IRELAND: Creative colorful freak out fashion – Ashley Byrne & AB Design

Sometimes if you don´t like what’s available, you have to create something new by yourself. This can happen in many different areas of course, in this article it will be about fashion and clothing. The Dublin designer Ashley Byrne always wanted more color, more intense styles, more creativity, but the products you can get in the average stores are just too boring, mostly unified standards, mass production and without specialty. So Ashley started to create her own fantastic cloth and built up the label called AB Design.

Ashley produces stylish clothing of all kind, for male and female, young and old. The pieces are all unique and completely handmade from the scratch. On her Instagram she offers designed dresses, swimsuits or skirts, actually everything except shoes.

We have been searching for graffiti and street art in the alleys of the Dublin’s neighborhood Portobello. The Liberty Lane is a fantastic place with heaps of great artworks. But we didn´t only find this paint hot spot, we also encountered Ashley Byrne and her project assistant Nicole Williams  while doing a photo shooting with the new fashion artworks from AB Design. Of course we recorded an interview!

Listen to the podcast with Ashley below, as well the conversation is written down in the following page. All cloth you see are made by Ashley Byrne and you can order them on AB Design.

When did you start designing cloth?

I started AB Design in beginning of 2019. I couldn´t get cloth in the shops which I liked. Obviously I am very colorful. And they don´t have a lot of that in the shops. So I decided to design my own unique designs. Mostly it´s festival wear but as well a lot of other clothes. And all that I make here in Dublin, it´s all handmade.

How do you do that? Do you buy fabric or do you use as well cloth from second hand stores?

I make it all from fabric. I don´t do any reworking. It´s all from the scratch self made.

So you have a design first on which you are working on?

Yes, but it´s in my head. It all comes from my head. Then I start working on it. Everything from scratch, the cutting and sawing I do it all. And then the production. Today was just a photos shooting session. We were just shooting some of our latest designs and fashion. We just finished.

Do you do the designs and clothes only for you or can other people buy it as well? Every little piece is a unique one I suppose.

Yes, it´s all unique. I sell the cloth on my page on Instagram. I put photos of pieces I made and I don´t make the same thing twice, but I make something similar and put in changes to keep pieces unique.

If people are interested they can go on AB Design and if they like something they can just contact you.

Yes, I also take pictures from others people’s work and I don´t copy design, but if somebody wants a special outfit I can make something similar like that. But I never copy anyone else´s work. So no AB Design twist on it.

You couldn´t find the clothes in the shop you wanted, so you started designing them yourself. Are from this sector? Did you already work with fashion or study clothing design or something like that?

No, not at all. I was a hair dresser for ten years. And then I decided I want to make and sell cloths. And I just started doing it and I think I am doing well.

So basically you taught yourself. Is there any other designer you could recommend? Or a label which has influence on your work and from where you get your advices?

Yes, the Confetti Crowd for example! They are very colorful and they have this forum and their own club nights as well. It´s very good inspiration. They make fantastic and very colorful cloths.

I purpose you like to go to festivals?

Yes, of course! But at the moment they are cancelling them all. Normally when I go, I make my own stuff, my own clothes to wear at the events. Colorful and crazy!

I am looking now at your Instagram. You have all kind of clothes, even swim wear. There are dresses and skirts. Do you make shoes as well?

No, I wish. But shoes not. But everything else. Lately we started pushing the label a bit more.

Let´s have  a look into the future. At the moment you are doing this only on Instagram, but you sell from there and people can buy it. What are your plans? Are you planning to open a shop one day? Or are there some special venues you want to go?

I would like to have a small store at festivals to sell the clothes and I want AB Design to be an established brand. We are talking about the next five years maybe, because I just started it off and we are pushing it right now. I would love to go to the London Fashion Week. That is a big dream! Another project we are planing and were just talking about is as well a charity event. We want to raise some donations for the children in the local hospitals. We are aiming towards this project now and want to get some collections and designs together. Yes, we try to do that and get also the name of the label out there.

Tell me a little bit more in detail, what you do. You make the jackets, like the one you are wearing?

Actually I make all kinds of clothes. Swim suits, trousers, jackets, one piece dresses, two piece dresses, skirts, just everything.

How did you teach yourself? Did you learn from tutorials or did somebody show you?

I´ve done an internship for a while. There I learned a lot as an assistant. As well I have an aunt who is working with clothes. She taught me the basics and showed me how to stitch. And I just kept on learning from there. The rest comes from the creative mind. Sometimes it does work, sometimes it doesn´t work.

How many clothes did you do already?

Oh god, I don´t know! I wouldn´t be able to count. It´s lately that we started doing much more photographs. Because I kept on making them and selling them directly, and we didn´t even take proper photos before sending the products. The last weeks we started really making a lot of photos and with serious good shootings.

When you have something new and you put it on Instagram, it´s sold very fast?

Oh, yes! There is a very fast response. If people want to have something from the new clothes, they have to react fast. It´s only a one piece product. I just came back from Tokyo and have been looking for designs, impressions and fabrics as well. And they really liked my colorful outfit. I got so many requests for newsletters, for contact information or a lot of people were taking photographs with me. Everywhere they wanted to have me on pictures, like in restaurants, cafés or just while walking around. The clothes getting more and more well known.

I am sure in Japan they love this colorful and intensive design.

Yes, they loved it a lot and went really crazy about it!

It very nice and easy with Instagram. The platform is for free and it´s international, everybody on the whole world can follow your creations and simply order something via message. Then you just ship it wherever it has to go.

Yes, that´s it. Just write me what you want and the exact sizes, so I can make it fitting.

Do you only do the designs for woman and girls or are there as well cloths for men? And do you produce only for adults or as well for children?

I do cloths for women and for men, also for boys and girls. Anyone who contacts me can get an outfit. I can produce the designs for all ages. I only need to know the sizes to make it.


  AB Design:

  Ashley Byrne:

Fashion Models

Caitlin Byrne:

  Niamh Cronin:

  Nicole Williams:


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