Creative Dundee

Spotlight: Hayley Scanlan

Hayley Scanlan is a young Dundee based fashion designer destined for great things.  A 2009 Duncan of Jordanstone graduate, her work has been snapped up by a new online boutique specialising in emerging designers  and she was recently commissioned by musician muse Marina Diamandis to create her tour costumes.  Creative Dundee caught up with Hayley for some insight into her work and life in Dundee.

Where do you work from in Dundee ?

Right now I’m studio-less so have been working from my living room table or my desk at  home in Dundee … not the most glamorous but it gets the job done and its the only thing I can afford right now!

Would you like to stay based here or is there an expectation to move to the fashion capitals ?

I’ve lived in LA & London whilst studying but since graduation have stayed at home , continuing my work and have had some pretty good opportunities  so far, so I don’t see living in the fashion capitals as a  necessity.  On saying that I would love to move to New York one day.

Who are your current influences ?

Work wise I am always influenced by things that are local, my graduate and last collection were both initially inspired by Dundee as is the next one coming. I feel like I have to appreciate my surroundings and take things from the place I ‘ve grown up. On top of that,I’m always influenced by Geometry, Architecture, Art Movements – Futurism & Constructivism and I love the juxtaposition of making pretty things look tough.

 What has been your highlight or breakthrough moment this year ?

My highlight was being featured on Every fashion designer dreams of being recognised by Vogue so you can imagine! I actually thought it was a joke when I received the initial email! As for breakthrough moment I believe thats still to come.

You studied at DOJ, what kind of support was accessible to you?

At Art School I was pretty focused on what I wanted to achieve from the beginning and was quite self sufficient. I organised my own internships at Jeremy Scott & i-D Magazine to co-incide with the holidays between 3rd & 4th year and the tutors were very supportive of that. The support is great at Duncan of Jordanstone, there are a couple of excellent tutors, but if you want something the only way your going to get it is by  doing it yourself.

And what kind of support have you been able to access since setting up your own label ?

I have had some great advice from Stewart Roxburgh, Head of Textiles Scotland, Scottish Enterprise who recently took me and 8 other emerging Scottish designers to New York to show as part of a ‘new talent’ section at “Dressed to Kilt”. I have received a lot of good business advice, which I completely struggle with as I am not business minded at all and know it’s one of the elements holding me back. Genuine PR have also been great. But generally I have been taking each day as it comes.

Whats your favourite places to hang out or visit in or around Dundee ?

My favourite place used to be Borders, I was absolutely heartbroken when it closed. I like the DCA and love The Reading Rooms where most of my friends and I go every time we have a night out.

What’s next and when can we see your next collection ?

This month I launch my collection on a made to order basis at I am currently designing my Spring/Summer 2012 Collection but whether or not I can afford to print it, make up the garments & shoot it  is the worrying question in hand.  Financially  I support myself by working part time at an Interior Design/Home Furnishings Company where I  use my wages to fund my own work . Right now I have hit a brick wall and know that to take things to the next level I need financial support or investor without a doubt.

How positive do you think the V and A at Dundee will be to the creative community based in Dundee ?

I think its the most exciting thing that’s happened to this city in my lifetime! I think it will change peoples perception of the city and I’m really looking forward to it!

Any top tips for creatives ?

Be yourself & don’t give up!

Follow Hayley Scanlan at


Hayley Scanlan AW 2011

Hayley Scanlan A-W11


Hayley Scanlan AW 2011


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