Case Study: Fashion Fiesta

A major challenge faced by many up-and coming-designers is finding opportunities to showcase their work.

Most fashion shows and events focus on established designers and retailers so are not always willing to take a chance on someone new. 

Even if inspired creatives are given the chance they are often overshadowed by the bigger names and brands making it difficult for them to get the recognition they deserve. 

There is also a need for sponsorship to aid community projects and local charities, many of whom still struggle to find funds or raise awareness for their cause.  

When Fashion Fiesta was set up as a community project in 2015 it was essential to us that we supported up-and-coming designers and those trying to break out into the industry, thus giving them the necessary exposure needed to fulfil their design dreams. Alongside supporting creatives, we wanted to help local charities grow to better aid the local community and create volunteer opportunities for young people. 

Even after 9 years these continue to be Fashion Fiesta’s three main goals! 

What makes Fashion Fiesta different from other fashion shows, you might ask? 

Fashion Fiesta is community lead, everyone who supports Fashion Fiesta, be it the committee, the creatives backstage, or even the people who donate their time and or services to the show is a volunteer and gives their time for free. Fashion Fiesta is a Community Interest Company or CIC which means it is a non-profit organisation. All proceeds are disturbed between our chosen charities and local projects. 

Fashion Fiesta relies on sponsorship for the show to run, from the venue to the welcome drinks and the prizes that are given to the designers, models and makeup artists. 

In return for their generous contributions, we provide them with support for their advertising across all our marketing leaflets and posters. 

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, our top prize-winning designers and models have been given amazing opportunities that otherwise may not have been open to them. Prizes from past shows have included free business coaching, photoshoots with professional photographers and marketing workshops. These opportunities have enabled our designers and models to take the next steps in their fashion journey and future careers. At Fashion Fiesta no one goes home empty-handed, all volunteers walk away with professional photos of their work whether that be headshots, photos of their designs or photos of their stunning makeup artistry. 

Most of our sponsors are corporate enterprises giving our designers the unique chance to network and explore the possibilities of partnerships and connections.   Fashion Fiesta is not just about fashion it is about so much more, It is about bringing communities together. 

In the words of Rachel Hatfield, our Founder; 

“We believe that fashion and art have the power to bring communities together, and that’s what Fashion Fiesta is all about”. 

Our designers are all artists, and our charities are what make our communities thrive.  

Thanks to Fashion Fiesta our designers, models and make-up artists have gone on to do some wonderful things.

Our first winner, Victoria Reddington, who won back in 2015 with her ISACC AVA collection went on to showcase her work at New York Fashion Week 2016. This was thanks to one of our sponsors who, having seen her collection, decided to help fund her entry for Manchester Fashion Week leading to her invitation to New York Fashion Week. As a result, Victoria’s work has been featured in several fashion magazines including:  Plitzs NEW YORK City Fashion Week, and House of Solo. 

See her in action:

In 2016 Fashion Fiesta raised £2500 for the show’s charity One In A Million a Bradford based charity which helps children and young people engage in sport and the arts to unlock their potential. Their ethos is that every child is “one in a million” and should be given the opportunity to shine. They were also our main charity for our 2017 show when we raised a staggering £3500 which means in total Fashion Fiesta has raised £6,000 to support young children in the Bradford area. 

Other charities we have supported include PEER Support and Simon on the Streets for whom we raised £3500 from our show in 2018.  PEER Support: help children who have been affected by cybercrime, cycler-bulling and online abuse. Simon on the Streets are a Leeds based charity who help homeless people in Yorkshire through community support and finding new homes.  

In 2019 Fashion Fiesta raised £4000, our biggest total to date! The money was split between Teenage Cancer Trust and Ryan Rides Across Europe a campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention. Funds also went towards The Lee Fancourt Fund which was set up by Ryan Anderton in memory of his friend Lee Fancourt, a multi winning Guinness World Record holding cyclist who took his own life in January 2018.  Ryan also used Fashion Fiesta’s donation to help set up ‘It’s Worth Talking About’ a mental health charity that runs peer support groups across Yorkshire. 

Over the years we have had many success stories come out of Fashion Fiesta, one being that of volunteer model Laura Moore. Laura has been volunteering with us as a model since 2015 and has been a part of every show since.  She loves modelling and showing off new designs, our designers were so impressed by her that she has since gone on to model for them in other shows and magazines. We are proud to say it all began with Fashion Fiesta! 

Our very own Mollie Philips first came to Fashion Fiesta as a volunteer make-up artist in 2016 where she met up with another make-up artist and together, they went on to work on projects for Leeds TV, Amazon Prime and more. Mollie went on to volunteer as a makeup artist again at our 2017 show before joining Fashion Fiesta as a  committee member in 2018. She has since become an integral part of Fashion Fiesta and as a result of meeting with Rachel, our Founder she now has a full-time career in marketing with SHOO, Fashion Fiestas’ parent company. 

We can not wait to see what will come out of Fashion Fiesta 2023!