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News > Life After Hymers > Sylvia Lea Fashion Collection

Sylvia Lea Fashion Collection

Madison Taylor (OH 2016-20) is behind the clothing brand that she started while at university

We recently heard from Madison Taylor, who studied at Hymers College between 2016 and 2020.  She updated us on her life since leaving Hymers College, which included starting her own clothing brand.


What did you do after leaving Hymers?

After I left Hymers in 2020, I went to University in London - The University of Arts London - to do Fashion Journalism. I chose to start my journey in London after doing a week short course at Conde Nast College, doing the same as my degree, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

What career path have you followed?

I have pursued a journalism career path via my university degree and as journalism is easily a freelance job, I have also focused a lot of my time on my own business.  Towards the end of my first term in my second year at university, I decided to pursue my dream of having my own brand and have been working on it ever since

I have always wanted to own a clothing brand but wanted to wait until after university to launch it. However, I had such an urge to get it going, so I dove into the deep end and did it mid-university course. So now I am balancing between the two very well. I was on constant phone calls with manufacturers all over the world to try to find the best deal for my designs. I sat on 4-hour calls with design teams to put my ideas down on paper, and eventually, I concluded all my research and got my clothes ready. The brand was originally called White Couture, as this was the name of my fashion blog, which I started at Hymers in sixth form, but I later changed it to Sylvia Lea. The name was inspired by my grandmother - Sylvia - who died two weeks after I was born, as I have always been told I am so much like her. As well, my middle name is Leah; thus, I decided to combine the two and got Sylvia Lea.

My first collection in Sylvia Lea was called the Entrance Collection, and each garment is named after something meaningful to me. Entrance Collection is named this because I used to live in Australia, and the name of where we stayed was Noosa Entrance. The rest of the clothes are named Bays, my university accommodation is in Bayswater; Bernadette, after my other grandmother; Hastings, after a street in Australia I loved - Hastings Street and so on. 

Are you still in touch with anyone from Hymers?

I still speak to all my friends from Hymers, whether it is the ones from senior school or the ones from the sixth form. We all catch up most weekends during summer since many are home from university; in fact, I saw many of my Hymers friends at my 21st birthday party.

To view Madison's work, please visit her website at sylvialea.com

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