Tuesday 21 October 2014

Monsoon season is highly fashionable for ex-child model

Published 02/09/2014 | 02:30

Jessica McCarthy and her mother, Angela McLean
Jessica McCarthy modelling her mother's Baggers rainwear when she was five years of age
Jessica McCarthy's fashion collaboration with Monsoon

The fashion world has come full circle for a model with an eye for enterprise.

Jessica McCarthy already launched the Garbeau range of made-to-measure men's shirts with her extra tall rugby player husband, Leinster and Ireland second row Mike McCarthy.

And now, after a gap of 25 years, Jessica has also reactivated the children's fashion brand where she started her modelling career at the age of five.

"Back in the 1980s, my mother, Angela, started the Baggers range of waterproof jackets and trousers that fold into a bag. It was really popular and won lots of awards and I was the house model," said Jessica.

A quarter of a century later, the newly married entrepreneur has re-launched the children's wear brand as Baggers Originals and her July marriage to Mike in Majorca isn't the only thing Jessica has to celebrate.

The fashion marketing graduate has secured a deal to sell the first branded products into global retailer Monsoon, with her fun rainwear product.

"This is the first time that Monsoon has ever done a collaboration and they chose to use one of their heritage floral prints for the rainwear which goes on sale next week," she added.

Jessica moved to Galway from Newcastle in the north of England after London-born Mike signed with Connacht in 2007.

The couple relocated to Dublin last year after he moved to Leinster.

"We have our own generic brand and are talking to other chains, including some in Ireland about developing additional product and a swimwear range," said Jessica, who is now the third rugby WAG to emerge from Leinster with fashionable entrepreneurial skills.

Amy Huberman has her own 'Bourbon' range of shoewear and Leo Cullen's wife, Dairine Kennedy, is one half of the KDK luxury fashion label.

Jessica explains how her mum got the idea for Baggers children's waterproofs "because growing up, my sister Stephanie and myself were always getting muddy and dirty".

She said: "My dad Brian McLean was a horse trainer in Newcastle and mum used jockey's 'silks' fabric in the suits which everyone loved.

"The business was very successful but it was an absolute giant of a business.

"I always knew that one day I would start it up again."

She added: "My mum works with me on the brand and the story of the re-launch is presented as a story for the children to read. I started Garbeau shirts seven years ago too, and we also do suits."

Having started her career as a child, she now models part-time with the Catwalk Agency in Galway.

The Baggers for Monsoon rainwear will be available now on monsoon.co.uk and will be available in 25 stores including the Monsoon branch in Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin and in the UK and Dubai priced from €39-€43 for ages 1-10 years.

Irish Independent

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