Victoria is a young british designer with a beautiful vintage style of ready to wear clothing, as well as being a highly celebrated fashion show producer.
She's constantly producing fashion events and clothing and showcasing her garments all around the country.
This collection is a hommage to the 60s and 70s - her passion for classic rock music fuelling the colourful design. She uses vintage materials - and all her garments are handmade with car.
She organises 2 of the biggest fashion shows in the North - The Spring Fashion Show in Manchester and The End of Summer Fashion Show in Leeds, bringing an affordable outlet for talented designers to showcase, as well as holding a fashion market where guests can buy lovely treats.
Hi Victoria, how are you doing today? Thanks for doing this interview with me
It’s fine thanks, thank you for having me.
Can you give me some background information about yourself?
I am a 22 year old creative from Nr Manchester. I use the term creative, because I seem to have so many roles, I can’t narrow it down! I have my own clothing line, producing vintage style clothing from recycled materials, and I organise two fashion shows in the north, as well as lending a hand to many others.
So how did you first get into fashion?
When I was young, I never liked what was in the shops, so I simply taught myself how to sew, so I could create something I really wanted to wear. My love of the 60s and the music really fuels the designs. I guess, I’ve never been really ‘in’ to fashion, I keep an eye the trends, but I don’t follow them much, I’ve had the same style since I was 15, and I like it.
Why did you start The End of Summer Fashion Show? How did it all begin?
It took me by surprise really. I have always been creative, making my own clothes since I was young, and studying art, textiles, graphics etc. But I just did it for myself. When I was travelling in 2009 I met a model, and we realised we lived about 5 mins away from each other in Leeds. She was really interested in what I was making, and suggested we should do a show. Since then it’s just grown, I now have another show The Spring Fashion Show in Manchester as well.
Three attributes a fashion show producer should have?
A good memory, the ability to work well with all kinds of people, and organisation skills. I find all three of these vital!!
What do you think makes your fashion shows different?
For one thing, it’s a lot cheaper to showcase than many shows! So this gives emerging designers, who have just graduated, or people who don’t have a huge marketing panel behind them the ability to get involved. I think this is really special, we get some great testimonials about people involved.
I also love the variety of clothing that we have, there is never a set theme, so the style of clothing really ranges, there’s something for everyone.
On the day of the show your survival kit will definitely include?
A pen and paper, some pins just in case and a big smile. I plan most things in advance, so actually the day of the show can be quite relaxing.
The most memorable moment so far?
There have been some great ones, what I really enjoy is just after the show is finished, seeing everyone faces, backstage and in the crowd, it gives me and everyone involved a real sense of achievement.
Tell us a difficult situation you have faced and how you got out of it
One year, the show venue had some internal miscommunication, so 2 weeks before the show we had to find a new venue! Luckily, my staff and I all pulled together got a new venue close by, and actually it went very well, we still had a big audience and no one would have even noticed!
How do you fund these events?
Upfront, I use my own money...a bit risky I know but you only get out as much as you put in and I’ve put in loads...money, time, effort so my aim is for my shows to be the best they can be and more.
Tell us about your upcoming show on Sept 9th, what should we be expecting? Any suprises?
Ohhh the designers this year come from all walks of life!
Some have been professionally trained like Naomi Ding, or Helen Barran, who has just graduated in Fashion
Studies from the University of Lincoln and is based in Leeds. Her collection is very much based on the Victorian elegance so keep an eye out for her interpretation.
Other designers are much more established within the Leeds fashion crowd such as Pop Boutique which opened it’s 1st store in Leeds back in 1994.
We also have two very exciting ethical brands Jamilia Designs which specialises in mens and womens mohair knitwear and Crystal Padmore who designs using bamboo.
So you see we really do have an eclectic range of designers showcasing this year which is why it’s really interesting to see how the they have developed themselves and put their collections together.
All of the designers are one to watch and we believe in the next few years you’ll see them either on our high streets or in major retail stores!
What would you suggest to those that want to be involved into the business?
Be persevering, sometimes you make wrong choice, but stick at it. Try to network, sometimes knowing the right person can go a long way. I also think it’s good to do your research, find out your niche or your target audience and really learn about it, it will give you an advantage, and maybe help to discover new avenues.
Thanks for your time Victoria.