Lauren’s a leading light in fashion design

LAUREN Doogan is really forging a name for herself in the world of fashion design.
Lauren, from Belleek, has always had an interest and passion for art, design and creativity and she now is the fashion designer and manufacturer for Belfast-based clothing firm, OutsideIn.
The fashion designer’s love of creativity stemmed from spending time with her granny and she decided to try and pursue a career in this sector.
“My favourite part of school was art and I was encouraged by my teachers to pursue it further. I loved sewing as soon as I tried it and my Granny taught me to crochet, so that sparked an interest in making clothes.
“While studying Textiles, Art, Design and Fashion BA at Ulster University in Belfast, I experimented with printed textiles, woven fabrics and embroidery but I really fell in love with knitwear design.”
Lauren keeps a constant eye on social media to check out the latest brands and fashion designs and she likes to depict the issues surrounding modern society in her designs.
“I really like a lot of streetwear brands like Mad Happy but I think the most interesting brands at the moment are ones that are challenging the concept of fast fashion by using sustainable materials and ethical practices.
“My starting point with design has always been colour, so I often look to designers like Zandra Rhodes. I think Hope Macaulay is an up and coming knitwear designer that shines through amazing palettes. If I had to pick one, it would be Vivienne Westwood for her unconventional and outspoken collections.
“My graduate collection was created in response to the universal anxieties caused by the pandemic. I wanted to create a knitwear collection that used colour and texture to promote positivity and a sense of calmness in the wearer.
“Fashion always reflects the culture and current issues at the time and that is what makes it so interesting to me.”
In her new role with OutsideIn, Lauren is responsible for designing and coming up with new ideas.
The company give money to charity for every product that they make and she feels very privileged to be able to help people in this way.
“I am always researching new ideas that inspire and innovate our products and materials. OutsideIn is a brand with a social impact side through our ‘Wear One Share One’ model.
“For every product purchased, we donate another to someone experiencing homelessness. I love the purpose behind the brand and as a designer it challenges me to think past just fashion trends and consider how clothing can connect all of us together and bring those on the outside of society in.
“I do really enjoy the work, I get to be creative everyday, work with a talented team and network with people from all around the world.”

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