Not Just A Label – Betty Jackson

betty 2Betty Jackson was born in Lancashire, England on the 25th of June 1949. Both her parents were involved in textiles and the retail industry, her mother a ‘for the season’ shopper at Kendal Milne and her father the owner of a shoe factory. Jackson was educated at Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School during her early life and went on to study fashion at the Birmingham College of Art, under Zandra Rhodes. Originally she aspired to follow a career in sculpture, however this dream was dashed by an allergy to plaster of paris. Instead she moved to London and worked as a freelance film illustrator until 1973 when she met Wendy Dagworthy, often described at the “High Priestess of British Fashion,” starting her career impressively as Wendy Dagwothy’s design assistant until 1975, when she became a designer for Ossie Clark’s Quorum line and later Coopers.

In 1981 she met David Cohen, her future husband and creative collaborator. Together they opened Betty Jackson Ltd where she designed garments and quickly earned international recognition for her boldly coloured and patterned designs for the young, on trend fashion aficionados. In 1985 she was awarded “British Designer of the Year”, she has since been awarded with a CBE for ‘services to the fashion industry’. By 1986 she had released her first menswear collection, and opened her own flagship store in 1991 in London. During the 90s she designed outrageous costumes for Eddy and Patsy, characters of hit TV show Absolutely Fabulous.

She continued to enjoy a successful fashion career and has been recognised as an advisor in the fashion world. In 2000, she launched the Autograph collection for Marks & Spencer and now does Betty Jackson Black for Debenhams. She recently joined the advisory panel of the British Fashion Council’s Model Health Inquiry, involved in the ‘size zero’ debate; and helped modernize the gowns of the civil judiciary, after being asked by the Lord Chief Justice, Nicholas Philips.

She is one of the most celebrated and established British designers. Recognised for her loose, unstructured, simple shapes, boldly coloured materials, and big loose, handmade knits.

Shop Betty Jackson in our collection:

1970s Betty Jackson for Quorum Skirt 

1980’s Betty Jackson Tartan Shirt Dress