There are some designers that when you hear their name you automatically light up. And Lucy Nagle is one such designer. She has moved cashmere into the contemporary space and in doing so has created some of the most beautiful, wearable cashmere pieces in the market. Her creations are elegant, chic, lightweight and yet still warm. Her cosy sweater is certainly one of my favourites!
Lucy has a history in interior design while living in London and graduated from the prestigious KLC School of Design. In 2012, Lucy decided to transfer her design flair to fashion and launched her first accessories range. Then with a clear eye for design, she decided to move into fashion design and since her business launch in 2013, she has carved a clear spot in the Irish Design landscape, both in Ireland and in the international market as well.
She is a true design entrepreneur and it is very inspiring to hear her story and about her own inspirations. Sharing an interview with her today on Floralesque really is such a highlight for me and I hope that you enjoy.
Have you always had an interest in design?
I have always loved fashion for as long as I can remember. I love dressing up as a little girl and would design fancy dress pieces by adding ribbon, glitter etc to my old dresses.
I understand that you were an interior designer before a fashion designer. How has your past career shaped your design career?
I spent years working as an Interior Designer in London, I studied it there and then worked as a design assistant before setting up my own company. For me the best part of the job was the decorative part, I loved putting together the colour schemes and making sure I had the right balance of textures. So the move into fashion was a natural progression for me as working with colours and textures was what I loved the most.
Cashmere is such a beautiful textile – what drew you to work with it?
I have always loved cashmere, when I was too young to be able to buy my own I would borrow my mum’s cashmere sweaters. I would take them back to boarding school with me and wear them after school with my jeans. I loved them, especially the oversized styles. I have a lot of oversized styles in my collection now as I think women love sweaters which are a bit loose and can be layered over a shirt.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
When I first started out, I took inspiration from my own wardrobe and what I love to wear. Since then I will find inspiration in lots of things, such as street style. Especially when I travel to great cities like NYC. Seeing what day-to-day women like to wear is so important to me. I want to create knitwear that all women can relate to.
Is there a certain piece that you have created that you are most proud of?
My best seller for the past 4 seasons is the Oversized cashmere hoodie.It is such a hit with women of all ages. It’s elegantly casual which is what I try to make my collections about. Everyone wants to be able to throw something on and look great.
I am sure that starting your own business has had its challenges. Is there anything that you wish someone had told you before you started?
I was so nervous starting out, but I’m so glad I took the leap and didn’t let fear stop me. I was given lots of advice from people and I found everyone to be so supportive. I supposed the best bit of advice would be to don’t sweat the small stuff. Early on you can get too caught up in the irrelevant things, concentrate on the bigger picture would be my advice to anyone starting out.
You have a fantastic presence online and your Instagram is really well curated. I think that being visible online is so important in this digital age, how important is it to your business to have that online space?
Social media is so so important. I have constant traffic and orders every day on my website, up to 20 orders every morning. And they mostly come from social media followers. I think the customer really likes to see the collection in lots of different ways and Instagram lets you do that. It is so visual. I make sure we post at least once a day to keep our presence constant.
Although I am sure hard to choose, what is your proudest brand moment to date?
For me the proudest moment was after a really successful Create 2013, my collection sold really well. After it finished I was asked by Shelly Corkery to be a permanent presence on the 2nd Floor in Brown Thomas, alongside the denim bar. I remember being a little star struck as we walked around the 2nd Floor choosing a permanent space for my pieces.
What does the future hold for Lucy Nagle?
There is so much more I’d like to do. Enter the UK market is first on the list. Followed by expanding the range to include great cotton basics to wear with the cashmere. Kidswear is another thing!
A massive thank you to Lucy for the interview. I adore her work and am also delighted to be seeing her work on the catwalk of the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2017. She is a finalist for Fashion Designer of the Year and I have no doubt that her designs will be a resounding success. I would highly recommend checking out the Lucy Nagle website – prepare to be inspired. They are also on Twitter and their Instagram is beautifully curated.
All images kindly provided by Lucy for use.