If Sweden has H&M and Spain has Zara , in the world of fast-fashion China has Meters/bonwe, which releases around 3,000 clothing designs a year at affordable prices. Today, founder Zhou Chengjian joins China’s ascendant billionaires with an estimated net worth of US$1.4 billion, according to Forbes – not bad for a 55 year old. Zhou’s goal might be for Meters/bonwe to become “the world’s tailor”, but his fashion empire began due to his sewing and mathematics skills. Growing up in the mountainous area of Shikengling in China’s coastal Zhejiang province, he was the spoiled kid of the family – which in this context meant that he was exempt from farm work. Instead, at eight years old, he made the trip to town to buy rice, soy sauce, MSG, and other goods to re-sell at his village at a profit. How SF Express founder Wang Wei went from delivery man to billionaire Zhou quit school at 12 and, shortly after, began to learn the tailoring trade. He opened his first clothing business in 1982, working until the wee hours of the night and selling what he made during the day. He thought he got lucky when he received a contract amounting to US$74,000, allowing him to hire at least a hundred tailors. However, the deal went south. The buyers took the products, but didn’t pay because they didn’t like the quality. Zhou ended up bankrupt for the second time – the first being after he got rumbled for illegally trading antique coins when he was 14. “I was heavily in debt at the age of 18. But we have a saying that ‘ignorant people fear nothing’, so I didn’t care,” said Zhou in an interview with The Financial Times . How did Joey Wat become leader of China’s largest restaurant company? His big break also came because of a mistake. One night, when he was making a new batch of suits, he accidentally cut the sleeves too short. Instead of slating them for the rubbish heap, he turned them into casual wear and the idea for Meters/bonwe was born. View this post on Instagram @susan__k1226 in our 2019/20 Winter New Collection：Down Parka in silver. A post shared by Metersbonwe 美特斯邦威 (@metersbonweofficial) on Sep 27, 2019 at 8:57am PDT Today, he has more than 3,900 stores in China, several other fashion brands in his portfolio including Me & City, Me & City Kids and MooMoo, and an e-commerce platform called Banggo.com. And while other offices might offer gyms or libraries, Zhou’s main headquarters in Shanghai has a vegetable field – an ode to his village upbringing that his father even visits and works on at times. Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .