Robyn Lynch is making Ireland’s Aran cable knits stylish - those sweaters that not even her local friends would wear before she launched her eponymous label in 2018. Having just completed a second season with Fashion East, the University of Westminster graduate is becoming renowned for her streetsmart designs infused with Irish patriotism.
“I take my inspiration from interview footage of care-free, boy-next-door Irish boys in the 80s and 90s, who have just thrown on their clothes.” Malahide-born-and-based Lynch tells ORDRE, “All my shapes and silhouettes stem from practicality. For example, the high waist is copied from boys wearing hand-me-downs and hiking them up to fit.”
“I take my inspiration from interview footage of care-free, boy-next-door Irish boys in the 80s and 90s, who have just thrown on their clothes.”
Following her graduate collection, Lynch’s brand image caught the eye of renowned menswear critic Charlie Porter who confidently stated that every piece could go straight to the shop floor. According to Professor of Fashion Design Andrew Groves, who taught Lynch at the University of Westminster, this is all down to her clear vision. He explains, “She knew who her boys were and how they would dress. Having that so early on is fantastic, it makes it so much easier to understand her world.”
Following an impressively cohesive MA show, Lynch went straight to Fashion East, a prestigious initiative which has launched the careers of designers such as J.W. Anderson, Charles Jeffrey and Craig Green. Lynch’s latest collection for SS20 at London fashion week men’s entailed more of her signature block colour ensembles with a DIY streetwear feel, transferring that intended boyish nonchalance. Dying fabrics is at the core of Lynch’s design process, refreshing nostalgic silhouettes with contemporary, vibrant block colours; her AW19 show was a colourful ode to the Irish flag.
Naturally, fellow Irish creative and style icon Rejjie Snow (@rejjiesnow) is first on Lynch’s list of stars to dress. The designer told ORDRE that recently the pair ran into each other in Paris, so watch this space - Lynch was there to present in the Fashion East showroom. Interestingly, she found that London buyers were not the most interested, she discloses, “Paris surprised me: Japanese customers absolutely loved my product. So, we’re going to be stocked in Opening Ceremony in Tokyo”
Appealing to a global customer-base is really exciting for the designer, having only graduated last year, “I’m intrigued to see how the Japanese are going to style my brand as they’re so contemporary and brave,” she says. Designing casualwear is allowing Lynch to appeal to a broader market that is stretching beyond her menswear categorisation. “At the British Fashion Council showroom a lot of girls were trying on my shorts with crop tops and it looked so good! What is womenswear and menswear nowadays?” she says, reflecting on her London customers.
Lynch’s dynamic clothes can be styled to a vast range of taste. Versatility is something that Groves recognised in her designs as a student. “I think her collection appeals across generations and nationalities because it doesn’t feel forced or contrived.”, he tells ORDRE. Touching on how she doesn’t over-intellectualise fashion, he continues, “I think the best collections, like Robyn’s, are when you don’t know who the designer is or have any preconceptions from a runway show, but just enjoy them as desirable clothes.”
With just one more Fashion East show on the horizon, Lynch is preparing to fly solo and moving her studio from Malahide to London is a natural first step to do so. “I’m moving down to London in September to really get the ball rolling and be in amongst it all. I can’t pop onto a panel or anything up in Ireland. I’m so excited to see what happens next down there,” she says, foreshadowing some intriguing brand developments on the horizon.
See Robyn Lynch’s online showrooms here