Billionaire Umar Kumani is under fire for flaunting his extravagant lifestyle on social media even after taking government assistance and furloughing dozens of employees. Kumani is the found of Pretty little Thing, and at 32 years old, his personal wealth is estimated at £1 billion ($1.25 billion) according to a report by The Daily Mail. Many viewers are not as charmed by his aspirational posts given the current state of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kumani is revered as a fashion tycoon, and is the founder of the women's apparel company Pretty Little Thing. His company has risen fast and made him wealthy, but that did not stop him from taking the assistance offered by the United Kingdom's government when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Kumani furloughed 86 workers in total, and accepted taxpayer money to pay them 80 percent of their usual salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 — $3125.50 — per month. At the same time, however, his flashy Instagram posts have continued.
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Kumani's recent posts include pictures of him and his girlfriend, 26-year-old model Nada Adelle at a ritzy spa in Dubai. His Instagram Stories have been much the same, showing him working out with expensive equipment while most gyms are closed and relaxing in idyllic settings that most people do not have access to.
All of this has led commenters to criticize Kumani for accepting government assistance in the U.K. They argue that he clearly has the resources to pay his own employees instead of drawing on taxpayer funds. Some have also said that he should be offering better protections to his employees during this public health crisis.
Kumani has defenders online as well. Some have said that Kumani would not be as successful as he is if he turned down assistance when it is offered. Many praised his decision to furlough workers as shrewd, feeling that he embodies the entrepreneurial spirit.
Kumani launched Pretty Little Things in 2012, but it was not his first taste of the fashion industry. His father, Mahmud Kamani, was the founder of Bohoo.com, where Kumani was a manager for years before striking out on his own.
So far, the United Kingdom has had over 182,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 28,131 deaths. Worldwide, there have now been over 3.45 million cases, with over 244,000 deaths. For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.