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Drapers 30 Under 30 2020: Rory Westbrook, founder and CEO, True Vintage

Age: 25

A typical millennial entrepreneur, Rory Westbrook built his business from his bedroom floor. He started vintage etailer True Vintage armed with just his laptop while studying at Portsmouth University in 2013.

The business is now one of Europe’s largest vintage retailers – it has dispatched more than 92,000 orders since it launched and lists an average of 125 new preloved items to its website every day.

Turnover was on track to hit £1.7m in 2019, and the brand has built a cult following of shoppers who snap up its extensive collection of retro sport and streetwear from brands such as Adidas, Fila, Nike and Stone Island. It has 323,000 Instagram followers.

True Vintage has also dipped its toe into the world of bricks-and-mortar retail by launching a series of pop-ups with Urban Outfitters across stores in London, Manchester, Leeds and Cheltenham throughout last year.

“I always had a passion for clothing,” Westbrook says. “I’d had a few part-time jobs in bricks-and-mortar stores, but True Vintage was my first full-time endeavour. As the business progressed, I focused on free-to-use marketing channels such as Instagram to build the brand and basically taught myself what I needed to know, when I needed to know it, as I went.”

He points to Christiaan Ashworth and John Parker, founders of leading menswear independent End Clothing, as figures in the fashion industry he admires.

“I love everything about the company they’ve built, and they’ve inspired me to build a business like theirs”.

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