Thursday 18 January 2018

Kate Middleton's 'royal seal' boosts Irish designer Orla Kiely's profits

Kate Middleton in an Orla Kiely dress
Kate Middleton in an Orla Kiely dress
Kate Middleton wearing a dress by Irish fashion designer Orla Kiely at an engagement in Oxford last April. The £162.50 (€202) 'Birdie' print dress instantly sold out
Kate does a bit of ironing in her Orla Kiely dress
Carole Middleton steps out in Orla Kiely as she arrives at The Lindo Wing after visiting her daughter Kate.

Gordon Deegan

Orla Kiely's fashion empire - helped in no small way by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton - continued to prosper last year with pre-tax profits up 32pc to £204,764. (€260,792)

The group recorded the increase in profit in spite of revenues falling 9.6pc to £8.24m last year.

The directors blame the drop in revenues on the business moving away from lower margin discounting and concentrating on growing the group's retail and internet business.

During the year, the Irish-designer's business received a boost from the Duchess of Cambridge after she wore one of Kiely's designer dress coats.

Kate's brown Orla Kiely coat is a fashion winner.
Kate's brown Orla Kiely coat is a fashion winner.

"We've firmly established Orla Kiely as a uniquely distinctive global brand," Ms Kiely's husband Dermott Rowan, Ceo of Kiely Rowan, said.

"This follows 20 years of hard work from our brilliantly talented team, together with constant reinvestment."

Kate has proudly 'recycled' her brown Orla Kiely coat at many official engagements. Its first outing was back in 2012 when Kate wore it tp The Art Room in Oxford and it sparked quite a stir. As soon as the Duchess was spotted wearing it there was an absolute shopping frenzy.

The 'Birdie' wool jacquard shift dress was on sale for £162.50, down from £325, and the designer bargain sold out on-line within minutes.

Always uber discrete about discussing her famous royal customer, Kate Middleton, Kiely has politely said in the past that "it's wonderful" that Kate wears her dresses and that she "looks absolutely great in them''.

Other celebrities to sport Ms Kiely's distinctive fashion-wear include Hollywood stars Kirsten Dunst and Kiera Knightley.

Irish Independent

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