Designer Joyce Ridings passed away last month after a long battle with cancer and so former colleague Angela Giles reflects on Ridings contribution to the industry.
“After a childhood in Surrey, Joyce moved North with her family in the mid ‘50s. With dreams of becoming a fashion designer, it was an inspiring art teacher who encouraged her to go to the Manchester College of Art and Design to study fashion.
Fresh out of college and full of enthusiasm, Joyce and a fellow student conceived the label Qui. Designs were eagerly welcomed in local shops and boutiques on the King’s Road London, the epicentre of the swinging ‘60s. The business began in a tiny workroom in the centre of Manchester, later moving to larger premises as success grew.
Fashion became more cosmopolitan in the ’70s and the European inspiration behind Joyce’s designs helped increase sales rapidly. The quality of manufacture was consistent, with a growing team of highly skilled staff following Joyce’s belief in the highest level of craftsmanship.
The label Joyce Ridings began showing at the newly created London Fashion Week in the ‘80s making the name accessible to a wider audience. She also took her collections to Paris and New York, further growing her reputation.
By the ‘90s, as well as her own collections, Joyce had a close association with Jaeger and her designs were sold in their flagship stores in the UK, America and Japan.
Early in 2000, a move to larger premises was essential in order to keep the high standards required of the label and Joyce was honoured to welcome the Princess Royal for an official opening of the new factory. In addition, a long held dream to have a Joyce Ridings flagship store was finally realised in the centre of Manchester.
Joyce continued to be inspired to create new collections until her sad death in March 2013 after a long battle with breast cancer. Joyce will be greatly missed by her family, her dedicated team and her loyal customers.”