Fashion: Leeds Fashion Initiative launched at Leeds City Museum

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Leeds City Museum was taken over by fashion talent of the present and the future at the prestigious launch of the Leeds Fashion Initiative.

The launch marks the beginning of the Leeds Fashion Initiative’s lofty ambition to regenerate the city’s fashion, clothing and textiles industry. Some of the country’s leading fashion brands and former Centre for Fashion Enterprise protégés including Agi & Sam, Rejina Pyo and Christopher Raeburn, demonstrated their support for the LFI by providing key looks for the launch show. Other notable brands included Giles by Giles Deacon; Aquascutum and Terry de Havilland.

Alongside these, local emerging talent was showcased, including Studio 805, Cabba and Danielle Romeril, all of whom have also been nurtured by the CFE. Many of the garments in the show were made using cloth from A W Hainsworth & Sons, a key stakeholder in the LFI. Creating quality cloth in Yorkshire since 1783, it is sought after by international brands such as Chanel and Valentino, established designers Katie Eary and Jenny Schwarz and by some of the young new designers featured in the LFI launch show such as Zoe Childs and Helen Anthony. Westrow Hairdressing, Architect Hair and Seema Ghir and team were responsible for the stunning beauty looks created in line with the look and feel of the show.

This idea of collaboration is the backbone of the LFI, which has not only gained support from major fashion houses, but also from local educational institutions such as Leeds College of Art, Leeds Beckett University, the University of Huddersfield and the University of Leeds. A dedicated team at fashion concept store Lambert’s Yard has been responsible for bringing together the hard work of everyone involved. Retail director Adam Jagger opened the show saying, “Collaboration is at the heart of the LFI - the core belief that everyone has something to offer that is mutually beneficial. We’re proud to be bringing the old with the new, presenting young new designers in a city with a long history in fashion and textiles.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “The Leeds Fashion Initiative is a great example of a public/private partnership that aims to build on Leeds’ industrial heritage to help create the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the Council are very pleased to offer it their support.”

Other dignitaries included Leeds based fashion designer, Anita Massarella; Leeds City Council’s Head of Innovation and Sector Development, Simon Brereton; Tom Hainsworth and Julie Greenhough from A.W. Hainsworth & Sons; Rosie Battye and Cassandra Hughes from The Prince’s Trust; and David Maddison, Centre Manager at Trinity Leeds.

Land Securities, owner and developer of Trinity Leeds are a key sponsor of the LFI, alongside key logistics sponsor, Torque.

Photography: Alice Wint