CHLOE DOUGAN DESIGNs
Chloe is a fashion designer who graduated in from Ulster University in 2014, winning multiple awards/nominations for her work. She designs edgy and feminine clothing and enjoys using fabrics that are striking and make an impact.
We chatted to Chloe about her proudest moments and advice that she had to offer.
Tell us a bit about your business.
I studied Textile Art, Design with Fashion at the University of Ulster, Belfast, where I graduated in 2014. I was soon awarded a Residency position in the Fashion Department at the University where I mentored final year students alongside working on my own label during my time there. So far I have showcased at Belfast Fashion Week for Autumn Winter 14, Spring Summer 15 and the Fabulous Fashion Teas fashion show at the 5star Merchant Hotel.
My designs are well recognised as being edgy and feminine with strong elements of leathers, suede's and lace; my favourite fabrics to work with as they are so striking and make a great impact.
I design collections seasonally as well as making bespoke orders made to measure.
Artist to Watch 2015 by Culture Northern Ireland
Nominated as "Young Entrepreneur" at the Lisburn City Business Awards where she was second place.
Artists in Residence at Duncairn Arts and Culture Centre
What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment, I am very busy working on commissions, some of my clients are going to weddings or black-tie events. I’m also a facilitator so I spend several sessions a week teaching and facilitating sewing and fashion classes which I love. My studio is based in the Duncairn Culture and Arts Centre and with the launch of its new shop, I am also busy working away on some products to showcase more of my work here, the shop opens in November and I’m looking forward to showcasing my new range of embroidered tees and handmade jewellery pieces.
What are some of your proudest moments in your career?
The proudest moment of my career to date would be my invitation to Buckingham Palace for the first ever Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, held during London Fashion Week in February. I was so nervous before the event and wore one of my own bespoke designs to the showcase and made my own accessories to compliment my look. Fashion industry stars like Stella Mc Cartney, Naomi Campbell and Anna Wintour where also there and the event was hosted by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.
Do you have any advice for those looking to start up a design business?
Starting up your own business is extremely difficult although for me the rewards far out way the stress of juggling several jobs at a time. Every working week is different but for me this keeps it interesting and you end up developing skills in things you never knew you had an interest in. I would advise getting some work experience and following local people who are in the same industry, learn from them, ask questions and most importantly make sure you are constantly staying motivated as if you don’t push yourself you can lose your creative streak. Also remember that it doesn’t all happen in a heartbeat and patience is key to growth and longevity in your business, so stay true to who you are, work hard and be happy with your development throughout your ever-changing career.