Fashion designer goes back to bridalwear with launch of new business in time for top independent wedding show

Debbie Huntley at This Day Studio in Danish Buildings in Hull.

A bridalwear specialist who ditched making her own designer garments and instead moved into the world of PPE is back at her creative best after opening a new studio and will unveil her latest work at a major industry event.

Debbie Huntley, who won a designer-to-watch award with Asos and also featured on The Clothes Show live, will launch her new venture This Day Studio at The Un-Wedding Show in Sheffield on Sunday 4 September.

Having recently moved into her own studio at Danish Buildings in the heart of Hull’s Old Town, Debbie has rekindled the inspiration to develop her talent for combining style and sustainability.

She said: “I graduated from Huddersfield University in fashion design and marketing and promotion and it was going well. I was doing some freelance work and I ran my own small, independent women’s wear label, L2 Mae.”

In a change of direction Debbie joined workwear and safety specialist Arco as an in-house designer, left after about five years to have her daughter and then returned to the industry working for a major brand as a product development manager.

But the pull of PPE, hi-vis and corporate uniforms couldn’t match Debbie’s dreams as a designer and circumstances conspired to take her back to her first love.

First, Debbie’s best friend asked her to design and create her wedding dress and then the owner of Ghost Orchid Bride in Hull asked for help with some projects.

Debbie said: “I’d had a successful career in the corporate world but I felt my skills and talent weren’t doing anything. I felt I missed design work and I liked the idea of working in the bridal market.

“Helping my friends convinced me to have my own studio again and welcome brides into the space. I decided I need to go for it and take risks, and things started rolling into place.”
A conversation with another friend who runs Clay hair salon in Hull alerted Debbie to the availability of a unit in Danish Buildings, an historic building in High Street, Hull, which was bought by Allenby Commercial and opened in 2017 after being renovated to attract the creative sector.

Georgia Allenby, Design and Marketing Manager at Allenby Commercial, said: “The vision for Danish Buildings and the adjacent Bayles House was always to provide high quality space in an historic part of the city centre which creatives and professionals find inspirational.

“It says everything that Debbie was directed to us by her friend who has a hair salon just along the same street. We’ve got a hair stylist in Danish Buildings along with a tattooist, physiotherapist, web designer, mental health and wellbeing specialist and more. The place is buzzing and This Day Studio is a great fit.”

Debbie added: “The studio is perfect because it has two rooms, one for trying on and another for making things. Allenby Commercial have been really supportive and Hull City Council provided some help from their start-up grants so I could buy the pattern cutting table.

“I was so busy getting the business up and running that I missed out on this year’s London Bridal Fashion Week. I’ll go for that next year but for now the focus is on The Un-Wedding Show.

“I’ll be going with a really modern fashion take on bridal and pieces that can go beyond your wedding day. I want to create things that are about a bride for the day but also about what they can do with it afterwards, things you can do to enable them to wear it again.
“I want to speak to brides face to face and I’m really looking forward to the event. It’s one of the big independents with modern brides who want a wedding that represents them.”

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