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leeds digital fashion week vol.1, recap

leeds digital fashion week vol.1, recap

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Later this week we will be announcing details of Leeds Digital Fashion Week: Volume 2, which will take place this March. First though, we thought we would take a look back at some of the highlights of the first #LDFW which we presented in October last year.

The whole motivation behind LDFW was to start to tell the story of the Leeds fashion industry. We wanted to strike a balance between past, present and future. We did this by examining the history of Leeds fashion industry including a look back to the city’s manufacturing glory days and some of the great brands that have strong ties to the city like Burton. Simon Zimmerman created a film which examined his own family’s links to the fashion industry in Leeds: From The Same Cloth: A Family History Of Clothing Manufacture in Leeds

In the present we looked at some of the designers and brands making waves on the Leeds scene. Lizzie Harrison introduced us to four brands and products that are designed and made in Leeds. The Hebe team went to see Leeds brand Antiform for an informal photo-shoot, spent a day filming with Leeds couture designer James Steward and hung out in Leeds ‘independent department store’ Birds Yard to see how their great project worked.

We looked towards the future and some of the fantastic talent emerging in the city at the moment, with focus on recent Leeds College of Art graduates Poppy Reynolds & Alias, Lucie Graham and Ellie Ford. Speaking of Leeds College of Art, we worked with undergraduate students on a ‘street’ style series, which proved extremely popular. We also went to see some of the students at Leeds City College to talk about their own style and to some of the Fashion Retail students to talk about their course and hopes for future careers. 

We checked in with a number of industry professionals with links to Leeds to talk about their own projects and career paths. Shang-Ting Peng spoke about her recent book tour, which included being shot for Vogue Magazine. Bradley Taylor talked about his journey from Harvey Nichols in Leeds, to his current role as Head of Group Visual Merchandising and Store Concept at Mulberry. I talked to Leeds designer Rav Matharu about his own path in the fashion industry, including winning Leeds Fashion Show ‘Designer of The Year’; becoming Head Designer at House of Billiam; and the re-launch of his own brilliant work as the Cloth Surgeon. Leeds-born model Sam Cunningham was in town during LDFW so we checked in with her to talk about her career and some of the great brands she has worked with in recent years.

We focused on fashion retail in Leeds and looked at what 2013 might hold, including the arrival of Trinity Leeds. We met Arcadia supremo Sir Philip Green as he visited the new flagship Topshop Topman on Briggate, which was opened the day before with a DJ set from Pixie Geldof. We ran a daily competition with Leeds brand Nicholas Deakins and checked in with Victoria Quarter Director John Bade to talk about the history behind the development. I was joined by Trinity Leeds Director David Laycock and award-winning blogger Eleanor Snare to talk about the fashion retail scene in Leeds and the importance of independent retailers to a city centre mix. 

When planning the first Leeds Digital Fashion Week, we often talked internally about the scene here and the stories we wanted to tell. We are really happy with the start we made, but we are only just getting started. During #LDFW Vol. 2 we will tell new stories in new ways and we will be adding a number of ‘off-line’ events to the programme. We will release details of what we are planning later this week so stay tuned and keep supporting.

To keep up to date with all #LDFW news and to find out how you can get involved please sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.


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