John Boden was educated at Hawtreys preparatory school, then Eton College, and read philosophy, politics, and economics (Group of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)) at Oriel College, Oxford.
As of 2014, Boden is worth £300 million. At 16, he edited the menswear section of the 1977 Harpers & Queen Teenage Edition, but Boden"s father was "dismissive", calling it a "stupid job". After leaving university, Boden became a stockbroker with Barclays Merchant Bank, and SG Warburg Securities. spending some time at Wall Street.
He was a stockbroker for five years.
However, he "loathed" the job, and was "ill-suited – really bad at it". He ceased working as a stockbroker when he received an inheritance from a childless uncle.
He dabbled in other jobs, as a publican and teacher in London. Boden enjoyed teaching, though disliked the low salaries.
He founded Boden in 1991, launching his first catalogue featuring pictures drawn by a friend, with eight menswear products available modelled by his friends.
In 1992, Boden realised women were a better target for clothes, and launched women"s clothing, followed by children"s clothing, under the name "Mini Boden", in 1996. However, it took "at least 10 years" for the finances to settle down due to robbery, and other circumstances. Which ultimately led his inheritance to be gone in under three years.
The firm is known for its "bright prints".
His foundation of Boden has enabled Boden to amass a personal fortune of £300 (2014), placing him at 368 on the Sunday Times Rich List.