Q+A: Stighlorgan.

January 26, 2014
London-based accessories label Stighlorgan, may not be an indigenous Irish brand but it’s undoubtedly and enthusiastically waving the Irish fashion flag abroad. I’ve ranted countless times about the difficulty of establishing yourself as a designer or brand in Ireland what with a whirlwind of financial crises and what seems to be a general reluctance to invest in homegrown talent, and although Stighlorgan’s status might strike some as problematic (an ‘Irish’ fashion brand, based in London), I’m – instead – proud to see they’re smart enough to acknowledge the fact they’ll find success sooner across the Irish Sea, and proud to say they’ve not lost sight of their roots.

Here’s what they had to say…

MM: What is Stighlorgan?

Stighlorgan is a newly founded modern Irish accessories brand.

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MM: Who founded the brand, and why?

The people who founded Stighlorgan are from the suburbs around Stillorgan, Dublin. The whole project started as a conversation amongst friends, discussing the potential in establishing a modern Irish brand. There is unusual style and honest aesthetics within Ireland, especially Dublin, that has inspired us for years. We felt that there was an opportunity to portray our view of modern day Ireland to the world. Since the brand has been established by Irish creatives living in or outside Ireland, a constantly moving collective, it has come to adopt ‘travelling’ as its identity, which is again we feel, a very Irish feeling.

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MM: The brand takes its name from the Irish for Dublin suburb “Stillorgan” (Stighlorgan) – why is this?

The word ‘Stighlorgan’, is a compound word created by combining the two Irish words that make up the original Irish name for the suburb Stillorgan; ‘Stigh lorgan’. It is still pronounced in the same way as the modern spelling; ‘Stillorgan’. Aside from the fact that we grew up in the area and we wanted a name that had a familiar echo to us, we felt that the Irish spelling, the silent ‘g’ in particular, maintained an older Irish feeling to what is otherwise a more modern brand.

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^ The Driscoll bag, crafted from bridle-style leather

MM: The ‘About’ page describes the brand as being ‘From Ireland’ but based in Hackney – is your designer Irish?

Yes, our designers are Irish. The head office is in Hackney. With the customer we are approaching in mind, we felt this was an ideal location to launch the brand.

To be honest, we are fascinated by Ireland’s presence abroad. The inspiration behind the Stighlorgan’s accessories collections lies heavily within the Irish culture of travelling. We are hugely inspired by the younger generations whose lives are built around the idea of settling in a location and growing to understand it, only to move life to a new location and begin the process again. Young people have become the ultimate nomads.

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^ Roban – leather-trimmed canvas rucksack

MM: Who, or what, inspires the designs?

From beautifully simple, and almost minimal towns and landscapes across Ireland, to modern day inner city Dublin, we find inspiration everywhere that represents this sharper, more modern side to Ireland’s aesthetic. This modern aesthetic often differs so much from the stereotypical image of Ireland.

Each season, our mood, style and design is inspired by an aspect of traveling. Our wordsmith, Davin, writes short stories to define the season; poems which create the backdrop and feeling expressed in our seasonal lookbook. This is how we want to continue to work; seasonal trend and moods that intertwine with stories, poems and words.

There is an area of the brand called Around Stighlorgan, which is featured on our site. We built this as a platform that could be used to promote Irish creative talent, working in and outside of Ireland. In the coming months we are going to begin introducing the handful of writers, photographers and musician whom we work with. Their work which we showcase on Around Stighlorgan is also an important inspiration for our accessories collections.

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^ Finn – leather-trimmed cotton canvas flight bag

MM: Where are your materials sourced and where are the Stighlorgan products manufactured?

Materials are sourced from a diverse range of countries depending on requirement and expertise. The wool and our knitted items simply had to come from Donegal, Ireland, and linen cotton webbing and leather small leather goods could only come from Italy.

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^ Cian – Donegal wool cashmere blend scarf

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^ Boann – genuine pewter buckle rope webbing belt

MM: What are the plans for the future of the brand?

It has been just under 2 months since we launched our first collection to the world. Our SS12 range has had an even better wholesale reaction than the first. So, we’re keen to continue to make accessories that we feel show a new side to Ireland.


Shop all the above styles and more at Stighlorgan

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  • Joana September 26, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    These pictures show great talent. I absolutely understand what you mean about Irish brands finding it hard to have people investing in them. I live in Portugal and, lately, I've been noticing even more how most of the successful Portuguese artists, creators, etc. were only able to become successful when they left Portugal because we are the kind of people who rarely see good in ourselves, our own. This may not be the case with Ireland and economy may even be the sole reason why people don't invest, but I still comprehend what you said. I think they did great in taking a risk and going to London. The items are great, solid pieces that prove the talent of the designer.

  • Paul September 27, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I'm inlove with the bags and belts! I NEED them! 🙂Paul, menswear blogger

  • Mat October 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    really liked this post and reading about something nice and refreshing on a monday evening