Known for her bold colours, evocative prints and signature silhouettes, Fiona Heaney, Creative Director of Fee G, has become one of the leading names in Irish fashion.
I’m an early riser. During my busy season I could be in the studio from 6.30am. I’ll have breakfast in the studio which usually consists of slow oats with berries.
If it’s a quieter time of the season, I’ll go to the studio later. I’ll get up at 7 am and start waking the kids from 7.30am. It’s all go, getting breakfast and lunches ready for the kids and then dropping them off to school. Myself and my husband agree it’s easier to go to work in the mornings!
I have my first coffee of the day when I reach the studio, which I really look forward to. During the week, I only drink one cup of coffee per day so it’s got to be a good one.
When I arrive to the studio, I check my emails and then meet with staff. During early stages of the season the majority of my day is taken up with design work. I focus on building design stories, ordering fabrics and sketching. Further in the season I spend my mornings working closely with my team, drafting patterns and making toiles (first samples).
I listen to music or podcasts all day in the office. It’s a casual working vibe which can get noisy as people are constantly moving around. I could have meetings with fabric suppliers, who are visiting from France or Italy, where I work closely to develop fabrics which are exclusive to the Fee G collection.
I love when packages arrive from Europe! It generally means new fabric from a mill that I’m working with or trims and embellishments that I have put into work. I’m like a kid in a candy store and I can’t wait to see what’s inside.
Depending on the time of year, I could be working with fit models or casting for a photoshoot or finalising fits and fabrics for production. As the company is small, I’m involved in many aspects of the business. No two days are the same, which I love. I work to two seasons per year, so every six months we start from scratch and do the whole thing again.
Customers sometimes call to the office or I could have meetings with our agents. We listen closely to what our customers are saying. Issues can arise constantly in the business so it’s important to keep on top of things.
I travel to London and Paris quite a bit for meetings and to look for new suppliers or stockists. As the trips abroad are less frequent now since I had my children, I try pack as much as I can into a few days. I love finding cool new stores and I always try to catch shows and exhibitions when I’m away also.
I leave the studio and head home to the kids. Sometimes they play sport in the evenings so I’ll try and go for a swim in the sea. I only took up sea swimming recently and I just love it. During the winter months I go to my local pool for a late swim around 9 pm. The pool is almost empty then which I find so relaxing. I love the longer days where I can go out with the kids in the evening. I try and do Zumba or go for a run three times a week as I find it helps me sleep better. My youngest still loves a bedtime story and gives plenty of cuddles so that’s something I make sure I’m always home for.
I try and turn in by around 10.30pm during the week as I like to read for an hour. I always have at least two books on my bedside locker – something light and an autobiography. I love to read and find it relaxes me before I shut my eyes. My mind is like a browser with too many tabs open so I need something to bring me down!