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Orla Kiely's Biography

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Orla Kiely (pronounced Kylie) was born in Dublin in 1963. Her father was an accountant.

He was inspirational in Orla pursuing a career in design and fashion, buying her a Singer sewing machine when she was just 12.

Orla Kiely graduated in textile design from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and then worked in New York as a fabric and wallpaper designer.

She then moved to London, where she worked as a print designer for Esprit, and then went to the Royal College of Art to gain an MA. Her thesis collection was bought by Harrods.

She then worked for Club Monaco, before starting her won business.

In her first London Fashion Week, she displayed hats, however it was her father who spotted that there would be a greater commercial potential in bags, which she went on to make, laminating them.

In 1997 Kiely and her husband Dermott Rowan founded the Orla Kiely Partnership.

Orla and Dermott have two children Hamish and Robert.

The Orla Kiely brand includes ready-to-wear collections, homeware, furnishings, luggage and accessories.

She has written a book called Pattern, and is a visiting professor at the Royal College of Art.

In 2016, she was a judge on BBC2's The Great Interior Design Challenge.

In September 2018, the fashion and homeware retailer Orla Kiely closed its stores and website after its parent company, Kiely Rowan collapsed.

She has a labradoodle called Olive and a westiepoo called Ivy.

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