London based Irish designer Catriona Hanly studied her craft at Central St Martin’s in London and The Barbara Bourke College of Fashion in Dublin. Her fashion collections have made waves in Ireland, the UK and the US and her stand-out creative designs also caught the attention of celebrities worldwide including Wolf of Wall Street actress Madison McKinley in LA; Amanda Byram, Victoria Smurfit and Vogue Williams in London; as well as Daniella Moyles, Ash Quinn and Alison Canavan in Dublin to name but a few.
Having established sales of her jewellery line in over 350 boutiques in Ireland, the UK and the US Catriona went on to deliver interiors projects in leading hotels and private residences across the globe all the while gathering ideas and stimulation for fabrics and finish, developing a unique and inimitable style. A fashion collection was the next logical step for this talented designer and she is now creating timeless heritage pieces that make a unique style statement season after season. Catriona’s signature ‘collars and cuffs’ detailing is a consistent trait across all collections bringing strong continuity through each season’s story. Luxury also undulates at the centre of each collection conveyed by the designer’s trademark eye for fabrics, colour and texture.
Catriona was nominated for Irish Designer of the year 2015, won Jewellery Designer of the Year and her designs have stood out at Ascott, Cheltenham, The Irish Television Awards, the VIP Style Awards, House of Icons pre Oscar Fashion Show in Hollywood and starting to grace carpet events in LA, London, Dublin and Cannes.
Hey Catriona, How you first started out with your career as a designer?
I always had an interest in fashion from a very early age, so it was a natural progression to start designing. I studied at both Barbara Burke Fashion College in Dublin and also at St Martins in London.I originally started designing jewellery and interiors, before starting my career as a fashion designer three years ago.
What barriers you have faced and had to overcome so far?
I would say the biggest barrier I faced at the beginning of starting my career in the fashion industry, was getting the collection completed in time – in order to sell in stores.
There are many initial barriers you face when starting out, such as knowing how much fabric to buy, dealing with suppliers/manufacturers and overseeing quality control over your first samples within the collection.
What is a typical day for you like?
Every day is different for me but generally I start my day by checking my emails whilst having a healthy smoothie. I then spend few hours working with my intern Karolina. We could be doing anything from sourcing beautiful quality fabrics, to developing a new design, or making calls to my business partner Joe Dolan to discuss business with suppliers and manufacturers and my PR company Felicities in Shorditch.
Where do you look for inspiration?
My mind works really strangely actually, I often have no idea where things come from…
Mainly I rely on beautiful, quality fabrics and when I find them, they are usually what give me the enthusiasm, courage and inspiration to design a new collection!
Having established sales of your jewellery line in over 350 boutiques in Ireland, the UK and the US, where are you looking to expand to in the future?
My jewellery collection complements my fashion collections, which are the core to my expansion in the space. I hope to expand my fashion business into the bigger stores in London, along with my online sales.
Congratulations on your nomination for Irish Designer of the year 2015, won Jewellery Designer of the Year, what has been a real winning moment for you since then?
Plenty of exciting things have happened so far for me this year!
Including having been given the opportunity to design the uniforms for the Radio Rooftop Bar at the ME London Hotel – which was a great chance to design something different from my own collection!
I was also honoured to be part of several events, including the Irish Fashion Designers showcase at the Irish Tatler of Women of the Year Awards 2017 and an exclusive fashion designer partner at the Miss Candy International Fashion Launch. I am also excited to be part of Felicities Press Party on the 16th of November, where we will be showcasing our latest collection!
Twitter: @CatrionaHanly | Instagram @catrionahanly.official