Leeds has always been a pioneer in the fashion industry, one of the first ever Fulling Mills was located in Temple Newsam in around 1185. Meet the people paving a new path for Leeds’ fashion industry:
Sadia Gillen is a Leeds born Freelance Stylist and Creative in the fashion industry.
Sadia has created iconic looks working with fashion brands, music artists and celebrities such as Kiss Beauty, Cernucci, 3 Mobile, Krept & Konan and Kaz Crossley. She has also worked with Leeds royalty, including Graft, Mya Craig, Sian Gabbidon and Temz, styling for music videos, events and photoshoots to bring their visions to life.
As a personal shopper in Leeds and other UK cities, Sadia also works with luxury retailers and independent brands to source apparel and host shopping appointments – regularly shopping for clients at the likes of Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols in Leeds City Centre.
Although Sadia now works internationally, she built a solid network of creatives in Leeds which gave her the skills to get to where she is now. The power of collaboration within the city was key to this, and she continues to work with the Leeds community.
Surrounded by exceptional talent in the city, Sadia focuses on bringing them together. To create opportunities within Leeds, she hosts pop up and networking events, helping to showcase the city which she is proud of.
“My idea of success is doing what I love everyday and seeing everyone win together.”
With that in mind, we asked Sadia to showcase some inspiring women working in the fashion industry from Yorkshire.
Georgia Wilkinson, Fashion Designer, Génie Studios
Génie Studios, a clothing brand based in Leeds, is the brainchild of designer and owner Georgia Wilkinson. The line blends elements of streetwear, power dressing and androgynous styles to create a collection that is both alluring and unconventional. With a focus on premium textures, subtle hues and artful designs inspired by lingerie, Georgia has made Génie Studios a destination for those who dare to break away from the norm and set their own trends.
Instagram: @georgiawilkinson / @genie__studios
Matchuela Mateus, Makeup Artist, MKM
From studying Fashion Marketing and Business at Huddersfield University to go on and become a master in her field, Matchuela has 9 years experience of successfully running a freelance makeup business – actively learning to further enhance her skills, which she shares to her students through teaching. Running her own business has allowed Matchuela to work with influencers, music artists and many celebrities such as Ashanti, Jordyn Woods and Mel B. She takes pride in adapting to the ever changing world of beauty everyday, from understanding skin tones to mastering makeup on aged skin. Matchuela hosted her first makeup masterclass back in 2022 at Koncept Studios where she also continues to teach and host one to one makeup appointments.
Georgina Tolson, Fashion Designer, GADO
GADO is a brand created by designer Georgina Tolson in 2016. Georgina combines effortless sophistication with undaunted edge to create individually tailored and hand finished garments that stand out and make an impression. Whilst studying a PR degree in New York, Georgina spent her spare time visiting the thrift stores, buying garments, deconstructing them and making them into something new. What started as a hobby quickly became a full time job as these pieces became a hit between friends and colleagues, so she decided to return to the UK to follow her dreams, where she studied fashion and clothing at Leeds Art University. Years later Georgina was able to have her own design studio in the heart of Leeds city centre. Leeds has such a fantastic network of creatives and she utilises that as much as possible, working with stylists, photographers, models and other designers in the area.
Casey Jean, Vintage Store Owner, Jean Vintage
Jeàn Vintage is a UK based luxury vintage store founded by Yorkshire born Casey Jean. Described as ‘addicted to all things aesthetic, sexy, nostalgia and high-fashion’, Casey takes pride in ‘originality, authenticity and affordability’ and the team source the most exclusive pieces from around the world with the aim of making high-fashion more accessible. Passionate about sustainable fashion, she encourages positively conscious shopping that can also make a return on your investment. Jean Vintage is now available to shop in Selfridges London.
Vivienne Edge, Photographer, Vivienne Edge Photography
Vivienne from Leeds has what many people may call the dream job. She travels around the UK – and even the world – to photograph models and celebrities! She works with a whole bunch of well known names such as Bianca Gascoigne, Georgia Steel, Katie Price, Zara McDermott, Gemma Collins, Danielle Lloyd, Chloe Ferry and Kerry Katona. She has also photographed the front of Playboy, FHM, Closer and New Magazine. Having been working in the fashion industry for over 10 years, she has grown her brand Vivienne Edge Photography and also now teaches photography courses at the Harrogate studio to help new photographers build their brand. She absolutely loves her work, saying “there’s nothing better than making women feel confident and showing them how beautiful they are”
Alissa Eady, Fashion Model
Alissa’s modelling journey began at the start of lockdown when she was scouted on Instagram and went from working in retail in York to modelling full time. She has modelled with brands such as ASOS and is now a full time model travelling and working with some amazing brands. Alissa says she hasn’t felt joy like it since she has been part of the fashion world!