Sometime things happen when you least expect them. Friday night was one of those. Nominated for Best Irish Designer at the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards, I attended as I do every year, thinking it could never be Manley. This year was different, this year I walked away with the award.
Manley began seven years ago in an apartment in London where I slowly created our first collection in the spare time I had between a full time internship with Alexander McQueen and working 40 hours a week in a restaurant to pay the bills. I worked my back side off and I loved every second of it.
The decision to move back home to Ireland to really make a go of Manley was an easy one. I wanted to be around family and friends who could support me while I embarked on starting up and running my own business, and they did just that.
What everybody see’s is the glamour that I create for people, not the blood, sweat and tears behind the scenes. The seven long years I have spent building Manley have not been without their struggles. Nor have the seven years been without #TeamManley by my side. The Manley studio is reinvigorated every season with students from colleges all around the world, coming to learn, just like I did in New York City from VPL and Alexander McQueen in London. Team Manley also consists of Stylists, Make Up Artists, Hair Stylists, photographers, models, mentors and many more who give their time to Manley for nothing more than the love of what I am creating and the want to see the rise of Irish Design. This is an award for you all, for your hard work and lending your incredible talent to me and Manley.
To the man who tells me to get back on the horse when I’m exhausted and wanting to throw in the towel. Eoin, you see more and put up with more then any husband should see of their other halves working life. Your love and support is what keeps me going. Without you, there would be no Manley.
VIP magazine and Peter Mark, thank you for supporting the Irish fashion industry and small designers like Manley. You’re support allows us and many other brands to reach audiences that we would never be able to afford to reach alone. You have given Manley a platform and I plan on shouting on high from it.
Today I’m filled with pride for what Manley has achieved and I’m filled with excitement for what has yet to come. Most of all I’m filled with love and gratitude for everyone who has supported me along the way. To you, our dedicated Manley fans, Manley is nothing without you. I hope I continue to create collections that you love and pieces that you make memories in.