‘Where it all began’

The Creative Director Karl Donoghue explains what inspired him back in 1995 and what still inspires him in today.


What was your first collection inspired by?

Before graduating I was spent time researching the Nomadic tribes of Tibet and how historically they used animal skins, mostly sheepskin to wrap themselves in to keep warm. I was interested intrigued by the contrast of these skins against tradition forms of dress. This research helped form the inspiration for the first capsule collection back in 1995. The collection included shearling accessories and it was these pieces that caught the imagination of retailers and customers.








                                                                                                                  (Sketchbook Circa. 1993, campaign image 1994)


Do you have a favourite collection from the past?

That’s a difficult question to answer. Each collection will influence the next one so difficult to pick my favourite. I guess the 2000 collection stands out because it was the first collection to show both accessories and garments all created in shearling and leather. It was a huge task after five years of creating accessories only. It felt like a huge risk but once launched was a huge success.


                    (Campaign images 2000)


What is the most exciting part of the design process?

The design of any collection is an emotional journey for me. The excitement comes from the unknown, the pursuit of creating a design that pushes the boundaries. Realising a concept that seems impossible is definitely part of the thrill.

  (Karl Donoghue studio – design process)


What inspires you? 

I love to travel. I grew up in Yorkshire and as a child in the 1970’s I never had the opportunity to travel aboard. When I was 18 I was offered the opportunity to work at a summer camp in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, USA. For the first time my eyes were opened to what the world beyond England could offer. Since then I have enjoyed travelling to many parts of the world but there are still so many places still to visit. When travelling I love to explore going off the beaten track where possible. I will ask a guide to show me places the tourists don’t go to. The back streets, the local markets, the hidden places. I love to find beautiful objects, usually old vintage items. An old repaired wooded rice bowl from Thailand, a cobblers stool from South Africa or bronze incense burner from Bali. They help form great memories from the many trips.





  (Travel images from Marrakesh, bronze incense burner from Bali, wooded rice bowl from Thailand)


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