Known for her bold, expressive pop art pieces, Audrey Hamilton recently launched her second business, a sustainable luxury apparel line. Here, Audrey tells us what inspires her, the designer she most admires and why fashion should be fun.
Tell us about you and your shop!
Fashion is Art was a pop-up collaboration between Audrey Hamilton Art and Audrey Hamilton Apparel. We wanted to do a pop-up to celebrate the launch of our new apparel line but also to give customers an opportunity to see the new designs and apparel in person. We launched during a global pandemic so this was our first chance to invite customers in.
What is your mission?
To create something today, for tomorrow, that didn’t exist yesterday.
Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?
I’ve always loved fashion and putting outfits together, so an apparel line is something I’ve always wanted to do. I love styling outfits and also helping friends style different pieces, I love a good mix and match and a clash when it comes to fashion. When I started painting with colour, I actually started wearing colour myself so much more too. I wanted to design pieces for myself first, as I always said finding the perfect sweater and T-shirt is so hard – I wanted to make pieces that we can feel comfortable and sexy in at the same time.
What kind of items do you stock?
We have a small range of apparel in our collection at the moment. This is not a fast fashion brand, we want to release small drops rather than encourage over-consumption. We want people to have our pieces in their wardrobes and be proud to own them. They are all ethically made and sourced with 100 per cent organic cotton and 100 per cent cotton. We currently have sweaters, joggers and T-shirts in the collection and I am designing the Autumn/Winter drop at the moment.
What new brands or items are on your radar?
Was money/funding a concern when starting out?
Well put it this way, some people buy that new car or house, others invest in their own businesses. It’s a risk of course, but I’ve always backed myself – it makes you work harder when it’s your own money.
Best business advice you’ve gotten?
Build your own future, otherwise, you’ll end up building someone else’s.
Favourite fashion/design accounts you follow?
I love Victoria Beckham, she’s an icon and pays so much attention to the cut and detail of her pieces.
I feel I do the same when it comes to our pieces. Our sweater isn’t just a typical sweater, I designed it specifically to cover the lady bits but to also create a shape that is flattering to wear.
Best fashion purchase?
Mmmmm maybe my Golden Goose trainers. I have collected a few pairs over the years as I find they go with everything. They’re so comfortable and are great quality too – you can dress them up or down, quite like our apparel line!
Other Irish brands you love?
There are so many fabulous Irish brands I admire, down to their ethics and products. And not just within the clothing industry either… there are so many brilliant Irish brands doing amazingly, all across the world. I love Sculpted by Aimee’s makeup products, Bare by Vogue tanning products and Ferifolk and Aoife Ireland dresses are fab.
Most useful learning since setting up a business?
The lows teach you more than the highs
Proudest moment so far?
I would probably say myself and my husband starting an apparel brand during the pandemic. Joining our talents and working together for the first time. We are very proud of the business we have created.
I want my brand to be remembered for… its quality and for encouraging people to have fun with fashion.
If I could have anyone wear my designs it would be… ooooh I’d love to see my pieces on the likes of Rihanna, Dermot Kennedy, Billy Piper, Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian… the list goes on!