Colin Wolfenden

Fashion designer and TV presenter, Colin Wolfenden, studied the National Diploma in Fashion Design at Bradford College in the 1980s.

Colin WolfendenFashion designer and TV presenter, Colin Wolfenden, studied the National Diploma in Fashion Design at Bradford College in the 1980s. Colin had his own men’s and ladies wear brand bent and corrupt. The collection was sold by all major designer stores throughout the world including Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Brown Thomas (Dublin), and Sebu (Hong Kong). With 6 years of steady growth, the collection was recognised as a key British brand and boasted a host of celebrity client including Robbie Williams, Ewan McGregor, Lee Ryan and Jude Law.

Colin now has a host of interesting ‘consultancy’ contracts, one of them being the Ten by Michael Owen collection for Burton. Colin took influences from footballer Michael’s sports and home life and created a very personalised and directional casual wear brand. He is also a visiting lecturer in Fashion Design at Leeds University.

Colin’s first TV work was presenting a makeover show for Channel 4 called Fairy Godfathers, in which he answered the call of distressed women who had given up on their men. He totally transformed the guys from Neanderthals into slick, caring ‘new men.’ Colin still lives in Leeds and spends his time flitting between the city, Nottingham, London, Italy and Germany.

“I still remember vividly the day I went for the interview for a place on the Fashion Design course at Bradford College. A 16 year old school leaver from a council estate in Bradford with an idea that he might become a fashion designer. How sad is this, I also remember what I wore, a cropped blazer, white cricket trousers and white mesh pumps - the height of fashion for a long hot summer in Yorkshire. It was pouring with rain! I looked like a very trendy drowned rat when I walked into the office of Judith Wilde, who was the Head of Fashion at the time.

When I think back I cringe with embarrassment at the work I presented and my idea of fashion, but Judith must have seen something in my work as she offered me a place on the course. I was on my way. Judith was a real inspiration to me and I will always be very grateful to her for the opportunity and encouragement she offered. The highlight of my time at Bradford would have to be winning the Award for Most Promising Student at the end of the course."

Colin has never forgotten that one of the best things about the course was getting people from industry in to give insights and he has generously given his time to talk to students and offer a professional critique of their work. “I owe Bradford College for the best start to my fashion career and try to help whenever I can. I am teaching a little myself now and there are things that I still remember from my time at Bradford that I incorporate into my lessons.”

Photograph supplied by Colin Wolfenden