John Gibson: Business is material to Velvet

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Smooth operator. Edinburgh girl Velvet McMillan ran her own business, a sideline, while she was 21 and studying law at Aberdeen University.

“I got – coerced if you like – fellow students to bring in vintage fur coats and named the modest enterprise Just Vintage. It proved so worthwhile that I’m thinking about launching something similar next year and I’m considering calling it Vintage Victoria.”

While Velvet, blessed with the eye-catching Christian name by parents David and Mary McMillan, admits to a “passion for fashion”, her all-consuming ambition is to make it in the legal profession. Twenty-four next month, she went back to Aberdeen for a post-grad course and returned home with hons.

Velvet inherited the entrepreneurial streak from her perfectionist parents, ensconced in an East Lothian castle last time I saw them. She’s a former Loretto pupil and she has two sisters schooling there.


. . . This is the redoubtable Esther Rantzen with her foot on the gas: “When I interviewed chef Raymond Blanc, I asked him the secret to being a wonderful cook and he told me cooking food is putting love on a plate.”