Mandarin Quarterly - New York & San Francisco Interviews Margaret

Mandarin Quarterly – Autumn 2015

Who or what inspires you?

My greatest inspiration as a designer comes from the world outside my door. The San Francisco Bay Area is a cornucopia of inspiration for me. I especially love hiking in the redwoods and walking our fog-shrouded beaches. The hills, the sea, the mood… It’s always sweater weather here!

How has your heritage inspired your line and pieces over the years?

Growing up poor on a working farm in rural Ireland meant there were few store-bought items. Looking back it sounds kind of romantic, but my sisters and I learned to knit when we were little so we could make clothing for the family. I am blessed with this strong practical foundation which now allows me to knit in ways most people can’t. I use this to explore the different styles and approaches you find in our Collections.

What are the three pieces for fall you can’t live without?

Oh, tough question… I suppose I couldn’t live without our St Moritz (in every color), our LA Coat and our Tweed Leggings.

What trend do you NOT want to see again?

Crocs and Shoulder pads.

When do you feel most relaxing?

When I am traveling around the world, thinking about my next collection.  My favorite is Paris.

Which trend did you bring in that’s ahead of other’s?

Long cashmere cardigans.  The St. Mortiz that I designed is perfect for Fall / Winter weather.  I hope to come up with a men’s version of this style.

Which trend are you behind?


Which 3 shops in the Bay Area do you shop the most?

You know, I only shop in my own stores, so I would just recommend 3 restaurants.   Boulevard in San Francisco, Molina in Mill Valley, and La Folie.