The business of Fashion

This blog covers two of my favourite things; business and fashion.


During my vlog I interview Phoebe the young female founder of Gormley and Gamble and find out how she is smashing though barriers and bringing female fashion to historic Savile Row.

When I met Phoebe it was for her to show me her tailoring talents and answer an age old question of how to look good at work. Her recommendation was a bespoke silk shirt and although it wouldn’t have been my natural choice, I went with her expertise and set about choosing the component pieces. This piece can be customised in an impressive number of ways; length, shoulders, collar, buttons, colour, fit… the list goes on. I had my fitting in the plush Saville Row surrounding and relaxed for the next eight weeks while it was created. In that time I got to know a little more of Phoebe and her story and it was genuinely impressive and the sort of thing a fellow entrepreneur would love to share. So here is my summary and some of her own words about her journey in business.

Phoebe was an undergraduate with a year left at university. She had her last years tuition fees, £9,000 in the bank and was keen to make her mark on the world. She had already spent her summers as a teenager in St James’ Savile Row and Jermyn Street. When she started asking about where to find exquisite made-to-measure women’s wear, she was told women were ‘too hard to please’ and none of the tailors liked doing it. Having also been a victim of the epidemic of substandard women’s fit, and an unsatisying university degree, she quit university early and invested what would have been her tuition fees into starting the business; hence the ‘gamble’.

The business has been going just eighteen months and they are now the first women’s-only tailor in the history of Savile Row and the first woman to open a store on this iconic street. As you will know if you’ve viewed the vlog interview, I was actually shocked to discover how women were treated by tailors both as customers and potential competition. It is great to see a young business woman (or man) spotting an opportunity in the market, following a passion and making a success of it.


I love my silk shirt. I found it flattering (so confidence boosting) and the material was divine on my skin. I particularly liked that my initials are on the sleeve. It makes the piece feel all the more special. I definitely enjoyed hearing about Phoebe’s story and I wish her all the best for the future. Women in business need to support one and other and share their stories to inspire others, so I was glad I was able to share this one.


'office' in the heart of Saville Row

‘office’ in the heart of Saville Row

For those of you who are regular readers you will notice the shirt isn’t the only addition to my look. I have also opted for ‘geek chic’ in the form of thick rimmed glasses. This ordering process combines two passions too; fashion and tech (of sorts). I ordered the glasses from online Glasgow based startup  IOLLA and their process is completely online and for a fixed price of £65. From choice of frames to virtual fitting to delivery no need to step foot outside your door. I am wearing ‘Bruce’ here. It is a neat concept and bound to be popular in this fast paced world we all live in. Plus I love the look!

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