Cabba Consultancy Highlights 2018

2018 proved another successful year for Cabba with our consultancy work.

Directing the Fashion events of Leeds International Festival ( was a highlight of year ( I didn’t think it could beat last year but it totally did ….and was another ‘ pinch me’ moment). I still can’t believe that I am lucky enough to be working with so many talented and amazingly creative fashion people, LIF is of course, supported by the amazing Leeds BID.

The event program that Cabba curated included;

4 days of fashion shows with Leeds leading retailers including Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, The White Company, Pretty Green, Diesel (to name a few of the 30 fantastic retailers and people that we worked with). These were again hosted in “The Fashion Space’, two converted shipping containers housed on Briggate Leeds.

The amazing fashion industry experts included Fashion East ( so fab last year that we wanted them back and they were more than happy to visit again). This time the lovely Lulu Kennedy brought designers Per Gotesson, Tom and Eden of Art School, Mimi Wade and the fabulous, York based Matty Bovan to Leeds. It was a joy hearing of their work as labels and their success in this notoriously difficult industry.

Adam Murray discussed the recent Somerset House exhibition he curated with Lou Stoppard; “North: Fashioning Identity”, an exhibition examining representations of the North of England and Northerners in photography, fashion and art. It was fascinating. Having also visited the exhibition when in situ at Somerset House, if you get the chance, this exhibition is a must.

The delightful Christopher Raeburn returned to run one of his ‘off cut’ animal workshops. Which animal ? the owl of course - it is Leeds!

He also ran a bespoke CR T- shirt workshop for those less able with a sewing machine. It was great to see him again and we are so grateful for his continued support. AW Hainsworth, a Yorkshire based textile manufacturer that have been manufacturing woollen cloth in Leeds since 1783 kindly supplied the fabric for this event.

Claudia Croft, Vogue (did you see her recent interview of the Beckhams in Vogue ?), curated a collection of Marks and Spencer clothing from their archive. This archive is housed at the University of Leeds and is phenomenal. This was then presented in store alongside a modern curation, a fabulous talk with Claudia and Marks and Spencer ensued. It was wonderful to hear. She also spoke with John Vial ( Global Ambassador L’Oreal) about Men’s fashion, it was fascinating and they are such good friends, a joy to watch - much fun.

Harvey Nichols Leeds are a delight to work with and they hosted Marques Almeida ( SUCH a lovely couple and team), it was a super evening with Marques girls ( models) showing their latest collection and a very engaging Q & A session with Marta, Paulo and Rita from MA.

Sadie Williams visited, a wonderful young designer and of course we had shows from the regions independent designers showing, all in The Fashion Space on Briggate.

The universities; University of Leeds, Leeds Art University and Leeds Beckett as always, were great to work with and their students showed their impressive graduate collections on a beautiful bank holiday. It was so hot the runway was moved out of The Fashion Space onto the pedestrian area, the atmosphere was awesome and the clothes even more so. I think for me a highlight is always seeing the creativity of the students from such strong academic institutes - we are so blessed to have such fashion departments in the city. Thank you also to all the students that interned with us - it is appreciated !

Cabba will be working with Leeds BID again for 2019 on LIF, both on the steering committee and doing some events. The format for 2019, as with any city festival, evolves and will consist of a programme of CORE and OFF events. Cabba are delighted to be working on some events for this festival again.

Other highlights….. Cabba continues to work with the AW Hainsworth and had the pleasure this year of designing their staff jackets. Made out of their stunning, quality wool, each member of staff now has their own bespoke jacket for them to go to trade shows, appointments etc. I think it’s safe to say they are very happy with them as I recently saw Adam Hainsworth wearing his at a meeting we were both at, he’s a lovely ( and very smart ) man.

I have had the honour of working as a validator for a BSC Fashion Course at Leeds Art University as the industry expert on the panel, lecturing at the universities and working with the marketing students of Leeds Beckett University. It’s so inspiring to see students and their work and this is an area of my consultancy work that I relish. New talent and the support of this talent in the industry is very important to me, bridging the gap between academia and industry is a continued focus of my consultancy work.

All this is in additional to some private business mentoring to a wonderful young design label and how could I forget the wonderful Fashion After Party curated by the amazing Suzy Mason and Mikkel Ullah. link here - Princess Julia DJ’d - amazing!

