22 Hours in Milan

SS18, is well underway, yes as crazy as it sounds, we do plan that far ahead! The only thing I’m missing are some key fabrics. Italy is my destination of choice for beautiful, fair trade, high quality fabrics that are good enough for Manley!

I know what you're thinking, a bita work followed by the beach? I’m afraid not, it’s a crazy 22 round trip. 4:30am alarm call is followed by a manic dash to Dublin Airport to catch my 6:15am flight. As you can see, I don’t leave much room for... well, anything really.

As it’s short trip, I only had time for two factories. One is our silk and wool specialist and the other is what we call a ‘jobber’ factory. Essentially, they buy the leftovers from the big brands such as Versace, Elie Saab, Moschino, Gucci and then they in turn, sell them on to small designers and brands such as Manley.  This way, smaller business don’t have to deal with minimum fabric orders. Manley doesn't order enough fabric for some fabric mills to even talk to us. They would want a minimum order of 2,000 meters per colour and that's just not something we can do. With jobbers fabric, what you see is what you can have so if there is only 50meter left, that’s it, but for me, that's what makes it exciting. We produce small limited edition runs from these fabrics so that they pieces we make are truly special.

Between factories it’s a bite at an Autogrill, not so fashion glam but it does the job. With a two hour drive to the first factory, a two hour drive between factories and finally an hour and a half drive to the airport, a lot of time is spent in the car. So a well deserved Aperol Spritz is in order when it’s all done!

Time for a quick airport dinner, a dash to the cheese shop to stock the fridge back in Dublin and it’s home time. The three hour journey is passed easily with getting stuck into ‘Overdressed’, the first book on the list for our upcoming Manley Book Club… but more on that another time!

2:30am and I’m snug as a bug in a rug, not bad for a day’s work!