Ex Hogan Lovells trainee gets to grips with fashion business

A former Hogan Lovells trainee’s gamble to ditch the law in favour of fashion is beginning to pay off as she looks to expand to wholesale next year.

Sally Hartfield launched Matilda & Quinn in September 2011 after leaving the firm in February. Following a positive response to her autumn and winter range she is hoping to expand to UK retailers in 2012-13.

Hartfield said that the inspiration for the fashion line came from working as a lawyer. She said: “When I was working at the law firm there were constant complaints from lawyers and trainees about a real lack of clothing that wasn’t boring but was still safe and smart.

“I wanted to develop clothes that were smart but also had some sense of individuality, by finding a balance between formal and stylish while taking in key trends.”

Matilda & Quinn, named after her great aunt, is made mostly in the UK. Hartfield largely sells her range of clothes online but also via events at a number of locations including her former firm’s London office last week.

She believes her legal background has equipped her with the skills needed to establish her own business, as well as an ability to endure long working hours.

“My background in law has been really useful, as you have to be good with managing time, organisational skills, and having the ability to think quickly and analytically,” she added. “My working hours are worse than when I was in the law – since I left Hogan Lovells in February I haven’t had a day free from work entirely.”

Her future plans are to continue expanding the brand, gain greater awareness and to one day establish worldwide sales.

(Photograph by Nina Kadatko)