Elaine Madigan has cashmere wrapped up
- 27 Nov 2017
- Read Time: 6 mins
When we meet in her Westbury Mall boutique it’s clear that knitwear designer Elaine Madigan is warm, practical and stylish, so it’s little wonder that her range of cashmere knitwear reflects these traits. Warm and cosy, stylish and timeless, Elaine Madigan Cashmere is really going places.
Elaine shows us through her collection — one with a surprising number of styles and colours — from her small neck scarf that is available in colours from pale ice-cream to shocking pink, to her large cashmere wraps and even a statement coat in six-ply cardinal red yarn.
The designer had worked in retail for years when she saw a gap in the market while attempting to source cashmere goods for her own fashion boutique in Co. Kildare. And thus, in 2013 she began to develop her brand of cashmere clothing and accessories which is now made by a small team in Straffan, Co. Kildare from fine quality yarn. The Elaine Madigan Cashmere brand was born.
“We did cashmere wraps and scarves that Christmas and they sold very well so I knew it was time to do some research. I went back to college to study knitwear design and took it from there. I grew up with a mother who was always making — knitting and sewing — and had studied fashion design years before so it all began to come together. I feel I am taking something that is traditional, keeping it alive in the present and allowing it to develop into the future,” says the designer.
I feel I am taking something that is traditional, keeping it alive in the present and allowing it to develop into the future.
Elaine’s garments are stocked in her own boutique as well as high-end stores around the country. She has stockists in Canada, Versailles in France and in Florida and New York in the USA. “People love the fact that it is entirely made in Ireland and also that it is a luxury product, that it is authentic and easy to wear. We put a lot of thought into the garments.”
People love the fact that it is entirely made in Ireland and also that it is a luxury product. That it is authentic and easy to wear.
“The idea was to create a "basic" cashmere collection too which contains key pieces such as turtleneck, round and v-neck sweaters and cardigans alongside my other styles in the collection,” Elaine explains. There are also styles with collars as well as shawls and scarves in all of the 14 colours in her collection including a lovely poncho knitted in a moss stitch and various cardigan styles.
Elaine has developed quite a following for her product which is perfect for the Irish climate but also for the weather elsewhere: “Cashmere is light in summer and very warm in the winter. It is breathable and perfect for travel because it is so light to carry. It's perfect for the Irish climate but in saying that, one of my really good customers lives in Florida, and finds my wraps, ponchos and scarves perfect for air conditioned environments in the US. Many of my international customers have really bought into the brand and keep coming back to me.”
“My tourist clients come into the boutique here in the Westbury Mall and really enjoy the experience. They might buy one or two garments but I'm also finding that they return to me online. Customers buy into you as a person as well as as a designer and retailer.”
Following the success of her cashmere collection, Elaine is currently creating a wider brand entitled "Madigan" to include watches, as her husband comes from a long line of watchmakers. “He learnt it all from his Dad as a child," she says. "The "Madigan" brand will also include jewellery and, naturally, Elaine Madigan Cashmere.
"It’s about simple, beautiful things, made in Ireland to last a lifetime,” she says.
Prices in the Elaine Madigan Cashmere collection start from €110. The Madigan boutique is at Unit 19, Westbury Mall, Dublin 2.