Yorkshire designer Faye Hindle is making her name with signature statement silhouettes and unconventional detailing. She talks to Stephanie Smith.
Opulent, exaggerated, avant-garde and astonishingly precise, Faye Hindle designs are booked out for photo-shoots across the world.
Some pieces have just been to Ohio, some have graced the pages of cool London magazines and one – featuring an elaborate concertina pleated skirt – has recently been bought by L’Oreal for use in hair promotional campaigns and events.
Faye Hindle is a Yorkshire designer who specialises in structured silhouettes, unusual textures and unconventional techniques, featuring pleating, fabric manipulation, leather and metal working.
Last year, her work was recognised at Fashion Fiesta, a Yorkshire charity fashion event based in Bradford, where she won two awards – Best Designer and Overall Entrepreneur – for her white Hybrid collection after it was admired by fashion industry leaders and experts.
The pieces were, she says, inspired initially by the Middle Eastern women she met and served while working at Selfridges in London. “They would be in the full black, headdress and all, and then we’d go into the fitting room and they’d take that off and they would be in all these luxury garments,” she says. “I was looking at the hybrid between the very stark black outer and all the luxury underneath. So I wanted to keep to the one colour palette and show the layering and the luxury, but still keep it quite modest, so everything long and draping.”
Now 25, Faye hand-makes all her pieces for her label, working alone at her studio in Crossgates in Leeds, on the first floor of the three-storey, new-build town house she shares with her partner.
She was brought up in Whitley Bridge but her inspiration came from down south, from her great-grandmother, Milly Ryder, had been a dressmaker with her own studio opposite Harrods. Faye used to visit her at her old people’s home and enjoyed looking through her fabrics and bobbins. When Milly died about six years ago, aged almost 100, Faye was left her collection.
At school at Brayton College, Faye did a short placement at Hush, a shop in Castleford which also made and upcycled clothing. “I was much more interested in what was above the shop floor, rather than selling things,” she says.
She studied for a diploma in Fashion and Clothing at Selby College, working also at Hush to gain experience on the industrial machines. This was followed by a year’s foundation course at Harrogate College, and finally by a degree in Fashion Design and Management at the University of East London, achieving first class honours.
During her university sandwich year, Faye worked for designer Gareth Pugh in London and Paris. The experience proved invaluable. She was offered a permanent position as assistant studio manager, which she filled for four months before deciding to go back and finish her degree.
After graduating, Faye began a job as studio co-ordinator with online designer retailer Net-a-porter, shooting samples for the website, gaining useful insight into how an online fashion business works. However, she missed the creativity of designing and really wanted to establish her own label. So, back she moved to Yorkshire, living for 18 months at home in Whitley with her parents, Ivan and Jackie, and renting a studio, before moving to her current home and studio in Leeds.
Faye works part-time at the University of Leeds as a fashion department garment technician and tutor, which helps fund the development of her label, Faye Hindle Studio. The main focus is the creation of two small collections a year of avant-garde pieces. She also sells bags and slider shoes, which she calls her “bread and butter”.
Many of Faye’s pieces are made or trimmed with real fur, in particular Mongolian sheep, rabbit and goat. “I’ve always specialised in real fur,” she says, adding that the skins she uses are sourced from ethical suppliers. “I know that where I am getting it from, an animal hasn’t been killed for that purpose,” she says. “I’ve never had any problems,” she adds.
And Faye believes there is a rise in appetite for real fur. Her fur bags, which are also sold on Etsy, are flying out across the world.
For her two seasonal small capsule collections of avant-garde pieces, she sees her customer as being women aged from late 20s to mid 50s. “People with money,” she laughs.
The next collection should be ready in February, and there will be around 20 pieces ranging £150 to £650. Faye says: “The white collection really pushed me to make sure everything was perfect, because you could see every mistake, but I am going to move back to what I enjoy doing – dark, navy, still looking at texture like with my pleating, manipulating fabrics and new surface decorations, so lots of weaving, thinks like that.”
All clothing and accessories from Faye Hindle Studio at www.fayehindlestudio.com