FAMOUS fashion designers have revealed rare archive pictures from their first show as they prepare to host a reunion.

Wayne and Geradine Hemingway, who founded Red or Dead clothing label in 1983, have revealed photos of their first collection being modelled at the Fleming Square Club in Blackburn town centre in spring that year.

The Hemingways are now asking for original models, factory and shop staff, to come forward as they plan a ‘Red or Dead 1983 Reunion’ to mark the first-ever National Festival of Making.

Taking place on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, across the town centre, the festival aims to inspire people young and old to take part in creative activities.

Mr Hemmingway said: “My memories of starting out in Blackburn revive the exciting feeling of knowing that you’re setting out on an adventure and our adventure still hasn’t come to an end well into our fourth decade after starting out.

“These photographs show how we began, with almost nothing but enthusiasm.

“As it was my mum that recruited our staff and models assisted by Gerardine’s sister, Frances, both Gerardine and I are unsure of many of their names after all these years, but we valued the role they played.”

Those coming forward will be able to meet up with Mr Hemingway in Blackburn on the weekend of the festival.

The Hemingways set up the label after returning from their London market stall to set up a factory in the now-demolished Roe Lee Mill and opened the first Red or Dead Shop in Town Hall Street.

The full range of photographs of the early years of Red or Dead in Blackburn can be seen at The National Festival of Making Facebook page at or the website at

Any original Red or Dead staff or models who worked with the Hemingways in 1983 can leave a comment via Facebook or contact

The Hemingways stepped back from involvement with Red or Dead in 1999 before founding HemingwayDesign.