Athenry headwear queen used to design houses, but now designs hats

Fiona Mangan, a native of Ennis and based in Athenry, set up her millinery label less than one year ago. With her natural creative flair and a background in architecture, she creates truly unique and iconic headwear. Evidence of her natural talent was revealed when she was recently shortlisted as a finalist for the second annual Golden Egg Fashion Innovation Awards.

The fashion innovation awards presented by Golden Egg Productions is a contest for fashion designers throughout Ireland, to showcase the highest expression of creativity from the most innovative designers in Ireland. The judging panel will includes some of the most respected names in the Irish fashion industry to include fashion guru Eddie Shanahan, Irish Independent’s fashion editor Barbara Power and a surprise celebrity judge who will be revealed on the night. Members of the public are invited to view the finalists in all categories of the Fashion Innovation Awards on and to cast their vote.

“Being shortlisted for Accessory Designer of the Year came as something of a surprise to say the least! To be up there with some of the longer established designers is an honour,” said the budding designer.

With three young children and a busy career as an architect, Ms Mangan rarely found the time or energy to work at the one thing she was passionate about; fashion design and hats.

The recent downturn in the economy resulted in redundancy in 2008. Not one to tolerate defeat, Ms Mangan decided to hone her creative talents in her life-long passion. Prior to her career in architecture, she attended the prestigious Grafton Academy where she carried out a dress design course focusing on millinery. Constantly upgrading her

skills, in 2009 she completed further millinery classes in GMIT Galway and more recently by attending private millinery tuition.

Ms Mangan creates beautiful bespoke hats and headpieces for every occasion. Whether it is to stand out at the races, shine at a wedding, or turn heads in cocktail headwear on a night out, her creations will make that happen. Her collection includes bridal headpieces, bridesmaid, flowergirl and Communion headpieces as well as unique costume jewellery, each one created with the occasion, and the wearer in mind.

The finalist’s fashion show and award ceremony will take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel Galway on April 5. This year, the public are invited to cast their vote in the four categories by logging onto www.golden Ultimately, the winning designs will be chosen by the panel of judges on the night of the Awards. Going by last year’s event, it is set to be a great night of entertainment and style.

But for now, Ms Mangan has yet to start work on a fabulous headpiece that she will wear herself on the night. Her work can be viewed on www.fiona or by appointment on 087 9181589.


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