HARDY PUNGLIA dropped out of a BSc (Hons) degree in order to follow his dream of becoming a fashion designer.
He took the art foundation course at Huddersfield Technical College and then moved to Newcastle to study for a fashion design degree at Northumbria University.
“I did it all the wrong way round,” he says
However, Hardy, 32, who lives in Highfields, got there in the end and is now the proprietor of The Left Bank, newly-opened in Byram Arcade.
His boutique is also the place where he designs and manufactures his distinctive garments, with their emphasis on clever cutting and tailoring.
With a CV that includes a spell as a personal shopper in Harvey Nichols, Leeds, Hardy feels well placed to create clothes with a couture feel.
“My clothes are wearable with a twist. I focus on creative pattern cutting. I do a lot of one-offs for people and limited editions,” he says.
In fact, because Hardy still does much of the sewing and manufacture himself he is prepared to make bespoke garments for customers or tailor to fit. “If there is something someone likes but in the wrong size then I can make one for them,” he explained.
As well as selling his own creations, Hardy stocks garments and accessories by other young designers from this area.
With prices ranging from £15 to £150, The Left Bank falls into the mid price range for fashion.
“Since graduating I have been saving up in order to start this business and waiting for the right time to use all the skills that I have spent the past 10 years acquiring,’’ says Hardy, whose future plans include a menswear range.