Wexford fashion designer Richard Malone nominated for top award

Irish designer joins elite list for collection of knitted dresses inspired by his mother’s work uniform


London based Wexford fashion designer Richard Malone has been announced as one of the nominees for the 2016 Design Museum awards. The collection selected is his spring 2016 collection of spiral knitted dresses, one of which was inspired by his mother’s work uniform.

Previous nominees have included Dior, Prada and Thomas Tait, so it is a singular recognition of the 26-year-old Irishman’s prodigious talent. Last year he was chosen by the BBC as one of the five top young artists in the UK as part of its Young Artists Day initiative, the only fashion designer and the only Irish person to be selected.

Since graduating from Central St Martins two years ago, Malone has earned more accolades for his work than many other BA students in recent years. In two firsts for an Irish designer, he won both the coveted Deutsche Bank award of £10,000 and the LVMH Grand Prix Scholarship worth £12,500. In his second year, he also took home the Colin Barnes Drawing prize for a series of illustrations documenting Irish builders.

His collections are currently stocked in Brown Thomas, Selfridges in London and Joyce in Hong Kong and in many other boutiques. His orders have tripled in recent seasons, many items selling out. He remains defiantly independent and can now finance his own collections.

He will be showing his spring/summer 2017 collection at London Fashion Week in the old Spittalfields market and says it will be fresh and full of colour with cuts based on 18th century techniques using block printing and recycled plastic “though it will still have the same aesthetic”, he says.

The winners of 2016 Design Museum awards will be announced in November.