What a year, thank you to everyone that continues to support Cabba and the work I do, it is sincerely appreciated xx

Please click through the image slideshow below and super video of The Afterparty by Suzy Mason and Mikkel Ullah.

Cabba consultancy 2017 highlights

2017 entailed some fabulous, interesting projects for Cabba consultancy, something that we are deeply grateful for.


A highlight was letting our imagination go in the creation of a concept for Fashion in Leeds, part of Leeds International Festival and supported by the amazing people of Leeds BID.

The Fashion Space was a considered risk; converting two shipping containers to host the Fashion in Leeds events. The perspex sides allowed the public a rare insight into the fashion world. They could immerse themselves within the space or watch from outside on the digital screens or through said perspex walls.

The runway shows, backstage areas ( where the public could see hair and make up done in real time), industry talks and corporate hospitality events showed the organised chaos that was 30 Leeds retailer fashion shows, 20 Leeds based independent designers and 3 university graduate collections, a corporate networking event and 14 industry speakers.

We were delighted to welcome Gary Aspden ( adidas Spezial), James Brown ( former Loaded magazine), Lulu Kennedy ( Fashion East), Katie Eary ( designer), Christopher Raeburn ( designer), Matthew Drinkwater (Fashion Innovation Agency, London College of Fashion),  Matty Bovan ( designer), Mandi Lennard ( Fashion PR guru), Claudia Croft ( now Fashion Features Editor of Vogue), John Vial ( Global Ambassador for Revlon), Andrew Barton ( hairdresser extraordinaire) and Ruby Miller ( make up genius). This was in addition to hosting THE most fabulous Fashion in Leeds: The Afterparty ( of course dahhlings !) and much more besides.

The real highlight however was the bringing together of such a cross section of talents within the industry sectors and working together to put Leeds on the fashion map as a credible city for fashion outside of London.

Other equally amazing highlights were lecturing at Leeds University, sitting on the assessor panel for the fashion course module at Leeds Beckett University and advising a start up label on their branding and brand messages.

Last but by no means least, designing the staff jackets for AW Hainsworth, utilising and showcasing their stunning fabrics for when they visit their clients. No mean feat when they have been manufacturing woollen cloth in Yorkshire since 1783 and have a Royal Warrant ! 

A converted Shipping container on Briggate, Leeds.

A converted Shipping container on Briggate, Leeds.

Partnerships. Collaboration. Cabba.

Cabba is all about connection. Consultancy for Cabba as a brand is crucial to us, particularly in our journey to counterpart with London, our southern similar.  Leeds is brimming with the forefront of fashion talent and networking this frontage is essential. And our Cabba outlook is, of course, connection is key.

For Cabba, involving and creating partnerships is the next step for fashion, no longer about exclusivity but the exact opposite. Unity is the front monopolising our future and Cabba is leading this initiative by sweltering squall. Universities are one of the key associations we have been keen to correlate with as, of course, the hub of the freshest future industry potentials. University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett and Leeds College of Art brought about a storm when in collaboration with Cabba Consultancy, the catwalk staggered with talent as we sourced some of the most phenomenal future designers and their work from our very own Northern nucleus.

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That said, one can’t hinder the founded names that plaster our highstreets. Previous Cabba collaboration has seen connection with John Lewis in 2016 and now partnership expansion has led to alliance with M&S, Neom, Hobbs…and will just Keep. On. Growing.

Northern fashion is not what it used to be. Potentials are growing. Connections are growing. And Cabba Collaboration certainly is going to be fore fronting that kick-ass expansion, keep updated you trendy troops. 


The Future of Fashion in Leeds (and the best bits so far!)

Leeds is gaining a new reputation in its rebirth as the Fashion Capital of the North. 

Key to this rebranding is, of course, the Fashion In Leeds project.

As of yet, the project has been running since October 2016 and already we've seen so much exciting progression. Key events from the opening were the launch of a feature length film documenting the history of fashion in the city, showing the diverse textile heritage of the city and the region and  a TV Ad campaign across ITV, alongside the formulation of a new member- network and networking events all over the city to bring together a growing network of key fashion professionals, 350+ joining the network from launch point alone! 


