Jay Francois-Campbell started sewing aged seven. She is the third generation of her family trained as a bespoke tailor and was an apprentice to four London tailors. She trained in several disciplines; bespoke, military wear, period, costume/fantasy, traditional, modern, alterations and dancewear.
Jay trained at Central St Martins School of Art, London College of Fashion and Arts University in Bournemouth studying art and design, pattern cutting, costume construction and draping on the stand, she worked as a freelancer before joining the Royal Opera House, where she was employed for more than 15 years in the ladies and men’s department, as a senior tailor and later on as assistant cutter, producing top quality tailored garments for numerous world-class artistes including; Bryn Terfel, Darcey Bussell and Carlos Acosta.
In a career spanning more than 25 years, Jay has worked on more than 100 productions for TV, film, opera and ballet such as; The Royal Ballet, English National Opera, Lion King, Les Miserable’s, Phantom of the Opera and Madame Tussauds, working with many designers including; Ralph and Russo, Gareth Pugh, Nikki Gillibrand, Nancy Bryant, Jenny Tiramani and John McFarlane.
In 2016, Jay became an author. ‘Simple Tailoring and Alterations’ is available throughout the UK and across the world in countries including; Australia, Germany, USA and Spain.
Jay currently enjoys working as a freelance theatrical tailor and cutter from her studio in Kent. She specialises in performance tailoring (opera and ballet), pushing the boundaries of traditional tailoring in the 21st century.
She mentors and encourages the next generation of tailors as a visiting university lecturer.