Leeds historic mill to robe up Gabby for university ceremony


Captions: Gabby Logan being fitted for the gown, and the team at work creating it 

An historic gown has started life at the landmark site of Leeds manufacturing – Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. The micro-manufacturing project, facilitated by Leeds Fashion Works, has enabled young graduate designer, Kate Duckworth, to embark on the high-profile commission of creating the new chancellor’s gown to be worn by Gabby Logan when she formally takes the office of chancellor at Leeds Trinity University on 6 June 2013 following its recently-awarded university status.

Suzy Shepherd of Leeds Fashion Works said: “This is a great way to showcase the skills and talent in the region by giving young graduate designers working with Yorkshire textiles an opportunity to gain that all important ‘kick-start’ for their work. Leeds has a rich history of textiles and manufacturing that needs to be highlighted – past, present and, most importantly, for the future of the region.”

Nina Baptiste, keeper of Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, said: “The design and creation of the initial toile at Armley has fascinated visitors who have watched Kate at work in the sewing gallery. Often people do not appreciate the many skills and stages needed in creating a bespoke garment. This is one of the projects that will make the mill a living, breathing and working museum.”

The next stage for the gown is the final cut and finish at Samuel Brothers. Samuel Brothers, military tailors in Leeds, who are working with Kate on the project, have a long history of supplying garments using the finest textiles produced in Yorkshire. Established 1830 their highly skilled team have long-standing experience of working with the iconic Hainsworth cloth, which has been selected to create the gown. Hainsworth have manufactured fine textiles in Leeds since 1783.

Kate Duckworth said: “I have been very lucky to receive this commission and have the support of such highly skilled and experienced people. These are invaluable skills for the young designer to experience and acquire.”

Notes to editors

Leeds Trinity University

With its roots dating back to 1966, Leeds Trinity University offers foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across a popular range of subjects. An employer-focused independent university with high levels of graduate employment, it was one of the first institutions to offer professional work placements with every degree: these placements continue to form an integral, assessed element of every undergraduate degree. As a result, the university has been exceeding national employability benchmarks for a decade, with the latest figures revealing that 93% of Leeds Trinity’s 2011 graduates were in work or further study six months after graduating (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2011).

The university was also recognised in the 2013 Sunday Times University Guide as belonging in the top 10% of UK universities for teaching excellence.

Leeds Trinity University is one of 10 institutions which were granted full university status in December 2012 and is one of only two UK universities with a Catholic foundation.

In January 2013, the University announced that Gabby Logan would become its first Chancellor.

For further information: contact Suzy Shepherd - suzy.shepherd@dsl.pipex.com

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills

Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills tells the story of the industrial history of the city from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives. The Leeds City Council-managed visitor attraction contains exhibits from the 18th century to the present day, and includes one of the smallest working 1920s cinemas in the world.

Leeds, and the Leeds City Region have a rich textiles heritage, and we remain a global leader in the design and manufacture and textiles. Over 1,900 people in Leeds, and 14.100 in the Leeds City Region are employed in the sector, and is home to world-class firms, universities and colleges, and creative talent in areas such as fashion and garments, technical textiles, and interiors textiles. The collections and exhibitions in Leeds museums and galleries showcase the city and the region’s history and contemporary capabilities in the sector.

For more information visit


Leeds Fashion Works

A not-for-profit organisation launched 2009 - Suzy Shepherd, Carolyn Lord and Paul Forbes OBE

Promoting Yorkshire Textiles - supporting and promoting the regions reputation as a fashion and textile destination.

Permanent exhibition 'Behind the Seams' at Armley Mills - showcasing skills and fashion in Yorkshire and the UK .

Previous projects include Yorkshire Textiles exhibition at Harvey Nichols Leeds. Graduate fashion collection 'Red Admiral' as part of Wool Week celebrations (HRH Campaign for Wool) and Yorkshire Wool Week at Armley Mills

Leeds Fashion Works are facilitating the project for the Chancellor's Gown.

For more information contact - suzy.shepherd@dsl.pipex.com - 07931 153441