Thus, 2017 saw only further expansion of the fashion consultancy side of Cabba, when Cabba x SLB PR shook up events (for the good of course) where we were appointed directors of the festivals' Fashion Fringe and what a fringe it was! This was part of a wide city festival, Leeds International Festival which took place during April 22nd-29th this year. Following the success of this year, we have been asked to organise the event for 2018 and not as a fringe event! We love our job.

The aim the event programme was to create an inspiring and educational series of high calibre fashion events in Leeds, with both national and international credibility, bridging the gap between independent and high street retailers, designers, manufacturers and industry influencers whilst introducing the reality of the fashion industry to the public. 

The fashion space itself reflected this ethos; a converted shipping container was housed on Briggate, with perspex sides, allowing an all access approach to the fashion shows, talks, and workshops during the week.


The week was jam packed with some of the most intriguing personalities on the contemporary fashion frontier. Kicking off events on Monday, Gary Aspden gripped The Fashion Space with his exclusive directors cut of his documentary 'Sole Searching in South America', where he untold the fascinating, beautiful and moving journey of uncovering obscene amounts of vintage Adidas gems. It reflected a true love story of one man, Carlos and his lifelong love affair with a brand. Christopher Raeburn, British fashion designer of utmost innovation, discussed the hot topic of sustainability in Fashion and his 4 r's: reduce, reuse, recycle, Braeburn. The week continued with an array of incredible names including a discussions with LuLu Kennedy and Katie Eary, Matty Bovan and Mandi Lennard, Matthew Drinkwater from Fashion Innovation Agency discussing the fascinating and rapidly changing area of fashion and tech - designers will soon be able to design together whilst in different countries by entering a virtual design space !!

After a fabulous Fashion in Leeds: The Afterparty where the amaaaaazing and phenomenally talented Suzy Mason bought back Speed Queen and Vague for one night only and saw (pinch me moment) Matty Boven DJing, Friday drew to a close with the lovely Claudia Croft and John Vial and  makeover competition with Andrew Bartona nd Ruby Hammer .....Can you name an area of the Fashion Industry we didn't involve? And best yet, the list of fashion professionals (a.k.a. Fashion Gods in our eyes) will just keep on expanding with Fashion in Leeds set to just. keep. growing. 


Our ultimate aim? To reach Leeds to its full fashion potential in a National and International  capacity  here at Cabba, we couldn't be more thrilled/ excited/ determined for the success to keep on growing.



This week saw the launch of Leeds International Festival, of which Fashion in Leeds is a fringe event.

It’s one that Cabba have been busily working away on for some weeks, but due to a media embargo weren’t able to announce. Until now that is.

The Cabba x SLB PR collaborative has been appointed to curate, organise and run the first series of Fashion in Leeds events, as part of  The Leeds International Festival; a new festival that will bring some of the world’s most talented and interesting people to Leeds, to share a platform with the city’s world class creatives. The fashion programme runs as a fringe alongside the festival’s Tech, Music & Moving Image.

Leeds International Festival 17 – Teaser from Rabbit Hole on Vimeo.

Time has flown since our appointment, 6 weeks ago, and we can’t quite believe how much our fashion collaborative has achieved in such a small space of time (even if we do say so ourselves!) 

Fuelled by a huge passion for the project, a desire to fulfil the brief set by Leeds BID’s Andrew Cooper, the collaborative called upon our strong connections and experience within the UK and international fashion industry to create the programme of events. We are so proud of the line-up so far which features British fashion experts, hotly tipped designers and our biggest style crushes.

Check out what’s in store (so far)…

Monday 24th April | Sole Searching in South America (Director’s Cut)



After a tip off about a store stacked high with vintage adidas products, Creative Consultant Gary Aspden flew to Buenos Aires with a team of adidas enthusiasts to investigate. 

The trips were documented in the heart-warming films Sole Searching in South America (Parts I & II). The films show the reality of sourcing dead stock sportswear and the commitment and effort that goes into finding gems from adidas’ past.

Fashion in Leeds presents a screening of the Director’s Cut of film followed by a Q&A with Gary Aspden about the film, his work and the sportswear industry. Gary will be joined by host James Brown, editor of and founder of Loaded magazine. 


