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Designer attracts interest from high street stores

Strabane designer Lynsey McGarrigle.

Strabane designer Lynsey McGarrigle.

A STRABANE fashion designer could be on the verge of signing a deal with high street big hitters, Top Shop and Selfridge’s in London.

Lynsey McGarrigle, who runs Haus of MoHawk, recently unveiled her new collection at the House of Ikons Show at London Fashion Week (LFW).

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Hailed as a Mecca for fashionistas from around the world, this year LFW (September 16 – 20) attracted over 5,000 guests from 58 different countries.

From her perspective, Lynsey revealed the reaction to her Haus of MoHawk ‘Signature’ collection has been wholly positive.

“It was tough going but it was really, really worth it,” the local designer remarked.

“I had a fantastic time last year but this year I wasn’t so nervous because I knew what to expect, so I really enjoyed it.

“There were a lot of royal dignitaries there, there were celebrities and all the big buyers were there; it was just mind-blowing.”

She continued, “This year I was showcasing the new Haus of MoHawk collection and exhibiting for buyers, so I was busy doing both those jobs. I wanted to design this collection to make it recognisable, like when you look at Chanel, you know what it is… And I think that I managed to do that. People were so complimentary and the collection went down so well, I couldn’t have dreamed it possible. It really was beyond my wildest dreams.”

Exhibiting through House of iKons in conjunction with the Prince’s Trust, Lynsey’s new collection – the culmination of six-months’ work – literally turned heads around the catwalks. She was subsequently interviewed by the BBC and Pakistan Vogue – amongst others.

Lynsey's models take to the catwalk to showcase the Strabane deisgner's 'Signature' range.

Lynsey’s models take to the catwalk to showcase the Strabane deisgner’s ‘Signature’ range.

“Savita Kaye from House of iKons has told me that Top Shop and Selfridges could be interested,” Lynsey said. “So there’s a possibility they could be interested in buying some of my pieces. After Savita told me this, I said that if it turned out Haus of MoHawk had a franchise somewhere in Selfridge’s, I don’t think I would be able to cope.

“Nothing has been finalised yet, but I could hear more before the end of the week or early next week.
“I started an accessory line too and that completely sold out, which I was also thrilled about.

“So at the minute I’m still trying to come down from cloud nine, it’s been so unbelievable.”

Lynsey admits too that people within the industry have asked when she’s moving to London full-time. However, as the designer herself explains, she’s more interested in putting Northern Ireland on the global fashion map.

“What I want to do is set up a strong Northern Ireland brand, though if it happened, I wouldn’t mind setting up a London office.

“I think we can showcase with the best in the world and if we’re regarded as underdogs coming from here, sometimes I think that can work to our advantage.”

She concluded, “Savita and the House of iKons team have been superb and the whole thing was such a high quality fashion production. To be completely honest, it’s mind-blowing that this world exists and that I’m a part of it.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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