Fashion Fiesta: taking to the catwalk for local charities in Leeds

Preparations are already well underway for Fashion Fiesta, which this year comes to Leeds for the first time in its four-year history. The event – which will be held on 4th October at aql’s historic Salem Chapel on Hunslet Lane – provides a unique platform for upcoming independent fashion designers from across the north of England to showcase their latest creations. All funds raised through the event will benefit local charities Simon on the Streets and PEERS Yorkshire

Since its beginnings four years ago, Fashion Fiesta has rapidly grown to become an unmissable fixture on the Yorkshire fashion calendar. Not only does the event provide an opportunity for upcoming and aspiring independent fashion designers to display their collections and connect with leading local businesses, it also raises funds for charities doing vital work in our communities. This year will see Fashion Fiesta come to Leeds for the first time, in what promises to be the biggest and brightest show in the event’s history. “Leeds has a long and proud association with fashion and textiles,” says Fashion Fiesta organiser Rachel Hatfield of Shoo Social Media. “It is also a hub for some of the country’s most innovative and talented designers. It is the perfect home for Fashion Fiesta 2018.”

Since its conception, Fashion Fiesta has always been about benefiting everybody who takes part. Participants and designers benefit from exposure of their creations, while also enjoying the chance to make new connections and exchange ideas. It is a supportive and nurturing environment for upcoming designers and models, with numerous opportunities to shine both on and off the catwalk. Entrepreneurial spirit is encouraged, with prizes awarded to the most talented designers, makeup artists and models. Judges will include industry experts such as Paul Alger of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, Angela Riches of H&N Magazine, and Sarah Tulip of aql – a corporate sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include agenci and several businesses from across the region, although the organisers would very much welcome support from additional sponsors. The show is still open for new applications from designers, with entries accepted until 31st July 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

There are still several months to go until the show on 4th October; however, organisers, sponsors and volunteers are already hard at work behind the scenes, “The steering committee has been meeting regularly since February and we have already secured an impressive line-up of designers,” Hatfield says. “We are also delighted that aql have so generously provided their stunning Salem Chapel as a venue for the event.”

Fashion Fiesta is ultimately about giving back to the community by raising funds to help the most vulnerable members of society, “We are supporting two Leeds-based charities this year,” Hatfield explains. “The homelessness charity Simon on the Streets and PEERS Yorkshire. Last year’s event raised more than £3,000 for the Bradford charity, One in a Million and we are looking to do even better this year. We have already received an excellent response from Leeds business leaders, although we are always eager to welcome additional sponsors.

Louise Lapish is the Chair of the Trustees for Simon on the Streets, “We are proud to be one of the chosen charities for Fashion Fiesta 2018,” she said. “I have enjoyed seeing the continued growth and success of the event and we are delighted to be involved. The funds raised will ensure that we can continue to reach out to entrenched rough sleepers and the rootless across Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield providing emotional support for their complex needs. We look forward to being a part of this event!”

For more information:

For more information, please contact:

Rachel Hatfield, Shoo Social Media 01943 430245

Matthew Beattie, Airedale Communications Limited 0113 871 5818


Fashion Fiesta is a charity fashion show and competition for independent and upcoming fashion designers from across the Yorkshire region. Now in its fourth year, Fashion Fiesta was created by Chris Morris and Rachel Hatfield of Shoo Social Media as a way of giving something back to the local community. All funds raised from this year’s event will go to the charities Simon on the Streets and PEERS Yorkshire.