Tuesday 25th April | Sustainability in Fashion

Christopher Raeburn will be talking about Sustainability and Innovation in Fashion.

Christopher Raeburn will be talking about Sustainability and Innovation in Fashion.

Christopher Ræburn is a British fashion designer with a unique and innovative approach to creating collections. A graduate of London’s prestigious Royal College of Art, Christopher became known for his re-appropriation of military fabrics and in particular for iconic outerwear created from de-commissioned parachutes. 

Fashion in Leeds will be hosting a Q&A panel, discussing the sustainability of fashion with Christopher Raeburn and a panel of key industry experts.

Friday 28th April | The Changing Face of Fashion

Claudia Croft is Head of Fashion at Style Magazine and Fashion Editor at The Sunday Times. After  graduating from University of Leeds, Claudia joined The Sunday Times in 2001 – her notable interviews include Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford and Donatella Versace.

John Vial has styled the hair for runways across the world as the creative head for brands such as Vidal Sassoon, Fudge and Charles Worthington. John is now the Global Influencer for Revlon and co-founder of Salon Sloane, where he tends to his celebrity clientele. 

Claudia and John will be discussing the changing face of fashion, including how fashion shows are evolving, the role of London Fashion Week, menswear and the future of fashion.

More events will be announced in the weeks leading up to the festival, and a full schedule and tickets will be available through

Fashion in Leeds

Fashion in Leeds event as part of Leeds International Festival


I'm delighted to be working as Cabba x SLB PR on a fashion event for Fashion in Leeds, supported by Leeds BID and Hebe Works.

Our aim is to create an inspiring and educational series of high calibre fashion events in Leeds, with both national and international credibility, bridging the gap between independent retailers and high street brands, and introducing the reality of the fashion industry to the public.

The event space on Briggate will utilised to house the Fashion in Leeds activity, exposing both the backstage and front of house aspects of fashion shows, offering a rarely seen insight into behind-the-scenes at a show, and the industry, to the public.

Throughout the week, a programme of events and talks with inspiring and renowned industry experts will take place. These will be held in the event space with subject matter covering key elements of influence on the fashion industry. Each drywall have a different focus e.g. Technology; Media; Sound & Vision; Fashion : Beauty. The week will end with Leeds International Festival's Live at Leeds.

John Lewis, Leeds

Cabba AW16 will be available in John Lewis, Leeds from October 2016 !!!!!!


I am absolutely delighted, following a phone call from John Lewis in February this year, to announce that they have confirmed that they will be stocking Cabba AW16 and SS17 in their new Leeds store opening in October. This store will be in the long awaited Victoria Gate development.

Cabba will be stocked in their 'loved&found' department.

Discovered. Loved. Curated. All here to be found.

loved&found champions independent designers and offers the customer a more unique shopping experience comprising of homeware, jewellery and clothing. The items are carefully curated and with individual, quirky pieces, often made in Britain, loved&found is not to be missed ...

As you can imagine, here at Cabba, we are delighted beyond words. So..... if you see any pieces on this website that you are interested in, pop along to try them on in store at John Lewis, Leeds. 

Cabba are looking forward to this journey with such a prestigious store and learning from their valuable advice and mentoring within the retail sector. Who better to learn from !

Be Nosey, I Love Me, I Love You.....

As a British label, one thing I come back to when considering a collection or design is the juxtaposition between British eccentricity and British reserve. I love this aspect of the British culture, humour etc...

In the knitwear for AW16 I wanted to continue the playful twist of this within the design of the Cabba garments. A timeless piece that has a simple playful twist.


So.... in the 'kiss' jumper the thumb is a nose and in 'the love me ... love you' jumper  the thumb is the letter I. These are available to PRE order on now, for delivery 1 September 2016. 

The 'kiss' jumper is available in Prune, Teal and Grey. the 'I love me I love you' jumper in Grey or Black.

These can also be requested as arm warmers, these are made to order only.

The Business of Fashion


Delighted to have been invited to speak at the Leodis Forum. This particular one focusing on the British independent fashion industry. As well as myself and other people behind some of the UK's independent brands, there will be representatives from across the entire supply chain, including tailors, marketers, designers, manufacturers, buyers, academics and retailers.


