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Behind the Brands

With Aoife Harrison from Design Centre

Powerscourt Centre is at the heart of Dublin’s Creative Quarter and is delighted to have some of Irelands most successful, inspirational and talented designers on hand.

Design Centre at Powerscourt Centre is a forum for both up and coming and established designers, so we sat down with designer Aoife Harrison to gain some insights into her brand and to gain some styling tips for the upcoming Longines Irish Champions weekend.

How did you begin your career in Design?

I always had an interest in Fashion although I studied Business in College! This has given me a great foundation on which to set up and grow my business.  I worked for several years in Brown Thomas working with several brands, which gave me a fantastic insight into the industry. I did a night course in Grafton Academy in Millinery and it was then when I realised that hats were for me!!

Describe the Aoife Harrison Design Brand  & aesthetic

My brand is classically elegant.  I aim to make hats that have a timeless appeal to them. Every season I will acknowledge what colours are in season but the shapes of the hats are styles that are meant to flatter the wearer and to complement an outfit as a whole.

As the Longines Irish Champions Weekend racing is approaching, what tips can you give on how to style your headpiece correctly?

The Longines Irish Champions weekend is a fantastic weekend of racing and style with some fabulous prizes from Longines, Moët & Chandon & The Dylan hotel.  Also, the Champion Hat Competition takes place on Saturday at Leopardstown Racecourse so I would definitely say that the Hat should be the focus of your outfit!! If the hat is the focus of your outfit then keep the rest of your attire simple.  It goes without saying to wear comfortable shoes as it’s a long day on your feet. With a statement hat, I would recommend keeping your hairstyle simple and off your face. An up style can look very polished and stays in place all day.

What fashion trends/styles do you foresee at the races this year?

Boater style hats have been a popular style at the races this year, which is an edgy look that I really like and it’s a bit different from the more traditional ladies day styles. Big hats are great for the races as they really have the WOW factor! Jumpsuits have been a popular alternative to dresses over the last season and this seems to be a growing trend.

What can we expect from the upcoming collection?

I have just completed my Spring Summer 2018 Collection and blush pink is a predominant colour in it. I absolutely love working with feathers so they feature throughout the collection. I have a couple of new styles which I’m very excited about!!

What does it mean to you to be available in Powerscourt Shopping Centre?

My Collection is stocked in Design Centre on the 2nd Floor of the Powerscourt Shopping Centre along with Philip Treacy so it’s an honour to see my hats on the shelves beside his creations. The Design Centre is a destination store for those looking for the best in Irish Design. It was here that I launched my career and it’s a fantastic store to be part of. The Powerscourt Townhouse Centre has a wonderful mix of stores which all complement each other and make it a unique shopping experience.

What does the future hold for Aoife Harrison Design?

The future is looking busy! I am continuing to grow the wholesale side of my business. I also offer a bespoke service where clients can get a hat made to suit their outfit. I can meet customers in my studio on Fitzwilliam Square or in Design Centre in Powerscourt Townhouse and we can create a unique hat for their outfit. I also host hatty hen parties in my studio where a group can come and learn how to make a headpiece while having a glass of bubbles and create their own unique piece for the big day. It’s a really fun activity and nobody needs any prior experience.  We already have had several bookings for 2018 so it’s shaping up to be a busy year!!

Aoife Harrison Design can be found at Design Centre, Top Floor, Powerscourt Centre or online at www.aoifeharrisondesign.ie

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