‘SUNDAY LIFE’ INTERVIEW
Model & TV Presenter Katie Larmour Launches New Textiles & Lifestyle Brand
by Tina Calder,
published in Ireland’s Sunday Life newspaper Autumn 2015
For years Belfast beauty Katie Larmour was the most sought after model in the city. From billboards to presenting Belfast Fashionweek, Katie’s look became synonymous with many other people’s brands. But now the 29-year-old art enthusiast and antiques dealer has developed a brand of her own. Later this month she will launch her luxury Irish Linen homewares brand Katie Larmour Design having travelled across the globe in the last year sourcing vintage materials. Although she’s taking inspiration from the various countries she’s been to Katie said she’s keen to establish her home-made Northern Ireland brand. She said: “In the last year I’ve travelled quite a bit from North America to South America, Europe and Asia researching and purchasing some fantastic fabrics that I am incorporating into my debut collection.
‘I’ve been creating luxury artisan-made bespoke ‘couture cushions’ using vintage designer silk scarves backed in pure Irish Linen and filled with plush duck feathers. The scarves I am using include designers such as Balenciaga, Pucci, Liberty of London and Lanvin ranging from retro 15year old vintage prints to 90year old antique ones. It means that every single cushion will be one-of-a-kind and unique. I’ve spent the last year sourcing these beautiful fabrics from around the world.
“My favourite place so far has to be the huge brocante ‘flea’ markets in Paris where I’ve found some amazing pieces. It’s literally a village of antiques shops on the outskirts of Paris, it’s such magical place and a complete treasure trove.
“Now that I have the silks and the linen ready I’m working on getting the brand set up. Up until now I’ve just been selling privately through word of mouth but I feel I’m ready to take it a step further.
“Although I have been travelling a lot one of the things that is really important to me is that the cushions are actually made in Northern Ireland.”
Katie feels the launch of her new business is a natural progression and expansion in an industry she’s very passionate about.
The entrepreneur, designer, presenter and model explained: “I’ve always been creative and loved art. I paid my way through my Art College Degree in my early 20s by modelling for local PR companies promoting products and events in Northern Ireland which I absolutely loved at the time.
“One of the other things I would do back then was sell antiques on ebay, sometimes even buying them on the site itself, identifying and describing them properly and then moving them on for a bigger profit.”
Despite moving more towards the business world she admitted she’s not ready to give up her fashion industry commitments just yet.
“There is a correlation between fashion, art and interiors, it’s all about aesthetics and the way people react to things they see and take in everyday” said Katie, adding: “I am visually stimulated by the world around me whether it’s people watching, visiting art galleries and knowing your own taste and style.
“One of my most useful subjects from school has been A level History of Art as it triggered an enthusiasm for visiting museums and art galleries every time I’ve travelled to a foreign city, which has been a great source of inspiration.
“Recently I’ve become fascinated and drawn towards textiles and patterns and it’s been a natural progression to sourcing, buying and restructuring vintage and antique cloth.
“I’ve been presenting Belfast Fashion Week TV since its inception, I often do the stage hosting which was a lot more daunting, but I’m in my element when I’m having one to one interviews with the designers.
“There’s a real buzz and vibrancy behind the scenes and it’s a pleasure to get to chat to Northern Ireland’s top fashion designers – we have some wonderful talent.”
(Photographed by Jamie Trimble)
Posted by Katie Larmour, KL Design Ireland