“Manchester has heart” – soap stars launch Manchester Fashion Festival

Alice Bird | 25th February 2018

Ambassadors Zeynep Kartal (bottom left) with Bhavna Limbachia and the models

On Friday the 23rd February Manchester Hall was transformed into a glitzy fashion wonderland to celebrate clothes, jewellery, talent, and the amazing spirit of the city with the first ever Manchester Fashion Festival.

Stars from Coronation Street and Hollyoaks including Lucy Fallon and Daisy Wood-Davis were among the glam audience who piled into Manchester Hall to champion fashion done “The Manchester way.”

The VIVA team with Lucy Fallon

The festival put together by Real PR was inspired by the fact that up-and-coming fashion designers are constantly told to move to London to gain fashion success, despite Manchester’s growing and exciting fashion scene.

Zeynep Kartal, an international fashion designer and adopted Mancunion, refuses to move away from the city she loves which is why she is an ambassador for this event, showing that Manchester can do whatever London can and should not be underestimated.

The VIVA Team with Daisy Wood-Davis


Bhavna Limbachia and Zeynep Kartal the shows ambassadors

Corrie star Bhavna Limbachia was also an ambassador for the event. With a rich background in fashion and a degree in costume design the actress sat front row wearing a beautiful sheer gown by Zeynep herself.


The song which has gained a place in many mancunions hearts following the Manchester bombing in 2017 was performed sweetly by the academy set up by Faye Brooks, who sat front row, and Gareth Gates.

As the show continued the audience were treated to collections from five different and exciting brands showcasing local and international talent.

The first collection was a collaboration between the Real Housewives of Cheshire’s Leanne Brown with OBD clothing.

‘The empowerment range’ is helping raise money for the charity One woman at a time which helps assist women on education and training and 30% of each sale in the collection goes straight to the charity.

The powerful collection includes hoodies and T-shirts with empowering statements printed on them including phrases like ‘freedom’ and ‘encourage empower embrace’.

The next brand to wow the audience was Kiki Minchin Jewellery. The brand which was launched in 2013 has been seen on many famous faces such as Fearne Cotton and Lauren Pope and is described as ‘Haute couture meets rock and roll.

The exciting collection saw models sassily strut their stuff with edgy makeup all done by Evelyn House of hair and beauty whilst adorned in beautiful elegant jewellery.

The third collection to step onto the runway was “Manchester born-and-bred” turned international brand Native Youth.

A personal favourite of Lucy Fallon from Coronation Street and winner of Drapers Young Fashion Brand of the year 2017, the brand proves that you don’t have to be in London to be successful.

Native Youth has been worn by celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Zayn Malik and the crowd got a peak into its spring summer 18 collection before it launches next week.

Next up to wow the audience was Doherty, Evans & Stott . The British brand which makes made to measure suits has served the likes of Tom Hardy and Eddie Redmayne.

The impeccable collection was definitely a favourite with the men of the audience who could admire the beautifully tailored suits and jackets.

As the fashion show drew to an end the final brand to step onto the catwalk was Zeynep Kartal.

Manchester was privileged to see the collection which has come straight from London Fashion Week.

Zeynep, the shows ambassador, has dressed countless A-list celebrities like Lady Gaga and Cheryl and only last week Zeynep’s beautiful gowns were worn by famous faces at the National Television Awards.

One of Zeynep Kartal’s dresses shown on the catwalk

Zeynep’s collection put the audience in a trance with the atmospheric music paired with elegant stylish dresses.


After Zeynep showcased her stunning collection the other four brilliant designers and models all took to the catwalk to take one final bow as Zeynep and Bhavna took to the mic to wrap up the show and give some final words.

Speaking to the audience Zeynep said: “I love London fashion week but Manchester is my home.”

Manchester is such a diverse and multicultural city with such a promising fashion scene.

Successful fashion houses are popping up all over Manchester including Missguided, Boohoo and Pretty Little Thing, proving that Manchester should not be dismissed as a fashion city.

Bhavna Limbachia summed up the night quite perfectly by saying: “It is great to have London as the fashion capital of the world

Some may say it’s the city of dreams

But do you know what Manchester has

Manchester has heart

And the old saying goes you should always follow your heart.”


Album 1

Hollyoaks Cast Daisy Wood-Davis, Luke Jerdy and Jimmy EssexBhavna Limbachia wearing Zeynep KartalZeynep KartalLeanne Brown X OBD ClothingLeanne Brown at the eventNative YouthKiki MinchinLeanne Brown X OBD ClothingKiki MinchinKiki MinchinDoherty, Evans & StottZeynep KartalDoherty, Evans & StottReal PR put the event togetherNative YouthZeynep KartalDoherty, Evans & StottAmbassadors Zeynep Kartal (bottom left) with Bhavna Limbachia and the models