Savile Row’s first women only tailor used uni fees to launch firm

Savile Row’s first ever women-only tailor who was ‘bored out of her mind’ at university reveals how she used her TUITION FEES to launch her business aged just 20

  • Phoebe Gormley, 24, started the first women’s only tailor on Savlle Row 
  • She started Gormley & Gamble when she was 20 after dropping out of university 
  • Phoebe swas ‘bored out of mind’ during her studies and wanted a challenge 

An entrepreneur who launched Savile Row’s first ever women’s-only tailor has revealed how she dropped out of university and used her tuition fees to launch her business.

Phoebe Gormley, 24, is the founder of Gormley & Gamble on the iconic London street, which for hundreds of years had only catered to men.

She was studying for a degree in costume design at Nottingham Trent University but became frustrated that she was spending £9,000 a year on tuition fees to attend ‘just one lecture a week’.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine on Thursday, Phoebe explained that she was ‘bored out of her mind’ at university and wanted a new challenge. 

Phoebe Gormley, 24, is the founder of Gormley & Gamble on London’s Savile Row. She started the business after she became dismayed that she was spending £9,000 a year on tuition fees to attend just one lecture a week. Pictured: Phoebe on ITV’s Lorraine on Thursday

Phoebe decided to invest her tuition fees in setting up her own business and at the age of just 20 her shop opened its doors. 

The businesswoman had completed internships in Savile Row shops as a teenager and always had a passion for design, but realised that none of the stores were catering for women.


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She explained: ‘There’s lots of menswear tailors who will dabble in women’s suits and that was always nice, but it never had that femininity that I was looking for. 

‘It was always a bit boxy or with four buttons and I really wanted something that was really elegant and feminine, and not a man’s take on what a woman would wear.’ 

It wasn’t until she started university that Phoebe came up with the idea for her business, she explained this week.

Phoebe did internships in Savile Row shops as a teenager and always had a passion for design, but most of the stores don’t cater for women (pictured: Phoebe working in her shop)

Phoebe (pictured on Lorraine today) launched Gormley & Gamble, whose suits run from a size 4 to a size 30 and are made to measure for every body shape

She used her £9,000 fees to start up her business after convincing her parents that there was a ‘gap in the market’. Pictured: Phoebe (right) on Lorraine with Carol Vorderman (left)

She said: ‘My year was the first year that the fees jumped from £3,000 a year to £9,000. It was a lot of money and for so many students, if you’re becoming a doctor or a lawyer, you definitely need all of that university time but not for a more creative, artsy based degree.

‘On so many internships before that I’d learned so much more on the job.’

Gormley & Gamble is so named for the gamble she took by leaving university and pursuing her ambition. 

She had to speak to her parents and convince them that she’d spotted a gap in the market for women’ suits.

The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, 37, is fan of suits and wore a sharp black two piece suit to the the Endeavour Fund Awards in London in May (pictured)

Model Cara Delevingne opted to wear a suit and a top hat (pictured) to the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle earlier this month

Phoebe continued: ‘After a year and a half I said to my parents I am bored out of my mind, I’m paying £9,00 a year for sometimes just one lecture a week and I really want a new challenge.’

Gormley & Gamble suits run from a size 4 to a size 30 and are made to measure for every body shape.

Phoebe is thrilled that everyone form Meghan Markle to Cara Delevingne are now wearing suits. 

She added: ‘Dropping out of university was almost a fluke, I didn’t know it was going to work; I was hoping for the best and fingers crossed. 

‘When suits became so mainstream I thought ”Ok, maybe I did see something.”’

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