Catwalk winner opens L1 shop

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Kirsty Doyle’s shopfront in Liverpool One

In the busy run-up to the launch of her new collection and new shop in Liverpool One, Project Catwalk winner Kirsty Doyle took a few minutes to talk exclusively to JMU Journalism.

With the opening day of the new shop drawing closer and closer designer Kirsty spoke excitedly about the launch: “There won’t really be celebrities as we concentrate much more on the industry and our customers.

“We’ll have a guest list with mainly customers that we’ve built up from being in the Met Quarter as well as our old shop. We’ve given out lots of invites and with Santo Chipitos being there making cocktails you can only hope it will be busy!”

As a recognised Liverpool designer Kirsty said that lack of time was the main reason she didn’t make an appearance at the city’s recent Fashion Week.

She said: “We don’t go to Liverpool Fashion Week, we don’t go to London Fashion Week either. There simply isn’t enough time because we’re in the shop six or seven days a week and by the time you get home you’re so tired.

“When you run your own dress shop, your whole life revolves around it and you don’t get to do much else.”

Originally from Anfield, Kirsty has come a long way from working on a market stall at 18 to winning the Project Catwalk competition and opening her own shop: “Project Catwalk really helped me. I was just going into my third year at JMU studying fashion design, and it gave me a platform and a confidence boost towards the end of my degree.

“It also gave me the chance to work alongside professionals and present my work to people in the industry and without the show I wouldn’t have had that chance to do that.”

Kirsty is now putting her fashion insider knowledge back into the industry through working with interns such as 22-year-old student Carys Ball.

She continued: “It’s never done through an organised scheme, the way our internships happen is quite organic with the girls who approach us. Some designers can be quite private about what they do but we don’t operate like that.

“Myself and Clare Rogerson who does our PR and branding both give our knowledge and it’s an easy thing to do as it costs nothing. Some of our interns have gone on to great stuff like Lauren McBride who now works for Nike.”

The grand launch will take place on Thursday 4th November with bespoke cocktails from Santo Chipitos and with a DJ Set by her sister Jessica Doyle.

About Niamh Spence, Fashion Editor