In every industry, there is always a gem. Often, within the sparkling facets of that gem, there is a special person who knows their trade like no other.
They live and breathe the ups and downs, the successes and the disappointments like riding the proverbial wave. Except that the swell which carries this wave is usually the wave of passion, in this case, driven by a love of beauty, and the momentum of which is carried forth by success, inspiration and joy.
It was my pleasure some months ago, after having been a long time devotee and advocate of the Horgan’s product, that I met Marion Horgan. She is the name and inspiration behind the impressive importing and exporting business which has been influencing the world of design, particularly in this country, for four decades.
I know only too well the finer details of running your own ship and the stormy seas that often need to be navigated. To actually meet the woman who started this business … well, let’s just say I was more than privileged.
For those of you who follow me, you will know only too well that fashion is usually my game and usually my only game, but every now and then I feel so inspired by someone that crosses my path, I need to tell the world.
As I have worked in the world of fashion for what seems like forever now, it is only natural that my related travels would bring me into contact with the fabulous creative people in the world of interiors. It is my belief that interiors sit very firmly on the fringe of the fashion industry anyhow, so the apparent blending of the two is the perfect marriage.
Horgan’s is the most exquisite mix of gorgeousness, luxury, beauty, comfort and creative homeliness I have ever had the pleasure of standing amongst.
Marion has the quirky knack of sourcing pieces that no-one else has, which can, and mostly do, find a place in many a creative residential or retail setting.
In our current design world we have become accustomed, unfortunately, to the hideous boring homogenisation of, well, pretty much everything.
You can imagine how delighted I was to find myself so deliciously inspired!
I so wish that more fashion retailers would embrace the idea of interesting spaces by making use of beautiful and inspirational furniture, tables, chairs, sofas, rugs, and lighting which could so easily enhance their stores and their labels.
It is so important to understand that the experience of the consumer is not only about finding wonderful fashion labels to swoon over, buy, and wear to death … but also about the all important retail shopping experience.
Once this country can embrace the merits of marrying the amazing fashion label with an energised, brilliant injection of beauty gained through interior masterminds like Marion Horgan, maybe our retail climate will start to climb to the heights of greatness once again.
A stairway to heaven you might say … at least of the fashion kind.
I believe you started Horgan’s in 1983. What inspired you to create the business?
My love of homewares and all that is associated. As a teenager, I started styling my own bedroom and making my own clothing as I needed an outlet for my creativeness. I was always thinking how I could make something more interesting but beautiful at the same time.
Where did your love of interiors come from?
My mother – she was house proud and had a sense of style in everything she did and wore. She knew where to position furniture and how to just add a beautiful edge whether it be a painting, cushion or flowers.
What do you attribute your talent for buying and finding wonderful, original items?
Comes from within – it’s my passion.
What do you believe makes the “soul” of an interior?
It needs to be a space where people feel comfortable – a space they want to be in.
Perhaps this means that they can just be in awe of the space in which they are standing, or that the space just evokes a feeling of peace.
This can be achieved with personal touches and pieces of interest. It needs to excite the senses whether it be colour, luxe textiles or aromas like the use of candles.
The key to a great space is that itt must be calming.
What is your opinion of our current homogenised world of design? Why do you think we have arrived at this point?
So many people today just follow what they see on Instagram and duplicate it. Thus everything in the end becomes “vanilla”.
What do you believe makes an exceptional designer, fashion or interior?
One that stands out from the crowd – not being a slave to current trends.
I would love to see the retail world of fashion embrace fabulous inspirational interiors. Wouldn’t you?
Yes absolutely, they complement each other perfectly.
What attributes do you believe are necessary to be a wonderful successful designer?
Passion, passion and more passion … and hard work … you must be humble in success.
Are you a lover of colour? Or do you prefer the monochromatic palette?
Who are your favourite, iconic interior designers?
What have you learned after being in business for forty years and what advice would you give someone who is thinking of travelling a similar path?
You need to have a strong passion for what you are doing and be able to have confidence in your vision.
To be a leader you need to take risks and be different.
The greatest joy is that today, difference is embraced, especially for women.
They are now being properly recognised within my industry which is very different from when I started.
As with all success, it is sustained with vision, commitment and hard work.
Until next time,