Joyce Young OBE pic 3_smaller

After 30 years at the top of the fashion trade Joyce Young looks to the future

Sponsored Content | If it’s a big occasion, the only name that really matters is Joyce Young. And occasions don’t come much bigger than in September this year when the iconic, Scottish-founded fashion house celebrates 30 years in one of the toughest businesses on the planet.

Three decades ago, the idea that effortless elegance and stunning style might be available to everyone was born with the name of By Storm in a small, two-storey cottage on the busy Milngavie Road in Bearsden, to the North of Glasgow.

In the intervening years, and in a trade in which longevity is the exception – fashion houses flourish and die away like spring flowers – Joyce Young has established a brand which not only inspires return business but an unwavering loyalty from her family of clients.

It helps that she has dressed everyone from Judy Murray – remember that cream wool coat and mink dress at Andy’s wedding to Kim? – to Michelle Obama.

But what really matters is her easy elegance, driven by a love of textiles, which assures her customers that they can have the full couture process, from design to final fittings, and know that they will step into the spotlight wearing something totally unique and totally them.

Now trading as Joyce Young, after ceaseless legal pressure from Storm Watches over the company’s name, the house has two stores, one in Glasgow and one in London, and its own production unit in Glasgow.

Joyce, who was awarded the OBE by Prince, now King, Charles in 2013 for services to textiles, was another alumna of the Glasgow School of Art, the talent factory which incubates so many recognisable names in the rag trade.

She worked for M&S as a designer, but felt herself hidebound by cost restrictions and, on the advice of a director of the grand old Glasgow department store Dalys, decided to focus her talents on the wedding market, particularly the high end, as well as the cruisewear business on which she had initially focused her attention.

Awards tumbled in on top of other awards. She has innumerable accolades from the VOWS awards (Scotland’s Oscars for bridal wear) and won the Bridal Designer of the Year in 2016.

As her 30th anniversary in the trade approaches, Joyce says: ‘I have spent almost 50 years designing clothes. I have enormous empathy now with ladies of an age where their children are getting married. There doesn’t seem one word to describe us that is flattering, though we are all girls at heart.

‘Our clients appreciate good design, high quality, perfect fit, luxurious fabrics and unparalleled service. They are happy to pay the extra in the knowledge that they have an outfit individually made for them and they are unlikely to bump into another one exactly the same.’

Looking to the future, she believes that investment and collaboration to expand the daywear collection and the contemporary tartan designs would be helpful.

She said: ‘I’m sure collaboration with the right company could take what we have built and move it up a few levels.’