Miss Fortune is 10 years old! A celebration of our journey so far!

Get the party poppers out, Miss Fortune is 10 years old this month! Wooo!

I just can’t believe it, how time has flown by!  In this blog I thought I would take time to look back over the journey so far and give you all a little potted history of Miss Fortune.

But first …CAKE!

It wouldn’t be a birthday without cake now would it?!  To celebrate I made a lime & coconut 3 tier sponge, decorated in Miss Fortune colours, of course!!  The cake was lovely, but when it comes to the decoration …. well, maybe I shouldn’t give up the day job ha ha!

Miss Fortune Birthday Cake

In The Beginning …

I was in the 1st year of my fashion course when a friend, who had an artist’s studio in town, told me that the studios were having an open day.  She was going to be away on holiday and asked me if I would like to go and open up her studio and have some space for my own designs in there for the weekend.  I agreed to do it then realised that my fledgling clothing brand, which was more or less at the ideas stage, had no name and no business card or flyers to give out!

After a furious evening brainstorming name ideas I plucked ‘Miss Fortune’ out of the air!  I knew as soon as I thought of it that was what I wanted to go with and hurriedly started hashing together some designs for clothing tags and business cards!

Banks Mill July 2005[Open day at Banks’ Mill Studios, Derby – 12th July 2005]

I took down a small portfolio and the few random garments that I had made at that point, tagged up with my newly designed tags, the branding is a little different from these days!  The interest and encouragement I received there really spurred me on!

Bettie Top[Miss Fortune ‘Bettie Top’ – 2005]

This Bettie Top, which you can see on the left on the studio open day photo, went on to be among the first Miss Fortune garments I made and sold in multiples.

During my course I also got the opportunity to put together a collection for a local charity fashion show in Nottingham.  This was soo exciting!  My first chance to make clothing for real people instead of mannequins and my first chance to put together a little collection, I loved doing this!

Epiphany 2006 Sugar & Spite[“Sugar & Spite Collection – Epiphany Fashion Show, Nottingham, 2006]

After making a corset on the fashion course, I also dabbled in making a few custom made corsets.

Made to measure corsets[Made to measure corsets – 2006] 

For my final collection of my fashion course I worked on quite a theatrical collection of Dia de los Muertos outfits, going all out with structural elements, screen printing, latex and corsetry!

Final collection[“The Skeleton at the Ball” – my final collection from my fashion course]

Through The Years …

By the time I was out of education I was already making a few bits and selling them through the small retail business, Retro Riot, which I had started back in 2002.  The next step was to start working on the business full time.  The first year was very much an uphill climb!  I was working from my converted garage, which regularly gave me cabin fever from barely leaving the house for days on end!  I plugged away, trying to find fabric wholesalers, a premises and manufactures for the clothing as well as making my first collection and planning my first photo shoot.

2007 Photo ShootOur first photo shoot at The 50s American Diner – 2007
Models: Aisling Grace, Zara Ann & Ben.  Photos: Natalie J Watts
Bettie TopHere’s the Bettie Top which I mentioned earlier!

In 2007 I got my first premises, it was so good to get out of the garage and have the house back to some semblance of order!  I also had my first photo shoot at an awesome diner in Derbyshire.  The model above, Zara Ann, has been with me ever since that first shoot.  Looking at those photos you might notice a fella, that’s right, we did some menswear in the beginning!

In 2008 we did our first trade fair at London Edge, it was both exciting and nerve wracking!  This was really the start of the business getting serious!

London Edge stand 2008[Our first London Edge stand – 2008]

We progressed quite a lot from this small stand over the years!  I’ve always enjoyed designing the stands and buying props!

London Edge 2013[Our diner and tiki themed stands at London Edge 2012 & 2013]London Edge 2012

Then there was that time we went and did a trade fair in Hong Kong!  I find it hard to believe we did that, it was such a whirlwind! Hong Kong[Stand at World Boutique Trade Fair  – Hong Kong 2010]Hong Kong Trade fair

Along the way there have been many highlights…

Spotting Imelda May wearing one of our shirts!Imelda May

The first time I saw my clothing in a shop window! [2009]The Oasis

The fabulous Bernie Dexter wearing Miss Fortune at the Bettina Scarlett Presents fashion show at the Rockabilly Rave festival, in 2013. [Photo: Anna Time Photographer]
Bernie Dexter by Anna Time Photographer

Little Gem, wearing bespoke Miss Fortune outfits, coming 2nd place at the Hemsby Pinup Pageant in 2013. [Photos by Pyramid Clicks & Ruth Archer]
Little Gem at Hemsby Little Gem at Hemsby

Hosting the Americana International fashion show 2 years running…..

Americana 2011Americana 2011Americana 2011 – Photo: Luna Photography

Americnan 2012 1Americnan 2012 2Americana 2012Americana 2012 – Photo: Luna Photography

Present Day…

So, here we are, 10 years down the line!  I’ve moved offices 3 times over the years.  Taken on an employee. Gained stockists in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan! For my next blog I’m going to look back over my favourite photo shoot images over the years but for now I’ll end with a little tour of our offices in Derby, UK.

Video Tour: Miss Fortune Headquarters

Here is my quick home movie tour of behind the scenes at Miss Fortune!

Check out all the latest from Miss Fortune:


Miss Fortune Logo


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