This year's Fashion's Night Out was seriously buzzing. The streets of Mayfair were jammed with fashionistas on the hunt for exclusive purchases and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the designers themselves.
The highlight of my evening was getting to meet and interview the legendary fashion designer, Orla Kiely. The Irish designer was on-hand during FNO to present her second collection for Uniqlo. Her first collection for the high street chain sold out in just four hours.
I had the great privilege of speaking with Kiely just before she hit the Uniqlo shop floor on Oxford Street to meet and greet her many fans.
AG: It is always so inspiring to meet successful working mothers. What advice would you give to fellow working mothers?
OK: My sons are teenagers now so it's a bit easier. I didn't do it all by myself, I had a great nanny and a trusted team around me. But I always try to juggle the kids and work as much as possible. I actually started the business and got pregnant straight after, so we just had to get on with it.
AG: Why did you decide to do a second collection for Uniqlo?
OK: They are such lovely people to work with. I really respect the philosophy and the quality of the product. The colours and prints and cottons are all very high quality. I often shop in Uniqlo for my basics and for my sons. We were on a hunt for a raincoat for my son one day, we were prepared to spend some money, but ended up finding the perfect one in Uniqlo, great quality and great price.
AG: What other collaborations are in the pipeline?
OK: I'm keen not to do too many of the same things. A recent project has been a collaboration with the "Method" (cleaning) products which I love. They are environmentally friendly. I like to collaborate with good causes and all projects have to be carefully chosen to represent my values.
AG: You've won a ton of awards, when did you feel like you really made it?
OK: I don't think I've ever felt that way. There's still so much to do. Each season just gets better and better. I guess two great honours for me was my OBE and being appointed Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art. That was special because I studied there.
AG: Which celebrities best reflect your brand?
OK: Oh gosh, that's a hard one. I think Alexa Chung wears everything so well. As does Keira Knightly.
AG: You're showing a collection at New York Fashion Week this year. Are you excited?
OK: I am so excited. I leave for New York tomorrow morning. Really excited to be there. New York is fantastic.
AG: I'm an LA girl, are there other places you like visiting in the States?
OK: I love LA. I actually spent time there this summer. And in Palm Springs. It's so lovely and warm.
AG: Thank you so much for speaking with me. Good luck at Fashion Week and congrats on another great collection for Uniqlo.
To check out the Orla Kiely collection for Uniqlo click here. http://shop.uniqlo.com/uk/store/clothing/orlakiely/women/
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