Eóin Dillon, Fashion Designer

HUNYO interviewed Dublin born, fashion designer, Eóin Dillon. Eóin is Creative Director and founder of luxury brand, Reuben Avenue. With clients (some being high profile) from all over the world, it’s fair to say that this designer is certainly making his mark on the fashion scene.

Eóin Dillon, Creative Director and Founder of luxury fashion label,
Reuben Avenue

So thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to chat with me today as I’m sure you’re a busy man!

Michael

Thank you. It’s a pleasure to chat with you.

Eóin

You know I was up last night trying to think of the best opening line for an interview, I couldn’t find any so I’m just going to try my best here!

Can you tell me about your fashion label Reuben Avenue?

Michael

Reuben Avenue started as my response to working remotely and travelling a lot for work. I worked as a Creative Director for a few years and as a Set Designer for 10+ years which brought me to a lot of different places and that meant I had to travel a lot.

I wanted to be comfortable when I was travelling on long flights and also ready to work as soon as I landed…sometimes. Reuben Avenue is a luxury loungewear brand made with premium natural materials and biodegradable fabrics … so they’re not just comfortable but chic too.

In the current global climate crisis, being able to contribute in a positive way by reducing ocean contamination and producing ethically in Ireland with Irish fabrics was important too.

Eóin
Model: Chun Soot

I don’t think there’s a lot of designers focused on biodegradable fabrics? Fair play to you. So with you being the creative director, are all final design pieces run past you?

Michael

I think biodegradable fabrics are becoming an important part of clothing … when fabrics are washed, microfibres break down in your washing machine and they make it into our oceans and food chain eventually. Grim! I like the idea of a life cycle too … it’s healthier and means change, constant growing and learning.

I design and I oversee the creative campaigns and anything visual at the moment. As the founder and still working within a small team, we all wear many hats but it’s great. Being able to react quickly and respond to socio-cultural changes is a priority to me as I see clothes as dialogue between people and their environment … and also being able to keep up with the nonstop seasonal changes!

Eóin

That’s very true and a great approach to take. I was looking at your designs on your website and they are quite futuristic, they look fantastic. Did you ever think back to your days in school that you would be this successful?

Michael

Thanks, Michael. I started the brand with an honest approach to the aesthetics, which were driven a lot by tangible and real things … nature, the earth, cultures etc and to hear it looks futuristic is great!

I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do when I was in school, but I always wanted to work in design. I’m very grateful I’ve been able to reach this point in my career and to still have the same passion for what I do… it’s a journey more than a goal to me.

Eóin

And speaking of journey, I’m sure you are well travelled too. You know with the lockdown, business might be a bit slow but I’m sure the extra time to yourself gives you time to focus on new designs?

Michael

The lockdown has been a strange one for me … I started making masks as a fashion accessory last year. I was wearing disposable masks when I travelled so I wanted to make a reusable one that looked good too.

Since designing Reuben Avenue travel masks there has been an increase in demand for masks and loungewear as people have been working from home and still taking video calls as well.

Unfortunately, supply chains have been affected as stores have closed temporarily and factories etc have been closed too. There have been ups and downs but I’m hopeful we come out the other side better equipped and with a few lessons learned.

I’m working on a new collection at the moment and this situation has given me lots of time to focus and research for sure.

Eóin
One of Eóin face masks

That’s great and I’m sure you’ll make it through it. Who would your biggest clients be?

Michael

We have clients all over the world so it’s hard to say … over the last couple of years we’ve been lucky enough to see our sales and support increase across Europe and the USA.

Eóin

That’s amazing to have an Irish fashion designer making his mark on the world. From design to finish piece roughly how long would it take or is that like asking how long is a piece of string? I suppose it depends on what you’re making.

Michael

A little bit! From design to actual finished product is hard to say … I spend a lot of time researching, drawing and editing before even starting to think of garments. Then there’s a lot of factors to take into consideration before starting to make toiles and samples.

There’s always a bit of change and development along the way too – changing fabrics and shapes etc

Eóin
Eóin with model wearing his garments

Plenty of people having their Skype meetings in their tracksuits!

Michael

In their loungewear I hope! 😂

Eóin

Haha! I have to ask and I hope you don’t mind but when the order from Kim Kardashian came in how did that feel?

Michael

I first heard Kim Kardashian had worn Reuben Avenue when I woke up to loads of messages and pictures of Kim K on the today show.

It was very exciting to see, arguably, the most influential person alive wearing something I designed. It’s a great feeling that someone who has access to everything would choose something I designed.

Eóin
Kim Kardashian wearing Reuben Avenue

I can only imagine what was going through your head! I take my hat off to you. I really do. Well, Eóin we’ll leave it there and thank you so much for your time and patience. I wish you all the success in your endeavours.

Michael

Thanks so much, Michael! It was great chatting to you 🙏🏼

Eóin

You’re more than welcome!

Michael

To browse some of Reuben Avenue luxury lounge wear, please visit reubenavenue.com

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