While Sneinton Market has been undergoing a period of change and refurbishment in recent years, one of its past inhabitants, One BC, has remained at the forefront of Nottingham’s independent fashion scene, operating from its new premises on Gedling Street.

And as co-organiser of the Creative Quarter Spotlight on Independent Fashion event, the brand has featured strongly during the city’s first fashion week.

Husband and wife Tony and Reeta Brack started the One BC brand 17 years ago, producing bespoke clothing, including stage outfits and wedding dresses, for a diverse customer base.

Tony Brack says: “There’s no particular age range that we cater to, which keeps it interesting; there’s a new challenge every week.

“What usually happens is people will come into the store or they’ll have seen something and they’ll want it in a different fabric or they’ll need it made in their size.

“But we do try to use un-model models – real people – in our catwalks. Some of the shows we’ve done have been from a size 6 to a size 26!

“It’s always good fun.”

“Celebrity tags and labels do my head in; people should buy or wear what they want”

The brand has also built up an established celebrity following, having worked with Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, as well as Kid Rock.

But the “celebrity tag” is not something Tony likes to indulge in: “Things like that do my head in; people should buy or wear what they want and shouldn’t buy clothing by the label.

“I actually try to avoid putting labels in our clothing but I’ve been forced to include them in recent years. Funnily enough the Rolling Stones collection we did had no labels in it.”

Tony’s unconventional approach shines through during the catwalk event itself when he talks about how he fought against regulations to be able to fasten spray-painted mannequins onto the gates of the market.

He adds: “My daughter texted me at midnight to say she’d forgotten to spray the other side of the mannequins so I was down here this morning with a can of silver paint.

“So I’ve got myself very well organised, haven’t I? I look like a tramp, with a beer and a fag to top it off…but hey, what the hell.”

But don’t be deceived by Tony’s carefree attitude.

With over 30 years of experience between them, Tony and Reeta have established a brand that has become well respected, not just across Nottingham but outside the city as well.

Jodie Armstrong
One BC’s collection in the CQ Spotlight on Independent Fashion show

So why has the brand remained in Nottingham?

Tony says: “I never meant to stay here. I came to study here many years ago and though I have worked all over the place, I kept gravitating back to the city.

“So I guess I must like it; it’s got a nice feel to it.

“But I always feel it underachieves a little bit and that winds me up an awful lot because things like the independent fashion show should be happening more and more.

“There’s always been loads of talent in Nottingham and there’s always lots of creative things going on but everyone gets a little possessive about it and it would be more beneficial to share what they’ve got and work with other people.

“Then it becomes more of a creative force.”

Now that the refurbishment has been finished, Tony hopes that Sneinton Market and the surrounding area will become a well-known destination for fashion and creativity.

He adds: “It could be a great little place for people to come to but there’s all the usual hiccups with anything like that.

“Sticking a label on it – the ‘Creative Quarter’ – and expecting creative people to move in is a bit weird. It’s better off letting things like that evolve and happen naturally.

“But we’ll see.”