Jacqueline Hancher

Tory Turk

Designer Biography

DOI: 10.5040/9781474260428-FPA242

Jacqueline Hancher was born in 1961, in Scotland. At the age of eight years old she began to help in her mother’s fashion boutique, Clementine’s, in Dollar. Hancher studied fashion and textiles at Edinburgh School of Art and then went on to do a degree in fashion and textiles at Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London, graduating in 1981.

Immediately after graduation, Hancher launched her self-titled women’s wear brand. The collections specialized in leather and suede garments and were sold internationally through major department stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Harrods, and Liberty. The label was also shown at various international trade fairs, enabling Hancher to expand the brand by securing agents in both Italy and Germany.

In 1989, Hancher opened a boutique in London’s Carnaby Street area. In 1991, she showed her collection “Fabulation” at both London and Paris fashion weeks. The same year she also showed her spring/summer 1992 collection in New York in “The British Designer Show” at the Hotel Macklowe, alongside fifteen British designers (including Hardy Amies, Helen Storey, Anya Hindmarch, and Emma Hope). A Women’s Wear Daily report in November 1991 commented: “Jacqueline Hancher, who showed here for the first time, presented her signature fun leathers in green and orange checkerboard print.”

In 1984, Hancher introduced a menswear division called Hancher. The line showed in Paris and London with the English Menswear Designer Collective. Success meant that she was able to open three shops in London. In the same year, she was given the BP/BBC Young Businesswoman of the Year award and represented Britain in Japan as one of the UK’s leading designers, the objective being to encourage awareness of British designers.

Between 1986 and 1988, Hancher designed sheepskin women’s wear lines for the Somerset company Morlands. Between 1987 and 1989 she designed mid-market women’s wear suede and leather lines for Pelle Leathers. In 1992 she initiated the company Quest Clothing, and designed mid-market ranges sold to Jane Norman and various independent boutiques worldwide. Over the following years, other clients included David James and Lipsy. Throughout her career she has gained extensive experience in clothing for TV, film, theater, and ballet.

In 1994, she created the brand Miss Moneypenny, a fashion label aimed at young women. The brand had concessions in Miss Selfridge, opened its own shops in London and Newcastle, and was worn by celebrities including the Spice Girls. In 1996, Hancher was invited by Jeff Banks and the British Fashion Council to represent Britain at a fashion show and seminar in Poland.

After the fashion label was concluded, Hancher created Miss Moneypenny Agencies, a cash-and-carry wholesaler which was the UK distributor for over thirty French and Italian mid-market brands. This company ceased trading in 2008. Hancher is currently director of Digby Morton Ltd.

Jacqueline Hancher, Fall/Winter 1991. Photograph by Niall McInerney, Fashion Photography Archive

References and Further Reading

Find in Library ““English Attitude”.” Women’s Wear Daily , 13 November 1991 .