Some of the most promising up-and-coming designers have their roots in Yorkshire. Megan Sutton meets three young creatives stunning the fashion world.
Yorkshire is a hothouse of fashion design, fuelled by academic excellence and enterprise and, possibly, some sort of creative elixir in the water.
Take Huddersfield-born Niall Cottrell – a shining example of talent born and bred in Yorkshire.
Cottrell, 21, is now on a placement year from Westminster University, and has moved to New York, where he is an intern for Alexander Wang.
Having already interned for Burberry and Nicholas Oakwell Couture, and worked for ASOS Marketplace to create affordable sports luxe pieces, Niall is more than prepared to take the fashion world by storm.
“Fashion design has been my main career objective since I was about 15,” he says.
He thinks it is a shame that high fasion is not easily accessed by everyone. “It seems like so little effort is going into High Street fashion, I think it’s quite sad, to be honest. It’s all driven by money.”
With this is mind, Niall’s installation artwork inspired pieces for ASOS Marketplace are high quality but considerably more affordable than designer garments.
The collection can be worn anywhere, he says. “Wear it for work, wear it out, wear it on the go.”
Like Niall, Sadie Clayton, 22, grew up in Yorkshire – she is from from Mirfield in West Yorkshire – but moved to London to study in the arts.
She has recently graduated from Kingston University, and exhibited her innovative womenswear collection at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week, where she achieved second place for the innovation award.
Her collection is centred around metalwork, and in particular, copper. “I want to be known as ‘the copper girl’, she says. “I want the copper to be my signature.”
Sadie says she specifically chose this unusual theme to ensure that she stands out from the crowd in the ever-competitive fashion world, which she describes as “very, very tough. Very cut throat”.
Despite once wanting to be a solicitor, Sadie is now very happy to have a place in the fashion world. She plans to set up her own label, and believes that her designs are best suited to music artists such as Lady Gaga and Azealia Banks, as they are “not something that you would wear every day”.
Kelly Marie Redhead, a Sheffield Hallam graduate, has created a beautiful womenswear and bridal wear collection which features brilliant whites, bold structuring and draping chains, to create a modern but elegant feel.
She launched her career on the catwalks this season at Sheffield and at Graduate Fashion Week in London. She said: “That event provides such a platform and being able to open Sheffield Hallam’s graduate fashion show this year was a great end to my degree and start of my career as a designer. Seeing my collection on the catwalk was very rewarding.”
Kelly was runner up in the university’s ‘Brightest Spark’ competition, which was judged by industry professionals at Panache Lingerie.
All three look set to follow in the footsteps of Yorkshire fashion success story Christopher Bailey, who was the first designer to be awarded the Graduate Fashion Week Gold award, and is now Burberry’s chief creative officer.
So keep an eye out for their names – and remember where you read about them first.
Kelly Marie Redhead’s designs can be seen on www.kellymarie redhead.co.uk.
Sadie Clayton’s work can be seen on www.sadieclayton.co.uk.