband was the one who had to live with it."
As for a fact, her business partner Trinny Woodall is also sober; she started drinking at the age of 16 and entered rehab at the age of 21.
Susannah Constantine is happily married and lives with her husband Sten Bertelsen, a Danish entrepreneur and businessman, who launched Death cigarettes. As reported, Susannah's family owns a 120-acre property in Sussex.
The duo is married for a long time and shares 3 children together, Joe, Esme, and Cece. Their 3rd child Cece born in October 2003.
Prior to Sten, she was linked to a noble family; was in a relationship with Princess Margaret's son, David, Viscount Linley. They began dating in the 80s & later broke up after 8 years of relationship.
Moreover, the list of her ex-boyfriend includes Imran Khan, a cricketer and Prime Minister of Pakistan; they dated in 1992.