Award winning designer Marion Murphy Cooney Picture: Odhran Ducie
Award winning fashion designer Marion Murphy Cooney has turned her kitchen table into a face mask production line to help in the fight against Covid-19.
Speaking to the Tipperary Star from her home-studio, Marion says she has been inundated with requests from all over Ireland since posting a photo of a handmade face mask on her social media page earlier this year. She made her first non surgical face mask back in February and was immediately swamped with queries from customers looking to purchase something similar.
Initially she produced these masks free of charge, posting them out to her customers and their relatives all over the country, many of whom had underlying health conditions.
However as demand grew, Marion began selling these masks online with a percentage of all sales being used to produce more masks that will be given to those who are vulnerable and elderly free of charge.
Having been forced to close her studio in March once government restrictions were introduced, Marion initially hoped she would be able to open her business back up again in time for the busy weddings, race days and Communion season ahead.
“A lot of my clients have had their events postponed so it might mean changing how they wear the outfit or restyling it to suit another time of the year,” she says, which fits with her company's ethos of sustainability.
“Part of my design process is ensuring the client knows how they can restyle an outfit to get as many looks as possible out of one investment.”
The Limerick born designer has been running her studio, the Design Atelier, in Nenagh since 2013 while her stunning creations - a favourite among red carpet stars such as Celia Holman Lee and actress Aoibhinn McGinnity - regularly appear on the country’s best dressed lists.
Her attention to detail is just one of the many reasons why ladies flock to her studio in Nenagh year after year as Marion’s multi stage approach to design means every outfit is specifically tailored to flatter and suit the client. However the process is time consuming, she agrees, and requires three full time seamstresses at her in-house atelier.
“My clothes are built to last and I take a lot of pride in the fact that everything is handmade in Ireland,” she says.
With many shoppers now recognising the value of having a thriving local retail industry on their doorstep, Marion is hopeful of a similar reaction across all sectors when businesses open their store fronts again.
“I think the last few weeks has woken people up to fast fashion. If you save up and invest in something you're paying for quality.”
“I also hope that when things resume that people remember the support local businesses give to the community and all the spot prizes they sponsor for schools and raffles,” she says.
“For now I'm looking forward to getting back into my studio in Nenagh and meeting my customers.”
For further information visit www.marionmurphy cooney.com or call 087 1333514.