Designer Interview

By: Fashwire
Oct 22, 2021 04:23 PM

Can you tell us how Weaver & Wilde came to be?

Coming from a family with a rich weaving tradition, I’ve always had a passion for creating quality, genuine Irish products to keep the skills and talent we have here in Ireland thriving. My grandfather started our family mill in 1953, so when I realized that all the menswear stores in Ireland were buying their accessories from abroad, I thought, why not create a male accessories brand to cater to the gap in the menswear market? Especially for luxury Irish woolen scarves, which we could design and make in our family mill in Donegal, located in the Northwest of Ireland.


What is your earliest design memory for your brand?

I remember sitting down with my father, a skilled designer with extensive experience and knowledge of weaving, coming up with color ideas and different weave combinations. It was an exciting challenge to build our first collection from scratch.


What inspired you to name your brand?

We wanted the brand name to reflect the very essence of what we do, so naturally, we had to include a reference to weaving with ‘weaver’. We also wanted to encapsulate strength, boldness and empowerment, which led us to the word ‘wilde’. When we combined both we knew straight away that Weaver & Wilde was the perfect name for our brand.


"We may be based in a small village, but the talent and skills are immense!" 


Do you find it difficult to have a brand based in North Donegal? What are the perks versus the challenges?

Being based in rural Donegal, definitely poses challenges as we lack the infrastructure of major towns and cities; however, we have learned to adapt, and the stunning locality, local spirit and community absolutely outweigh the challenges. We may be based in a small village, but the talent and skills are immense! 


What is your daily dose of inspiration for Weaver & Wilde products?

We are fortunate enough to be based in Donegal, which I’ll unashamedly and biasedly say is the most stunning corner of the world! All we have to do is look out of the mill window or take a stroll along either the beach or the Heather Laden hills, which provides endless design inspiration.


What made you want to design men’s accessories?

A passion for filling a clear gap in the market for luxurious Irish made scarves and my desire to keep our family weaving tradition thriving.


What is your favorite part about being in the men’s fashion industry?

Like any corner of the fashion industry, I love the constantly evolving fashion trends within the male fashion industry and the fast-paced nature of the need to constantly create new designs and products to cater for all.


"We only weave with 100% Merino Lambswool, as sustainability and using only natural fibers is at the very core of our brand ethos."


Can you tell us about the high-quality wool used in your products?

We only weave with 100% Merino Lambswool, as sustainability and using only natural fibers is at the very core of our brand ethos. Wool has so many amazing natural qualities – it is a natural temperature regulator, it’s breathable, hypoallergenic, fire and water resistant just to name a few!


What sets your brand apart from the rest?

The fact that we are designing and making our products in our family run mill in rural Ireland, using nearly seventy years of weaving expertise and heritage.


How did your brand navigate and overcome the pandemic in 2020?

The pandemic is still an ongoing challenge here in Ireland and it has been a difficult time for everyone, including small businesses. We focused on finding ways to continue to deliver our products worldwide. We found that our online sales became more important than ever, and we also used the year to reflect, reset and refocus on creating new products and designs.


How important is social media to your brand?

Like most brands, social media is very important to us, and we continue to grow our online community. We not only use social media to showcase our designs and weaving processes inside the mill, but we also find that it is a vital tool for communicating and connecting with our customers, seeking their feedback to improve our designs and products.


Do you have a favorite piece that you have designed? 

My favorite scarf would have to be our Burgundy Reversible scarf. The reversible scarf is one of our signature designs and is loved by customers. With one side woven with burgundy yarns and the other with navy yarns, this scarf looks different each time it’s worn. The colors are so rich and it’s just such a luxurious soft scarf.


If you could visit one place in the entire world, where would it be and why?

It would have to be Galashiels in Scotland, which was where my grandfather trained as a weaver. Without him the tradition of weaving in our family and community wouldn’t be what it is today.


What do you envision as the ideal future for Weaver & Wilde?

We’d love to see Weaver & Wilde continue to grow and create wonderful products which last a lifetime as well as bring joy and happiness to our customers. Weaver & Wilde plans to continue to strive towards becoming increasingly sustainable and inclusive and we are excited by what the future holds for the brand.