Monday 23 October 2017

From combats to tweed: Charlotte 'on a mission' at iconic family firm

The 'Alicia' jacket, €350, in sky blue lambswool featuring a soft taupe and cream overcheck from the Magee 1866 SS17 collection Photo: Alex Hutchinson
The 'Alicia' jacket, €350, in sky blue lambswool featuring a soft taupe and cream overcheck from the Magee 1866 SS17 collection Photo: Alex Hutchinson
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Charlotte Temple used to be a Lieutenant in the Irish army but she has swapped combats for tweed, becoming the fifth generation of her family to work in the family firm, Magees.

Charlotte works as design and retail director of the brand now known as Magee 1866, marking the year the company started in business as a small drapers shop in Donegal.

Charlotte Temple with her father Lynn, chairman of Magees Photo: Brian McEvoy
Charlotte Temple with her father Lynn, chairman of Magees Photo: Brian McEvoy

John Magee, a cousin of the current generation's great-grandfather, sold handwoven tweed and the Temples bought the business in 1900.

New blood in the company, Charlotte is on a mission for the iconic company, famous for its utilitarian apparel, to become "a go-to premium brand for women as well as men".

Yesterday she talked fashion press through its new SS17 collection, which marries contemporary design with heritage and quality associated with the company that employs 140 people, including 50 weavers.

Inspired by the colours of springtime in Donegal, the SS17 range is lined with floral Liberty fabrics.

Highlights at the runway show at its flagship store on Dublin's South Anne Street included the 'Moyne' longline boyfriend jacket (€400) in woven linen and silk stripes of blue and gold. The 'Alicia' jacket was designed and woven at its Donegal mill and the raw fabric was washed in the River Eske, which results in a soft handle.

Irish Independent

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