Meet Fashion Designer Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy

Have you heard of fashion designer Louise Kennedy? If not, you’re in for a treat. A graduate of the Grafton Academy of fashion and design, Tipperary-born Louise Kennedy established her eponymous label in 1983 and has earned an international reputation for creating clothes that are appreciated for their sophistication and elegance. We felt the story of Louise’s beginning, philosophy and
business success would be inspiring.


Louise Kennedy

What is it about the design industry that appealed to you?

“My parents were in retail so I grew up around fashion calendars and the wonderful buzz around the industry. From a very young age, I adored color and fabrics and my Mum always teased me how I would only wear certain hues, very vocal on my likes and dislikes! As a young designer, I had a certain style I wanted to develop, it’s important to have a defined handwriting. You develop your taste and each season it’s that taste you bring to your clients. So the DNA of a brand is my likes and dislikes.”


Did you experience any specific challenges related to being a woman starting out in the industry? 

I started my business in the mid-80s, straight from college. Our premier department store, Brown Thomas, purchased my graduation collection. It was the best platform any emerging designer could wish for, to sit alongside established international labels in such a glamorous store with access to consumers who trusted brands endorsed by Brown Thomas. I was so passionate about building a brand, I guess I was blinkered, but I genuinely can’t recall any obstacles being a woman.


Louise Kennedy

What is your newest collection inspired by and how do you seek inspiration?

“Fabric is always our starting point, sourcing sumptuous fabrics with innovative weaves; it’s where our newness comes each season. It’s all about finer details. We invest time working closely with our European fabric mills, creating unique colors and textures. We focus on perfecting our fits and developing classics with longevity. It’s making our clients feel fabulous when wearing our clothes, investing in pure silk linings, invisible luxury.

I am fortunate to travel each week, so I am constantly inspired by the wonderful countries and cities I spend time in. Museums, particularly The Metropolitan in New York are always a starting point.”


Who is the Louise Kennedy customer?

“Women who are interested in style and considered in their investments each season. Clients who are not driven by fashion trends but genuinely interested in craftsmanship and high definition classics. She is international and multicultural – and sometimes we dress 3 generations! We know our client’s lifestyle and her needs and we try each season to make our collection appeal to our very loyal clients.”


Louise Kennedy

What is next for you? 

“We are very focused on developing our brand in the US. We are thrilled with the success of our Trunk Show model at The Carlyle in New York, which we host quarterly. We invite our US clients who have discovered the brand in Europe through our flagship stores in Dublin and London and they fly in from many states. My wonderful team and I spend time carefully selecting styles to suit their lifestyle. We will expand to other cities in the US where we have a client base. Next year, we plan to develop this model in the Middle East.”


Why do you think your clothes appeal so to women over 50?

 “Our clothes are classic and elegant. They feel beautiful and all extremely well-crafted. We invest enormous time in fittings. A well-constructed garment will flatter oversizes. It’s always about picking the styles that suit your frame and flatter. We know how to complement different body shapes as we have a bespoke side to our ready-to-wear collection. Our clients in their 30s have the same requirements as our clients in their 50s, 60s and beyond. Women want to look
chic and elegant and feel fabulous.”


Louise Kennedy

We can’t agree more. Sign up for the Louise Kennedy Newsletter and shop her site for beautiful additions to your wardrobe.

Story produced and images of Louise shot by colleen duffley productions.


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