Owner, Lewis Yates, Billericay, aged 26
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Lewis Tweddell has taken his father’s moribund menswear retail business and turned it into the Best New Business winner at the 2010 Drapers Awards.
Tweddell has focused on an authoritative mix of brands - 7 For All Mankind, Almost Famous, Duchamp, Holland Esquire, Mulberry and True Religion among them - and the kind of service that great indies thrive on.
While Tweddell grew up in the Yates business, which was renamed from Yates to Lewis Yates when it relaunched in October 2008, he left in his early 20s to try his hand at stockbroking. Tweddell quickly found something lacking. Fashion was in his blood. “The City wasn’t me. I could only think about fashion,” he says.
By this time, Yates had just two branches remaining, and both were destined for closure. So he bought the Billericay store from his father, created a sumptuous interior, convinced brands to support the new business - and now Lewis Yates is all about the future.
Tweddell says the recognition the Drapers Award represents is his proudest achievement so far, and is acknowledgement that he is “doing something right”.