I came across Emma Manley’s designs when a make-up artist friend of mine posted images on facebook of a shoot she had recently done. I was immediately struck by the beautiful, confident simplicity and construction of the garments, and assumed it had been done in London. Shame on me though, as Emma is Irish and working in Dublin. Being the busybody that I am, I got in touch with her to talk about Manley, her brand, and how she finds running a fashion label in Dublin.
JK: What’s the best thing about running your brand from Ireland?
EM: The constant support I get from family and friends who are always there urging me on. Working alone can be somewhat lonely and its pretty hard to be 100% enthused at all times, so having that support system really helps me to keep in top form and pushing Manley forward.
JK: And the biggest challenge?
EM: I suppose right now it’s the current economic climate. With the limited spending power out there it’s pretty evident that most start up’s wont survive. I suppose its a case of only the strongest will survive and I hope I can make the grade.
JK: What is your favourite part of the design process?
EM: Whats nice about the design process is that no process lasts for very long. Your researching, designing, then you’re sampling and finally you’re in production and all of a sudden the process needs to start all over again. It’s quite a controlled operation for something so creative! I’m never in one process long enough to grow board of it. Right now my favourite part is the embellishment work. I suppose it’s also the most gratifying part for me too. Studding work is a pretty tedious and time consuming task but I love how it transforms the garment and gives it attitude.
And we love the results! There is a confidence in the garments and their design that hints at great things for this young lady. Manley herself tells me that it’s an exciting time for the brand, and while she won’t be pinned down to specifics, I am more than happy to stay tuned to find out. Manley is currently available in Bow Boutique, Powerscourt Townhouse, a wonderful store run by another brave and incredibly talented Irish-based designer, Eilis Boyle.
And in case you were wondering, Emma is currently listening to Joanna Newsom, Goldfrapp’s Seventh Tree, Fight Like Apes and Villagers. Great taste all round then.
All images courtesy of Manley
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