Edinburgh-born Gregor Wilson has a busy year ahead of him, not least because he is in the final year of his joint business and law degree, but because his startup Van Der, an online fashion store for men, is due to be launched next week!
So who do Van Der have their sights set on?
- Males aged between 18-28 who are fashion conscious but do not believe that fashion should be a chore. Their pieces are effortlessly cool, so you can be effortlessly cool.
- People who might buy from other brands but actually want more quality, individuality and exclusivity at an affordable price.
Why would you choose Van Der?
- For exclusivity: because collections are small, once gone they’re gone
- For affordability: because exclusivity doesn’t have to be expensive
- For quality and taste: because the clothes have clean and simple lines; the pieces are not ostentatious
- For individuality: because the cuts of the clothes are different, inspired by a Scandinavian ethic
What makes Van Der interesting to me is that it’s a small startup with an international focus. The one criticism I encounter time and again about Scottish startups is that they are not globally ambitious! If you’ve been to any of the MIT workshops hosted by Informatics Ventures you’ll have heard the likes of Ken Morse talk about how lack of global ambition is often cited by investors as a reason for their reluctance to invest in startups in Scotland.
Gregor has already said that his professional dream would be to rival and surpass the major players on the highstreet and online. While Van Der will be launching as an online venture next week, they are already thinking about a physical store which will probably be based in Shanghai within a year or two. Van Der’s brand-focus has always been international.
The team are also scattered across the globe: with a US-based (New York) business partner and graphic designer, a China-based operations manager and a Scotland-based (Edinburgh) PR person who is final year student Natali Chanany – a little woman with a big personality, and passion for startups!
The online store will launch on Monday 29th November 2010. So give a nice warm welcome to the new kid on the block, and pop into http://www.vander.co when it launches next Monday! A 60 Second Interview with Gregor will appear on StartupCafe later this week. In the meantime, go and become a Van Der fan on their facebook page.