Let’s face it, the Aran jumper is iconic. In recent years it’s been revisited by fashion houses including McQueen and Dior and has recently found a home for itself at MoMA in New York. It’s a global icon, but we can sometimes see it as a cliché — so intertwined with Irish identity (in a ‘Darby O’Gill’ way) that we look past it.
The Aran jumper is roughly 100 years old, so for Showcase 2019 — Ireland’s largest design and craft event, we wanted to celebrate our woolly icon. Hailing from the famous islands off Galway, the jumper came with its own identity story. It was said that every fisherman had a unique pattern to help his family identify his body if he was lost at sea. It’s not a true story, but it’s a great story.
Inspired by this idea of the Aran knit and Irish identity we reimagined the traditional knit as a series of Aran bodysuits. We collaborated with knitwear designer Pearl Reddington and leading Aran manufacturer Ireland’s Eye to bring the concept to life. We created striking pieces that show off our iconic pattern, bringing a fresh perspective to our national Aran identity.