A YOUNG South Yorkshire businesswoman is creating classics from cast-offs – as she brings back into fashion a stylish world of fun and glamour.
Kirsty Lazenby from Wombwell, Barnsley, looks for inspiration on the clothes rails of charity shops, the pages of old magazines and even among the folds of discarded curtains.
Kirsty, aged 23, a graduate of the University of Huddersfield, has launched a business specialising in vintage clothing.
She tracks down, restores and sells garments from the 1950s to the 1980s. Sales outlets include vintage clothes fairs around the country and soon she will go online.
But Kirsty, whose business is named Vintage Sweetheart, is going one stage further.
She is actually recreating vintage clothing, using original fabrics and patterns – which means that she can offer customised garments that fit her customers like a glove but still have that authentic retro quality.
Kirsty studied journalism and media at University Campus Barnsley and at the University of Huddersfield, but soon developed her interest in restoring and selling vintage clothing.
She began to rework some of the vintage garments that she acquired from sources such as charity shops, and developed sewing machine skills.
Soon she realised that there was a gap in the market for custom-made vintage clothes and decided to fill it.
Obtaining original fabrics such as silk, cotton and velvet from a variety of sources – including curtains and bed sheets – she uses original patterns and designs culled from sources such as old magazines.
Her clothes are accurate replicas, tailored to fit her customers, from whichever decade suits them the most.
When she began to develop her idea Kirsty tapped into the advice and support offered by the Business Mine, available to students and graduates at UCB.
And then she was awarded a £2,400 Barnsley Start-Up Grant, which she says will be invaluable in helping her to build up stock, acquire patterns and advertise her services.