The Orla Kiely label was born in the mid 1990's after the designer was commissioned by Harrods to produce a range of hats. Not a bad start for a young designer who had just produced her finale spot for the graduation catwalk at the Royal College of Art! In 1997 Orla had her premiere show at London Fashion Week, leading to export sales aswell as launching her diffusion range for Debenhams. The next few years saw Orla expanding her range, designing for the Autograph range for Marks & Spencer, increasing export sales after a show at Paris Fashion Week and moving to a new studio in Battersea. In 2005 the flagship store opened in Covent Graden, London , aswell as a store in Tokyo. During this year the Orla Kiely website was launched aswellas a VIP wallpaper range for Habitat and a dedicated design studio opened in Clapham. Since then Orla has increased her range and further flagship stores opened around the world.
Many people can instantly recognise an Orla Kiely print in its many guises, whether as a handbag, duvet, towel or mug. Colour and pattern are at the forefront of her designs incorporating a unique scheme of graphic print. Whilst her range is out of many peoples price brackets, even the fabric range is available at £50 a metre, I have seen the stem print appear in a smaller scale by different designers, including Mingle by Jennifer Moore for Monaluna. Whilst I would adore to own the real mccoy I am perfectly happy to have a yard of Jennifers fabric and rustle up a little tote bag, then I can proudly say I made it!!
Available from Handmade Orla
Available from Sea Breeze Studio
Available from Piddleloop
Mingle by Monaluna
Available from Fabricworm
Tiny Vines by Riley Blake
Available from Cottage Belles Fabric