If you are interested in attending more information and a link to the Eventbrite page can be found at



Centre for Fashion Enterprise

I remember for some time towards the end of last year and the beginning of 2014, reflecting that fashion was still very London centric and that to have the access to the networks and expertise of this industry, whilst based in Yorkshire, would be a gift. Imagine my delight when I came across and attended a two day course run by The Centre for Fashion Enterprise in Leeds.

This is the first time that this programme has been bought out of London.  Lamberts Yard has been instrumental in this alongside Leeds City Council.

To give a little background about this, The Centre for Fashion Enterprise is a fashion business incubator. By way of a four-level programme offering, CFE provides expert guidance in the fields of finance, legal, manufacturing and marketing. From strategic advice on progressive business solutions to bespoke mentoring from industry leaders and key influencers. CFE provides the tools to boost brand confidence – for designers, manufacturers and buyers, to ultimately reach economic sustainability.

CFE facilitates this, unlocking creativity and business potential, allowing designers to gain an international foothold. Working with the next generation of iconic design innovators, CFE fast tracks designers into businesses. Successes include Erdem, Richard Nicoll,Peter Pilotto, Meadham Kirchhoff and Mary Katrantzou.

Having gone through the application process for the second level of this programme, the Pioneer stage, I was delighted to be accepted. My place was confirmed in November this year. The advantage of this for Cabba, given my unusual route to label (as a science graduate), is that it is utilising the transferable skills I had, consolidating and developing them within an industry that I didnt have direct experience of (outwith being a heavy consumer !!).

It is a complex and multi faceted industry, yet so exciting and fascinating so to have access the wealth of knowledge and expertise of industry leaders is beyond words.

I hope my customers enjoy the journey alongside Cabba and her growth.







Made In Britain

I had a lovely morning last week driving through our beautiful countryside to visit a manufacturer that I use near Kendal. It did not feel like work and I reminded myself how fortunate I am to be able to do something I feel so passionately about.

Barbara and Brian have manufactured clothing for over 40 years, recently they have decided to retire and the very capable and talented Ele has taken over the reigns. I first met Ele in 2011, as she is a talented, trained, pattern drafter and can be credited for the beautiful fit of some of the Cabba garments. Ele will be working with Barbara and Brian for a couple of years to hand over seamlessly (sorry). It is a great environment, set in rolling hills and far from what you may expect of a manufacturer of clothing in Britain. The girls that work there are a lovely group of women that take immense pride in their craft and have risen to any technical challenges I have presented with gusto, skill and beautiful execution.

I love manufacturing in Britain, we have such a heritage of textile and clothing manufacturing, especially in the North of England. For a time, it was thought that this skill set was in an ageing population and was becoming a lost industry. In manufacturing in Britain today, I feel it supports the resurged and growth of this magnificent skill set and industry, it is very important to the ethos of Cabba as a clothing label.

It took me a long time to actually find British manufacturers, I have found Barbara and Brian to be so helpful to me as a young label in my understanding of the manufacturing process.

This Wednesday I am going to an event in London, a manufacturers 'Trade Show, which will be a marvellous opportunity to meet other British Manufacturers and expand my network. Can't wait.

The Branding Process

Choosing the name of a label is a thought-consuming process. I wanted a name that I felt could grow with the label, that would sit as easily with a young label as with an established brand. A name that represented the care given to the design and style of Cabba garments also the quality of fabric and construction. A name synonymous with a brand our customers would be proud to wear and own and become part of its history as Cabba could become part of theirs.

When I was younger my brothers called me Cabba. I have a deep affection for the name for this reason, also because of the positive affirmations I associated with it.

When I was researching the name I discovered there is such a thing as an 'urban dictionary', this is what it said about Cabba;
Cabba, a nickname for someone you love unconditionally. The nickname Cabba should only be used for those girls you can actually trust. A Cabba with be there through anything and everything. She is beautiful, intelligent and emotionally stable.

It was a wonderful happenstance finding this and confirmed to me that I should indeed use this name. The Cabba customer is a women that represents many of these qualities. I am a great believer in women being supportive of each other, celebrated for their individuality and inner beauty and being encouraged to express all facets of their personalities, the good, the not so and the amazing.

