Fashion & Textile Design Graduate Launches Lingerie Brand

The University of Portsmouth, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries are pleased to share the Nest funding success of BA Fashion and Textile Design graduate, Hannah Mitchell.

Nest is the startup incubator, exclusively for students and graduates of the University of Portsmouth. Nest help to get your idea off of the ground, or take an existing startup to the next level, they offer expert advice and support, workshops, co-working space, networking opportunities, funding opportunities, and a whole host of useful resources.

Hannah graduated in July 2017, and has since started to work on her lingerie brand, Hayze, which started as part of her self-employed placement year, as a way for Hannah to trial the brand that she dreamt of bringing to life.

Since the initial trial launch, Hayze has been put on hold, giving Hannah time to finish her degree, and establish a life outside of University, but now two years later, with the help of Nest funding, Hannah has exciting plans for Hayze, which you can find out more about in the interview she did with Lingerie Journal, below.

What is Hayze all about?

Hayze is an inclusive, premium & eco-conscious lingerie brand designed to make its wear feel like art. Hayze combines luxury, ethics and a distinctive design aesthetic and aims to offer lingerie that delivers on fit, quality, everyday comfort and indulgent design that empowers the new woman.

What makes Hayze unique in the lingerie world?

Hayze has a very soft and elegant approach in its design aesthetic. The influence always stems from a classic reference or a vintage image and then I bring this to life with a 21st century customer at the core of the designs.

The design and attention to detail is a huge aspect of what makes Hayze different and this was especially noticeable in my latest collection for S/S’18 which featured completely hand-printed silks and laces, hand-embroidered lace and hand-finished details. Like I mentioned above, I want to make my wearer feel like they are wearing art.

There are two seasons of Hayze collections, tell us about them. 

The first collection launched by Hayze was my experimental, self-employed-year, collection and it was self-titled “Hayze S/S 16.” This collection means a lot to me because not only did I put every ounce of time and effort into it, but I’m also able to look back on it now and realise all of the big and little mistakes that I made, knowing that I can continue improving on myself as a designer and as a business woman.

My second collection was titled “Lucid Dreaming” and was designed in the style of S/S18. The title comes from the fluid influence that stimulated my design ideas. The time and effort that I’d put into the first collection doesn’t even compare to the energy that I put into this one. It really was a collation of everything that I’d learnt over my whole design history, an absolute labour of love and my proudest achievement to date.

What do you plan to do next for Hayze? 

Hayze has previously been more of a brand based on bespoke designs, however the relaunch involves a selection of people and manufacturers which means I can expand the range of designs, sizes and quantity which means more bras for everyone. However, it was a big thing for me to move away from the handmade element of Hayze so something that I will be featuring in each collection is limited edition sets which focus on hand-embroidered or applique or embellishment details to make that set something extra special!

I felt it was imperative to launch with ethical processes in tact at the core of the brand, I believe that moving forward Hayze can be more eco-conscious in all aspects of the business.

The design aesthetic will keep its classic, vintage influence but will combine with the practical needs of an everyday bra, I plan to launch in January 2019.

Katie Clarke

Katie Clarke is a Media Studies Student, currently on her Placement Year, working as Promotions Assistant for the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, at the University of Portsmouth.

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