Model & TV Presenter Katie Larmour Launches New Textiles & Homewares Brand

BELFAST beauty Katie Larmour is well known on the local social scene, for years she’s been the face of corporate and fashion campaigns across the country.

Katie Larmour

Katie Larmour

As a teenager her petite figure and gorgeous looks made her one of the most sought after models in the city.

From Belfast City Council and the Pretty In Pink charity to Belfast Fashion Week, Katie’s look became synonymous with many other people’s brands.

But now the 29-year-old art and antiquities dealer has developed a brand of her own.

Later this month she will launch her luxury homewares brand KL Designs and having travelled across the globe in the last year although she’s taking inspiration from the various countries she’s been to Katie said she’s keen to establish her home-made Northern Ireland brand.

She said: “In the last year I’ve travelled quite a bit from South America, Venice, Milan and France to Tel Aviv, New York, Switzerland and Spain. Although I’ve spent quite a bit of this time with my boyfriend I’ve also been using it as an opportunity to research and purchase some fantastic pieces that I am incorporating into my new collection.

“I’ve been creating luxury artisan made cushions using vintage designer silk scarves backed in pure Irish linen and filled with plush duck feathers.

“The scarves I am using include designers such as Balenciaga, Pucci, Liberty of London and Lanvin ranging from retro 15 year old prints to beautiful vintage 80 year old prints.

“It means that every single cushion will be one-off and unique. I’ve spent the last year sourcing these beautiful fabrics from around the world.

“My favourite places so far has to be the huge markets in Paris and Rome where I’ve got some amazing pieces.

Katie sources her fabrics from all over the world

Katie sources her fabrics from all over the world

“Now that I have the designs and fabrics ready I’m working on getting the brand set up. I will be launching an ecommerce website soon. Up until now I’ve been selling privately through word of mouth but I feel I’m ready to take it a step further.

“When I was in New York I had some interest from a few upmarket interior design stores which was really exciting and a real boost of confidence.

“Although I have been travelling a lot one of the things that is really important to me is that the cushions are hand-made in Northern Ireland.”

Katie feels the launch of her new business is a natural progression and expansion in an industry she’s very passionate about.

The entrepreneur, designer, presenter and model explained: “I’ve always been creative and loved art, in fact I paid my way through my Art College Degree by modelling for local PR companies promoting products and events in Northern Ireland which I absolutely loved, that’s when I started.

“Although it was a lot of fun at the time I feel that I’ve slightly grown out of a lot of the things I was doing.

“One of the other things I would do is sell antiques on ebay for years, sometimes even buying them on the site itself and then moving them on for a bigger profit.”

Katie searches for fabrics and inspiration everywhere from high end designer stores to artisan and exclusive markets

Katie searches for fabrics and inspiration everywhere from high end designer stores to artisan and exclusive markets

Katie, who can add art and antiques dealer to her impressive CV, set up and still curates the art gallery in the Marine Court Hotel in Bangor.

She is also a presenter with Belfast Fashion Week TV.

Despite moving more towards the business world she admitted she’s not ready to give up her fashion industry commitments just yet.

“There is a correlation between fashion and art and it’s all about aesthetics and the way people react to things they see and take in everyday” said Katie, adding: “I am visually stimulated by the world around me whether it’s people watching, or perhaps more specifically clothes watching, visiting art galleries and knowing your own taste and style.

“One of my most useful subjects from school has been A level History of Art as as it triggered an enthusiasm for visiting museums and art galleries every time I’ve travelled to a foreign city and there have been a lot.

“Recently I’ve become fascinated and drawn towards textiles and patterns and it’s been a natural progression to sourcing, buying and restructuring vintage and antique.

“I’ve been presenting Belfast Fashion Week TV since its inception, I did the stage hosting for a couple of seasons which was a lot more daunting, but I’m in my element when I’m having one to one conversations in our interviews.

“There’s a real buzz and vibrancy behind the scenes and it’s a pleasure to get to chat to Northern Ireland’s top fashion designers – we have some wonderful talent.”

Follow Katie on Twitter @KatieLarmour. Watch out for her new website launching soon

About the Author

Tina Calder
Journalist, commentator, author and content creator specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.