Local Fashion Designer Storms Fashion Week With First Collection

An enterprising young fashion designer from Hebburn has been making waves at London Fashion Week, thanks to help and guidance from TEDCO Business Support and the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme.

Jordan Bagnall (22) from Hebburn launched his new label J.JAMES with a fashion show consisting of 30 pieces at London Fashion Week as part of the Silk Road Fashion showcase aimed at promoting talent from up and coming designers of the Silk Road Countries to industry influencers.

The collection was hailed as a success by attendees with Jordan creating each piece from his home studio in Hebburn, South Tyneside whilst simultaneously working for the South Shields Custom House seasonal pantomime.

Commenting on the show and his new business launch, Jordan said:

“It’s been a hectic few weeks but I’m absolutely stunned by the reaction to this first collection from my label, J.JAMES.

“The pieces are very much influenced by street wear and identity as a concept with the use of leather, custom-printed fabrics and hand-sewn applique details which when combined create a kind of accessible urban vibe that sums up the kind of fashion-forward but ultimately very wearable clothing offered by J.JAMES. I like to call it Dramatic Daywear and the collection perfectly encapsulates the ethos of J.JAMES.

“I have wanted to be a fashion designer since I was 3 years old and have been designing clothes ever since and so having my own label is an absolute dream come true for me. It’s daunting, of course unveiling your first collection but the response has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m already looking ahead to how I can grow and develop the business now I am getting the name out there in the industry.”

Jordan grew up in North London before moving to South Tyneside aged 13 to be closer to his family. After completing a foundation degree in fashion design at Newcastle College, Jordan graduated from the University of East London in 2016 before moving back up North. His plan was to engage with designers he had worked with previously and seek more permanent work placements but he struggled with finding full time work in the industry.

Jordan continues:

“When it came to finding more permanent employment, I was finding it difficult to really gain a foothold in the industry as the opportunities were quite limited in the North East for the kind of work I wanted to undertake. So after signing on at the job centre, I decided to take matters into my own hands and start researching the idea of starting my own business and setting up a label.”

Jordan was put in contact with Allison Cowen, business advisor from TEDCO Business Support to look at ways to bring together Jordan’s passion for fashion design with a workable business model to set up and run a fashion label. Allison suggested the New Enterprise Allowance Scheme (NEA) could help to support Jordan in his goals to create a new business from his base in Hebburn.

Jordan continues:

“I knew the creative and artistic route I wanted to take with the business but Allison has really helped me understand the intricacies of running a business as a self-employed person, from accounting and tax to cash flow forecasts. Like many people with a more artistic side, I needed help understanding how to use the business plan I had created and make it into a workable model to manage the administrative side of an enterprise as well as creating the final product. Allison introduced me to a number of business owners who act as mentors to me now which is an invaluable resource to have when running a new business.

“It’s been a real eye-opening few months but now that the collection has been unveiled and my first show completed, I can concentrate on creating further awareness of the brand with the contacts I made at London Fashion Week. I’ve had stylists, photographers and models contacting me to use the pieces as part of various projects and custom orders from clients so I’m happy to capitalise on this success to really push forward in developing the J.JAMES label.”

TEDCO Business Support delivers the New Enterprise Allowance scheme and provides help to eligible candidates aged 18 and over considering self-employment.

Allison Cowen, TEDCO Business Support advisor comments:

“Jordan is a very talented individual with a life-long passion for fashion design. Given his skills, contacts and ambition it was a natural progression for him to create and run his own fashion label. He has a very steady head on his shoulders and every stage of the process in setting up the label has been carefully managed ensure the business, as well as the clothing, will be a success. I wish him the very best of luck and look forward to working with him more in the coming months as J.JAMES gains momentum.”

For further information on the NEA scheme or any of the business start-up programmes offered by TEDCO Business Support, please visit www.tedco.org.