Orla Kiely: Behind the brand…

Described by The Guardian as the 'Queen of Prints', Orla Kiely's name is synonymous with textiles and those ubiquitous kitsch patterns. As her statement handbags come to ACHICA, we take a closer look at the woman behind the brand...

It all began…at a young age for the Irish designer. She studied fashion and textiles at the National College of Art, Dublin and went onto design for a variety of brands including Esprit and Habitat. She moved to London in the early 1990s and decided she still wanted to learn a bit more about fashion so she gained a Master's degree in knitwear at the Royal College of Arts.

[Pic Credit: Harlequin.uk]

Momentum gathered… when she displayed a range of hats in her exit show at the RCA – these were immediately purchased by Harrods. She subsequently moved into designing handbags after her father noticed during her first London Fashion Week show that everyone was carrying handbags but not wearing hats. In 1995 she went into business with her husband Dermott Rowan and two years later Orla Kiely developed an exclusive collection.

Mood of the moment…from the humble hat, the Orla Kiely brand now produces everything from ready-to-wear collections to homeware and furnishings.

More than a label, it’s a way of life... Today Orla's retro and mod-inspired prints are as famous as they were back in the 60’s and fans include Hollywood actress Keira Knightley and Kate Middleton. She has two shops in London and her brand is sold in more than 30 countries worldwide.

To see the full range of Olra Kiely handbags, shop at ACHICA





For beautiful furniture, accessories and daily design ideas for your home and lifestyle,
shop at ACHICA.

Keya Modessa, ACHICA Features Writer

View all posts by Keya Modessa, ACHICA Features Writer