Rising talent Manley a hit with stars
WHEN entrepreneurial ambition is embedded in your DNA, you just can't say no to fashionable risk taking.
Emma Manley (above centre) started her own label at 23 and four years later she has five collections to her credit and a growing reputation as Ireland's young fashion designer to watch.
Saoirse Ronan, the actress every designer desires to dress, has noticed Emma's work. Sharon Corr wore her on 'The Voice', Aoibhinn Garrahy wore her to the IFTAs and Emma counts Laura Whitmore and Kathryn Thomas amongst her fans.
Yesterday was a red-letter day for the Castleknock woman as she launched her online shop (www.emmamanley.com) and showcased her AW13 collection.
Taking inspiration from Irish folklore figure Naomh Gobnait from west Cork, Emma created the 'You're the Bee's Knees' collection featuring butter-soft metallic leathers and the Manley trademark stud detailing.
Emma's drive, ambition and penchant for risk taking comes from her parents. Her fashion-designer mum Shelagh taught her about quality clothing and her late father, David Manley, was one of Dublin's foremost business leaders and an enthusiastic sportscar and rally driver before he died at 50 from a brain tumour. "My dad was president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and worked as a financial adviser, helping to grow small businesses. When he passed away, a group of his friends set up the David Manley Awards and every year, there are winners across the business, arts and social arenas with a prize to incubate small businesses."
Emma said she got her work ethic from "my mum and dad" and conceded that it "plays on my mind most days 'how would dad deal with this and would he be proud of the decision I've made and what I'm doing'."
Manley is currently stocked at Brown Thomas Dublin as part of the Irish Designers' CREATE show this month.