This week's Shanahan Studio Session we are joined with the inspiring Natalie B Coleman, Monaghan native Irish fashion designer and owner of Natlaie B Coleman which she launched in 2011, mother, Microsoft Design Ambassador Ireland, Tatler Irish Designer Woman of the Year 2019, Irish Fashion Designer of the Year 2019 IDA, fashion lecturer at National College of Art and Design Dublin and philanthropist. Natalie is extremely successful in the fashion industry and has shown her collections in New York, L.A, London and Paris. We talk about finding your passion, how to balance work and home life, feminism and fashion design.
H: Hi, Natalie.
N: Hi, Hannah. How are you?
H: I am doing great, thank you. The weather here is amazing in London at the moment. Thank you so much again for taking the time out of your busy schedule and doing my Q&A. for Shanahan Studio Session. When did you first realise you wanted to be a fashion designer?
N: I didn't go to Art School until I was 26, before that I had a label called Lucky Bitches, it was deconstructing, then upcycling and reconstructing garments and selling them through a few different stores with a friend of mine, so through that endeavour I decided that I really loved clothing and needed to get more skills so I applied for a degree in Fashion Design
H: Tell us about your background, Natalie, are you the only one in your family to pursue fashion?
N: My mother was really very, very fashion conscious and an amazing dresser and worked in fashion. And so she always had an appreciation of kind of materiality. My father is a carpenter, so very good with his hands. My brother is also a master carpenter and one of my other brothers works in product design.
H: So you were 26 years old when you pursued fashion?
N: Well, I already had a label for two years before that. So before I went to study. I was 26, and I was probably 24 when I started working with clothes, but before that I used to source vintage clothes and resell them.
H: When you left secondary school at 18, were you working in some other industry?
N: I worked in vintage clothing stores, clubs, waitressing, bars, I did quite a lot of partying and travelling, it was a really good free time.
H: Similar to me, I worked in hospitality before transitioning into the fashion industry.
N: I loved waitressing. It was one of my favourite jobs I ever had, and it put me through college as well.
H: Me too, I learned so much from the hospitality industry. How would you describe yourself as a fashion designer?
N: I think it's changed. I've alway