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The Apprentice runner-up seeks backers for hosiery project

Bianca Miller, the runner-up in last night’s final of The Apprentice, is actively seeking “value-added” investors with fashion business experience to back her idea for a hosiery collection for a wide spectrum of skin tones.

The idea for her Second Skin brand was prompted by her own difficulties in finding nude tights that matched her skin. She sees a potential for a range that will stretch from “English Rose to sub-Saharan African” complexions as the problem is not limited only to darker skin.

Miller has found an English manufacturer for her range, which she intends to launch with eight shades of tights, in 15 denier only, to retail at £7.99 a pair. Better department stores and independent boutiques are the target retailers. The products will be sold via her website also.

“After the initial tights collection I intend to offer stockings, fishnets, hold-ups, pop socks and different deniers. Further down the line I want to get into shapewear and lingerie, also in more inclusive skin tones,” the London-born entrepreneur, who will be 26 tomorrow (December 23), told Drapers.

“Appearing in The Apprentice over 12 weeks, and being in the final two from the original 20, was an amazing experience. It has led to an amazing level of support for my brand and has confirmed the huge consumer interest in my idea. Having only narrowly missed out on winning Lord Sugar’s investment of £250,000, I am looking for serious long-term investors who understand the Second Skin concept, believe in it, and want to realise its full potential. For obvious reasons, I am particularly interested in joining forces with people experienced in the fashion business.”

The only child of self-employed parents, Miller was brought up in an entrepreneurial household in south London and has intended to work for herself since her teenage years. After earning a Business & Economics degree, she worked for two years at managing consultancy Accenture, where she advised the firm’s graduate intake on how to prepare for promotion. In 2012 she left and set up The Be Group, which specialises in personal branding, improving communication skills and improving employability of clients.

Encouraged by her fiancé, Miller entered for The Apprentice in February, was accepted in March and filming began in April. The presentations seen in last night’s final were filmed in June, but the decision of Lord Sugar to back Mark Wright’s online marketing project over Miller’s hosiery idea was not revealed to the rivals until late last week. In the intervening six months Miller has been developing her concept and is now ready to move quickly – with appropriate backing.

Drapers’ editorial director Eric Musgrave appeared on the show as a consultant to Lord Sugar, click here to read his review of the result.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Good luck felt the other guy was full of ??? Never knew the word I was so important top an individual til I heard him talk.
    We shall see!!

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  • Sugar picked a salesman over a business man, which is him all over. Salesman are two- a-penny in what was the biggest fix the show has seen so far.

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  • If any manufacturer can turn around her idea quickly into product, then it is the perfect online online customer would order 3 or 4 shades at first to find their match then repeat order via her website. The flurry of interest from being on telly should last a couple of months and would drive traffic to her site straight away.
    A website could be set up now and customers could register and receive an offer when the product is ready for sale?
    I wish her luck but she would only be a figure head (like in a celeb range) and would need to cut a percentage deal or promo fee with the maker.

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