The company was founded in 1981 when Karen Millen partnered with Kevin Stanford. With a loan of just £100, the pair bought one thousand metres of white cotton and began manufacturing and selling white shirts to their friends. A party plan network followed and in 1983 they opened their first store in Kent, which was followed a few years later by branches in Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Guildford and London.
The brand continued to expand throughout the Nineties when it was acquired in June 2004 by Mosaic Fashions. In 2009 Mosaic Fashions ceased trading and the brand now operates as part of Aurora Fashions.