Fashion designer to singer - we speak to Huddersfield’s Jade Moss

Fashion designer Jade Moss has switched 
her attention to music with the release of her first EP. Catherine Scott reports.

Jade Moss left Huddersfield at 18 to pursue her dream of being a fashion designer now she is branching out into the musice scene Picture: Zoe Lakeman

Jade Moss has always been a bit different.

“I remember walking through the streets of Holmfirth and people looking at me because of the clothes I wore and the colour I dyed my hair. I think I’ve always been a bit out there,” says Jade.

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Jade was born in Dewsbury but her family moved to Huddersfield when she was still a baby.

Jade Moss with three year old daughter Blue

“I was always very creative and into vintage stuff and when I was 16 I started buying and selling vintage items and designing and making my own clothes designed on the vintage fashion I loved,” recalls Jade.

When she was 18, she decided to leave Yorkshire and head to London, determined to make her mark.

“My family wanted me to go to college but I had so many ideas and I just felt I needed to be in London. But they were okay with it as I was very sensible – I had an old head on young shoulders and was determined to make a success.”

She already had contacts at Camden Market through selling her vintage-inspired clothes.

Jade Moss who's EP is out this month Picture Zoe Lakeman

“I was young and cheeky and very determined which I think helped – I was also very lucky. He gave me a shoe box-sized space which could just about fit two rails of clothes.”

This then expanded into boutiques selling her own label designs.

Her designs have featured in major high street stores as well as huge online retailers, mixing old retro design with colourful contemporary fashions to create a look entirely her own.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing as she became more established and employed more staff to run her boutiques and labels.

“I did learn the hard way,” she admits. “I didn’t get everything right by any means and I did lose money a few times – there are a lot of sharks out there.”

At her height she had three boutiques and two labels, but she had started to fall out of love with the fashion industry.

“It was vary hard, living month to month, paying and managing staff and sky-high rents on the shops. I’d been doing it 12 years and I just had too much going on. I was 30 and I realised I just didn’t want to do it any more.”

So she closed the shops and went to live abroad for a few years. 
“It was a really radical decision just to shut everything, but I am so glad I did it now.”

She moved to Florence in Italy where she lived for four years and that is where she met the father of her three-year-old daughter, Blue.

“I decided to come back to London to have Blue and that’s when I started writing music,” says Jade.

“I’d always been able to sing and I wanted to combine this with my fashion – I think I wanted to take over the world.”

Already aware of her raw and unique singing voice, Jade rediscovered her true purpose after the birth of Blue.

“I’ve always had a melancholic 1940s tone to my music, mixed in with a bit of 1980s now.”

As with everything in her life, Jade’s enthusiasm and passion seems to make doors open for her.

“I ended up writing with a really big producer but then they tried to pigeon hole me and that just isn’t me. I have always wanted to do my own thing whether it is fashion or music.”

And so she went off and made her own music, the way she wanted. But then out of the blue she received a call from a label that were happy for her to be herself and they were supportive of everything she wanted to do.

The result is a single and EP released last week which she says has a distinctly retro feel.

Her latest single, Hey Babe, 
talks about true love in a disposable and shallow world and about meeting someone new and making it clear to be careful how they play their cards when they have a queen in their hands. Wrapped up in a sound which blends classic, sultry jazz with pop and trip-hop, it’s 
the perfect introduction to an 
artist who never takes ‘no’ for an answer.

But all this has come while bringing up Blue, who is now three and half, as a single mum, although she does share weekend care with Blue’s dad.

“It is a really hard, juggling my music with being a good mum to Blue. You feel constantly guilty. She goes to nursery and I make sure that I have Friday and Sundays off. Monday to Thursday I am in the studio recording but I make sure that we spend Sunday together,” says Jade.

“But I do also think it is good for her to see mummy working really hard. I am doing this for both of us.”

Jade says, unlike the fashion industry when you are always selling or pushing something, with music she can just enjoy what she is doing.

“I’m enjoying the process of making music – this time I am not going to run before I can walk.”
Jade describes her music as having a retro feel and is having fun making her music videos when she lets her creative mind run wild.

“The video is a bit tongue in cheek with an influence of Quentin Tarantino thrown in.”

But after a day recording or shooting a video there is always Blue to bring some normality back to her life. “Then I go home and Blue wants me to pretend to be a cat with her. It is very grounding and a reminder of what is important and that’s her,” says Jade, who still has family living in Yorkshire.

“Being a mum is the hardest and yet the most rewarding thing I have done.”