AN TEENAGE entrepreneur is dressed for success after having his clothing line picked up by an international retailer.
Preston Brown, of Fulwell, is aiming to conquer the clothing industry after his home-grown label, Simple Clothing, was scouted by Topman.
The 19-year-old, who started the company with only £400 when he was 17, is thrilled.
He said: “You see designer brands like Gucci all over the world.
“But you don’t really see urban brands, so my ultimate aim would to be recognised nationwide, or even worldwide.
“I had approached Topshop myself in 2013, but never got anywhere, then it was the Topman Sunderland store manager, Gerard Purvis, who spotted Simple Clothing.
“He chose me and he has been a great help – I’m grateful to him.”
Topman asked its staff to look for local clothing brands which are doing well in the area, to sell in its stores.
Gerard Purvis saw shoppers wearing Simple Clothing “at least once a day” and chose to start stocking it.
Preston, who also opened city centre clothing store Port Independent, with business partner Harry Adamson in 2013, will showcase 16 best-selling items out of his 54-piece spring-summer 2014 collection, in the Sunderland Topman store.
The range, which the former graphic design apprentice designed and created himself, will be officially launched in the store, in the Bridges shopping centre, on Saturday.
Topman hand-picked items from the range, including vests, shorts, long-sleeved tops, and T-shirts.
“My friends have been a massive help to me in making the brand go from strength-to-strength,” said Preston.
“Without them wearing the clothes I would never have been able to sell them.
“When I first started they used to come to my house and buy them.
“There used to be people coming in and out of the house, and it got on my mam’s nerves, though I think she secretly liked it.
“Since then my family have been really supportive.” Preston, who also designed Simple Clothing’s website and runs it full-time, is looking forward to growing the business further.
He said: “Once the website was built I had people placing orders locally, and some from America and Australia.
“And this is the first year that I have done things properly and had collections.
“I’ve got the autumn/winter 2014 collection coming out soon.”
Gerard Purvis, said: “We were really impressed, because Preston is a local lad and he has done this all off his own back, and has been so successful in such a short time.
“He is very business-minded and his collection is really up-to-date with our brand.
“We have had a really positive reaction from customers and we are really excited to get the partnership up-and-running.
“If it works well there are options to take Simple Clothing into other stores and sell it on the website.”