Fashion first for Leeds at Lambert’s Yard

Lambert’s Yard made fashion history last month by becoming one of the first places outside of London to host a Centre of Fashion Enterprise (CFE) event. This pioneering fashion business incubator, based at the London College of Fashion, aims to support fledgling fashion businesses in their first years. It does so by helping them understand their USP and vision, to be better informed and follow a considered development strategy.


As an introduction to their permanent launch in autumn 2014, Lambert’s Yard were instrumentalin bringing the CFE New Market Entry Programme to Leeds, for the very first time. The programme, which is aimed at providing support to the region’s emerging fashion design talent, is the first part of an ambitious programme, to establish a permanent fashion incubator in the City and develop a three year strategic plan for the fashion design, manufacturing and textile industries. Selected graduates of the programme will qualify for six months of further support as part of the CFE Pioneer Programme. This is a major development for the region and is set to build fashion and design entrepreneurship in the city of Leeds.

From Left Judith Tolley CFE,Simon Brereton LCC, Wenday Malem CFE

Lambert’s Yard is the driving force behind the initiative aimed at revitalising the regional fashion, manufacturing and textile industries. This event was primarily funded by Leeds City Council and Regeneration through the Arts, and has attracted the support of an influential range of local stakeholders, including the region’s Universities and Colleges. It has widespread support from senior members of the British fashion industry and an announcement will be made about the joining of a well-known fashion industry leader, whose roots are from Leeds, and is a major supporter of the London College of Fashion.

Isla Brown from Lambert’s Yard says,

Leeds and the Yorkshire region has a wealth of fashion and textile talent and to be able to offer the support of CFE is just fantastic. Lambert’s Yard will continue to work hard with regional stakeholders to build on this first experience and be able to offer the full four level CFE programme, ensuring that businesses become successful and stay in the region.

Working with the next generation of iconic design innovators, CFE supports designers to grow prospering businesses. Successes include Erdem, Richard Nicoll, Peter Pilotto, Meadham Kirchhoff and Mary Katrantzou. The inaugural Leeds event was inundated by applications for the 20 places available.

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Wendy Malem, Director, CFE says,

I am hoping this is the very beginning of a long and fruitful relationship as it was great to work with local regional talent who are obviously so enthusiastic to learn everything they need to succeed.


All attendees provided positive feedback about the event, highlighting the need for a permanent fashion incubator in the region. Award-winning local designer Bozena Carter, says,

Where do I start…I learned so much over the two days, my head was spinning with new ideas and with all the ‘fixtures’ I need to adapt to my business plan.  It help me realise that I need to be clear about my brand, and make a decision on the path I want to take my business. It was a most excellent experience.

Lambert’s Yard is now closed for the fit out of the permanent store and event space, which aims to showcase the best of the UK’s independent fashion and design scene and bring industry leaders to the city through a series of talks, workshops, fashion shows, special events and live performances. The launch will take place in autumn with a ten-day festival, showcasing the best in design-led products and collections across the store alongside a series of fashion and design events.

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The company is actively seeking brands and designers to become part of the Lambert’s Yard family, to obtain representation in both the store and on the e-commerce site, and to participate in the ongoing events programme. By bringing the CFE and other major fashion industry figures and a major fashion and design space to Leeds for the very first time, this is an opportunity not to be missed.

If you are interested in working with Lambert’s Yard please contact:

Rosie Lyness:


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