Police protective wear supplier MLA teams up with Yorkshire designer James Steward to launch couture collection at York Fashion Week 2024

Yorkshire fashion designer James Steward has teamed up with one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of police protective wear to create a special haute couture fashion collection that will launch at York Fashion Week next month.

MLA, based near Pocklington, designs and supplies every police force in the UK with equipment ranging from public order helmets to flame retardant balaclavas. The company has been working for several years with James, who is currently designing a low-profile blunt protection garment for the US market.

James has more than 25 years’ experience as a couture fashion designer, and has worked with a host of celebrities. He designed a dress for Kylie Minogue, which she wore to the Brit Awards after show party, a top for Victoria Beckham for an interview with Michael Parkinson, and several red-carpet dresses for Yorkshire actor Katherine Kelly. He also designed and made singer Corinne Bailey Rae’s wedding dress.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new MLA joint collection, called Lupton Steward, will see James work with clients to create their dream, made-to-measure outfits, from mother-of-the-bride to race-day dresses. There will be an initial consultation with James, who will sketch out a bespoke design with the client. The team will then create the pattern, make the toile for an initial fitting, and then create and fit the garment.

Yorkshire fashion designer James Steward in his studio. James currently works with MLA but is also a celebrity couture fashion designer.Yorkshire fashion designer James Steward in his studio. James currently works with MLA but is also a celebrity couture fashion designer.
Yorkshire fashion designer James Steward in his studio. James currently works with MLA but is also a celebrity couture fashion designer.

See our pick of M&S SS24 dresses and jackets here

Designs from the collection will be launched at York Fashion Week in May. Joy Lupton, a director at MLA, said: “There is a wealth of talent in our production and sewing rooms. We pride ourselves on being able to cater for specific requirements from individual police forces and it is the talent and vision of the team we work with, which enables us to do this.

“I have a real passion for clothes and fashion and have had several pieces designed by James before he came to work with us. It made sense to utilise the expertise of James, along with our brilliant seamstresses.”

James said: “It’s amazing to be getting into fashion with the support of such a talented team. I’ve enjoyed turning my hand to this new side of design and learning about all the fabrics and textiles involved in creating specific pieces for the police market, but fashion is where it all began. I love to be able to work with individuals to create something which is going to make them feel full of confidence and I’m really excited to have this opportunity to do this again with the support of MLA.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The project is being led by MLA production manager Aimee Duclos who studied at London College of Fashion.Clients can contact her for more information or to arrange an appointment with James.

York Fashion Week tickets available here

Some examples of James’s work will be modelled at York Art Gallery on May 4 as part of The Indie Runway at York Fashion week. Several of the MLA team, including Joy and Aimee, will be modelling pieces created for them by James.

York Fashion Week returns on May 2-6 with events, workshops, catwalks and more across the City. The popular Breast Friends York runway show will take place on Thursday, May 2, at 7pm in Browns Department Store, showcasing fashion modelled by people moving on from a breast cancer diagnosis.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.