Interview with Irish fashion designers the KDK sisters
Interview with Irish fashion designers the KDK sisters. It’s not that often you can get two sisters to agree on anything especially when it comes to fashion.
However, there are two talented Irish sisters who are making a major breakthrough on the international fashion scene with their unique designs and prints that are turning heads on a global scale.
Irish Fashion designers, Keira and Dairine Kennedy cleverly combine their obsession with photography and travel and transform this into vibrant fashion pieces that are already Avoca’s best-sellers and available to buy in Brown Thomas in Ireland.
Fashion.ie caught up with these busy mums to find out more about their cool Irish fashion collections
How would you define fashion?
Fashion is defined by trends – what’s popular and what designers are putting their stamp on a look, but at KDK we don’t define our brand by seasonal trends, we’re much more interested in colour and prints that transcend seasons and suit the wearer, it’s about what they feel good wearing, and what colours enhance their features ultimately helping to pull a look together.
What age did you decide to choose fashion designing as a career?
We came to the fashion business later in our careers, we have both spent most of our careers working in the corporate world, Dairine still does, but we saw a gap for something we felt was missing.
We love to get dressed up for events but it can feel a bit soulless just dressing up in outfits that hold no huge meaning, and when we couldn’t find scarves in the right colours to pull an outfit together, we created our own.
Each of our scarves is a recreated scene from a landscape or moment with significance to us from a street in Cork to a beautiful tree in Connemara, even an everyday scene of Dublin cobble streets. And it feels so special to wear something that has a memory attached or a story to tell.
Is the fashion you grew up wearing reflected anywhere in your own designs of today?
We have both always been obsessed with colour. Our Grandfather was an artist, so we have inherited a sense of colour and a love for landscape and scenery.
Your designs are very creative, where do you get the inspiration for your designs?
From all around us, mainly places we have visited or inherently Irish things or spots that intrigue us, like Dublin cobble streets, we love taking something cool that’s specific to Ireland and making it more modern.
What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
Staying true to your aesthetic, stick with what you get the most enjoyment from. For us, it’s recreating places and playing around with unusual colour combinations.
Do you use technology to when setting out to design a piece of clothing or do you sketch the ideas our first?
We have various digital methods of recreating our digital prints; then it’s back and forth with the factories to see if they can recreate it in the same way we like.
Are there any international fashion designers that you admire and why?
We both adore Temperley. The whimsical dresses are pretty but also cool in such a unique way.
What high street clothing brands would you consider to be good value for money in terms or design and cost of garment items?
It has to be TK Maxx; you can unearth the best value from good brands if you’re lucky.
Out of all of your designs to date, what would you consider your personal favourite and why?
The hazy sugarloaf days scarf in the current collection. The mountain scene is close to where Keira lives, but we have recreated it in the most beautiful colour palette, so it almost looks like a painting.
What is the best part of being a fashion designer?
Being creative, constantly. There’s never an end; there’s always something to try or inspiration to be taken from something. We just love the process of snapping wherever we go and seeing what comes from those images.
Do you think there is enough being done to help the Irish fashion industry considering the stiff competition from international brands accessible on the internet today?
In short, no. There is definitely not enough funding to help small brands and designers to compete with International brands.
Do you design be-spoke garments tailored to someone’s needs?
Yes, we have a brilliant bespoke business, the customer sends in a favourite snap, and we recreate it on a scarf, they make the most precious gifts.
What advice would you give to any person considering a career as a fashion designer?
Don’t assume it’s going to be glamorous! It’s hard work, but like everything, if you put in the hours and dedication, you reap the rewards.
What new designs can we expect from you this season?
We have just launched a new silk printed kaftan collection of five easy-to-wear kaftans for Summer. And have so much coming up for autumn, a bigger and better collection of scarves. Watch this space.
From Coachella inspired designs to fab smart casual day to night fashion wear, Keira and Dairine Kennedy’s designs are certainly inspirational and definitely appeal to both the young trend set girls of today right up to the woman looking for that chic fashion look!
What makes it even better is that they are Irish fashion designers who are proudly flying the flag for some of the best of Irish fashion designs. Don’t forget to keep up to date with the latest designs and fashion news from both Keira and Dairine on their social media sites, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. As the girls said themselves, watch this space!
Interview with Irish fashion designers the KDK sisters