If you’ve ever shopped at one of the 256 national and international locations of the trendy and popular Bebe stores for women, then Manny Mashouf has entered your life. When Mashouf came to the United States as a teenager, little did he expect to become the man behind one of the country’s most popular fashion labels. As a young man, he attended San Francisco State University and graduated with a degree in political science in 1966, moving on to pursue a brief career in restaurant management. By the 1970’s he was delving into the fashion industry, attributing his growing success to the values instilled in him through education. The fortune that Mashouf went on to make would become the source of one of the largest gifts the California State University system has ever received, making him an inspiration not only for the Persian diaspora community, but for the educational, business and fashion sectors as well.
In 1976, having discovered a women’s clothing niche that included twenty and thirty-somethings, Mashouf broke the mold by offering this underrepresented population of style-conscious women a distinctive fashion style by founding Bebe. His concept was an enormous hit and his signature line of apparel is now worn regularly by Hollywood’s most famous actresses and performers. In 2006, the chain earned an impressive $579.5 million in sales and employed over 3,400 people, proving that innovation and foresight can go a long way in transforming a small business into a nationally-recognized brand.
The fortune that Mashouf went on to make would become the source of one of the largest gifts the California State University system has ever received, making him an inspiration not only for the Persian diaspora community, but for the educational, business and fashion sectors as well.
In May 2005, the Mashouf family announced a donation of $10 million to SFSU, the largest private gift in the university’s history. The gift will go towards supporting the construction of a new performing and electronic arts media building for the university’s College of Creative Arts. The center will contain instructional and performance spaces, including a 1,200-seat auditorium, a 450-seat theater, a 350-seat recital hall, and a 250-seat “black box” theater.
In 2000, Mashouf donated more than $200,000, primarily to SFSU’s College of Business, to help recruit and hire faculty. “I strongly believe the cultural fabric of our communities, grounded in technology and education, can be enriched by building new platforms for expression and by stimulating academics with consistent support to our educators and students,” he says. Honored as SFSU’s 2005 Alumnus of the Year, he is also a member of the College of Business’ Advisory Board. Outside of the educational realm, Mashouf donated $1,000,000 to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in March 2005.
Mashouf has lived the epitome of the
American dream: business success combined with impactful giving. He is committed
to insuring that the meritocracy that has benefited him so much will benefit
others in the same way. “I believe that the most effective way to improve the
quality of our lives for the future is to improve the quality of our children’s
education,” he says. With philanthropists like Mashouf contributing to higher
learning with such noble conviction, the future ahead looks
#242 Manny Mashouf & family -
Manny Mashouf & family ranks 242 on The 400 Richest Americans 2006
Video: Manny Mashouf (Founder of Bebe) &
Oksana Gregoria Van ... Payvand News - 8/28/07 ... --
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