An amazing Graphic Designer that I have known now for a lot of years is Justin of made upstairs. I believe Justin to be a genuine creative genius. I love the way his mind works when it comes to working through a brief, it is a total pleasure working with him and I am always interested to follow the work he does and see what level his mind can reach.

Justin, Made Upstairs, presented his initial concept for Cabba for comments. At each stage, as a collaborative journey (my feedback, Justin's talent) it developed into what it is today. I am delighted with the final brand, I feel the clean simplicity of the brand with a simple twist reflects the design ethos of Cabba, design led clothing with a typically British understated twist. So, if you ever want a true creative talent ... give me a shout and I can give you his details or click on the link. He's a Yorkshire lad and a fine one at that!

The colour choice which was very simple for me. Elephant grey has been my 'go to' colour for some years. I find it clean, I prefer a white tone than yellow base, it is softer than black (though I love black) and I feel it has a very rich yet modern feel to it. Pantone are the colour reference of many design fields and  Made Upstairs collated the image you see for what is cabbagris.

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As you may imagine, one of my happiest times is when I am constructing. Be that a sketch, the transition of this sketch to a pattern and the various stages needed to interpret this into a working pattern, sewing the first toile and making any adaption…. finally cutting the pattern in a chosen fabric to sew the garment ! This process can take a long time for a relative newby like myself (and a perfectionist with very definite ideas about design). So, using the best tools is important and these scissors – which were delivered this week – are some of the best.Even better, I can cut with a conscience as they are made just down the road in Sheffield ( Go British and a welcome relief from business planning work !!

A lifetime obsession realised......

140922 - Cathy Pool-9961-Edit

These Chapters have musings about my fashion obsession, inspiration, trends and the journey of my label, Cabba.

Cabba is an Independent British Clothing Label which explores the juxtaposition between British reserve and eccentricity.

Cabba is a name my two brothers call me and have done since I was little.

A bit about me, Cabba and the ethos of the label and sentiment behind it…..

Asking for a stall at the school fair at the age of 8 to then sell the accessories I had made, shows how much fashion has always been part of my life. When people recollect a time in their life, they often talk about the date, where they were, what they did. I, however ALWAYS remember and reference clothing and what I was wearing at that time...

Brownie Camp 1 - my first pair of red dungarees with white Kicker shoes (with red stitching). Brownie Camp 2 - my mum bought me some black 'Cindy' shoes. A friend's Holy Communion - a turquoise and white stripped blouse with turquoise buttons on each breast pocket, a yellow pencil skirt, turquoise leggings and turquoise sandals, trust me it was the height of fashion from Chelsea Girl at the time. However, I was asked to change into more sober attire for the evening do ( I was delighted - two outfits!) and choose a shimmering silver drop waist 2o's style dress with 3/4 sleeves .... you get my drift.

I'm obsessed and always have been.

Surprisingly, though with enjoyment, I studied Physiology and Pharmacology at University. I remember the excitement at the start of each term receiving my grant cheque because it meant going to buy clothes. Always forgoing food for clothes.

About 7 years ago, I knew I had to follow my passion.

I went back to basics and wanted to learn and develop the skills required (drawing, design, pattern drafting, sewing skills, tailoring skills) to compliment my obsession with fashion. I had my own event business at the time so I had business acumen, though wanted a full understanding and confidence to develop my label in a new industry. I met some amazingly talented people along the way,some will feature in this blog, and now feel in a position to launch Cabba.

Cabba believe that the rich textile and design heritage in Britain should be valued, supported and preserved. In our own way, we do all we can to stand by this ethos. Each piece is designed and made in Britain, using British fabrics and suppliers wherever possible.

My approach to fashion explores the juxtaposition of British eccentricity with the renouned British reserve. Each piece has clean lines and a beautiful cut and fit combined with a typically British understated twist. 

The pieces form cohesion with the wearers current wardrobe and transcend (whilst remaining current) seasons.We want our customers to enjoy their pieces for years to come.

I like to think of it as considered fashion….. a rebellion to modern-day mass production whilst preserving the skills, knowledge and expertise of the clothing industry in the Britain.

Cabba can be found on twitter (@cabba_studio), facebook ( and Instagram (cabba_studio or cathy_poole).