Home Features Spotlight On: Irish designer Aisling Duffy

Spotlight On: Irish designer Aisling Duffy

Each week we're putting the spotlight on an inspiring woman in Ireland.

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Irish designer Aisling Duffy is currently making her mark on the London fashion scene.

Aisling has a seriously impressive background in design, creating prints for huge houses before settling down to create her own brand – which can only be described as a treasure trove of vibrant prints, genius structuring and poignant symbolism.

Each piece is intricate and tells a story that depicts something close to the designer’s heart – as well as being ethereally beautiful and wearable.

Her pieces are currently available from her website and from Om Diva, and she recently showed her latest collection at the 2019 Rose of Tralee Festival.

We chatted to the distinctive designer about her inspirations, how she cultivated her craft, and what sustainability means to her and her label.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Aisling Duffy, I’m an Irish Fashion Designer based in London. I create made-to-order and one-of-a-kind fashion collections from my studio in London. My collections are vegan friendly and I work with a lot of upcycled and vintage fabrics and trimmings. I moved to London six years ago and originally worked as a Print Designer, designing fabrics for fashion houses, before starting my own label.

What are your earliest memories of fashion?

My earliest memories of fashion come from both my Grannies. I can remember their jewellery boxes and wardrobes full of sequinned outfits. I also can remember receiving ‘parcel clothes’ as a child. My family in America would send over a parcel of clothes from their kids who were a bit older and myself and my cousins got to look through the parcel and pick what we wanted. This idea of second hand and vintage shopping has never left me and it is how I shop to this day.

Can you talk us through your background in design?

My background is in Textiles. I studied Printed Textiles at The National College of Art and after I graduated I did a Masters in Mixed Textiles at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland Where do you draw your inspirations for your pieces?

My collections are inspired by Identity, memory, Environment and Personality I am constantly inspired by how these themes shape a person and how we as humans portray ourselves to others.

You use a lot of signifiers of Irish heritage in your collections, how important is the Irish identity to your work?

My current collections explore the theme of Irish Identity, something that I think about a lot as an Irish national based outside of Ireland. I think about how I am shaped from my Irish upbringing and how this has merged with my life in London and its poses the question for me ‘What Is Being Irish?’

What is the importance of sustainability in your work?

I think for anyone bringing something new to the world it is so important to think about the sustainability ad journey of the product. For me I have started by working a lot with vintage and up cycled fabrics. I source as much of my materials and equipment as I can secondhand from closing down factories, craft shops or fabric shops.

I have found that in the past 5 years it is easier to find companies working with sustainable fabrics and ethical methods of production. I am not perfect but my goal is to create fully sustainable collections over the coming seasons!

Who is your dream person to dress or create a piece for?

Its so hard to pick one person but if I could create a piece for Artists such as Charli XCX or Grimes I’d be pretty happy.

Do you have any advice for up and coming designers?

Have a plan, know your business values and your with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or opinions, most of all be passionate about what you are doing because it is really hard work and a huge commitment!

What are your plans for the future of your brand?

My plans for the future is to keep growing my brand, developing my style and to produce two collections a year; Autumn/Winter & Spring/Summer. I hope to be able to get help with production and PR over the next year as I do everything on my own at the moment, the making, designing, marketing emails etc. I would also love to grow my list of stockists in Ireland and the UK.

You can find out more about Aisling on her website HERE and via her Instagram page HERE.

On this week’s Gosscast Goss.ie Founder Ali Ryan talks to Lisa Cannon about her best and worst celeb interviews and the reality of working in showbiz.

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