Orla Kiely is an Irish designer whose work is known predominantly in fashion. She honed her craft at Dublin’s National College of Art and Design, and started out working with a number of materials, but mainly wallpaper and fabrics, and knitwear. She started working for the company Espirit. However, after she had completed her Masters at London’s Royal College of Art, she finally rose to fame. Her final show was in hatmaking, and displayed her work. These were discovered by Harrods, who bought them all immediately. Once she had established herself with a huge store such as Harrods, many other retailers were quick to follow. Marks and Spencer and Habitat both commissioned her to do designs for them. The real leap into the world of fashion came after she designed a range of handbags which were first displayed at London Fashion Week. The designs went down a storm with the public, and Orla Kiely was suddenly a household name, and her bags were that season’s must-have accessory.
Her first handbag designs were mainly in laminate materials. This line was launched in the late nineties at a different fashion week. They sold out almost immediately, and supply and demand meant the Kiely had to design more lines.
Her handbags became a huge accessory not only with members of the public but with celebrities, which only increased her popularity. Kirsten Dunst and Alexa Cheung were a few A listers who chose to sport a Kiely handbag. Her designs have gone from strength to strength, and she’s such a well known designer that she has even been depicted on a collection of stamps, which also included John Rocha and Philip Treacy.
Since the handbag line was so popular, Orla Kiely has also branched out into different areas. She has put her designing hands to a range of vehicles, stationary, and a line of refillable water bottles which was a result of a collaboration with Brita. Other products available include scarves, purses, and umbrellas, make up bags, phone holders, sunglasses, as well as home furnishings like radios, chairs and cushions. She has even launched a line of fragrances, as well as bath and body products. One of her most-loved lines has been her home wares. Orla Keily prints are ideal for around the home, and she has a collection which includes items such as wallpaper, furniture, and bed linen.
Orla Kiely prints are particularly distinctive. They are simple, repetitive designs containing flowers or leaves. If you’re looking for something cutting edge and yet simultaneously retro, and a brand name to decorate your bedroom, then Kiely might be the designer for you.
The collection of bed linen is limited, but it is guaranteed to grow as it is selling so well. The patterns within it include the Scribble Stem collection, the Tiny Stem collection, the Rhododendron collection, and the Giant Abacus among others. Prices for pillowcases start at £28, single duvet covers are sold for £65, and super king covers are £95. The sheets come in a gift box and are 100% combed cotton.
Orla Kiely bed sheets (and other products) can be purchased online or in her stores.