Nala is 23 years old and from Dublin, in her final year of Fashion design in NCAD. Her instagram account, (@lazy_banana_shop) is where she sells handmade technicolour clothes and accessories, is one of the most well known on the Irish Sustainable fashion scene. 

When did you first discover your love for fashion?

 I’ve been extremely passionate about fashion for as long as I can remember. My parents told me I used to throw temper tantrums at the age of 3 if I was wearing something I didn’t think was flattering. From the age of 6 I used to carry a sketchbook at all times where I would draw up outfit ideas. I’ve always been obsessed with clothes and I honestly don’t know why, it seems like such a shallow thing to be passionate about, but it’s what I love and I just can’t help it!

What was the first piece you made?

When I started sewing, it was only alterations and up-cycling. I started sewing about 5 years ago because I was obsessed with charity shopping but a lot of the items were too long, too big etc… Nothing ever fits me properly! I asked my parents for a sewing machine for Christmas so I could alter these items to fit correctly. The first garment I made wasn’t until about a year and a half later. It was honestly so badly made. It was a flannel print vest top, the pattern didn’t patch up and the stitches were all loose because I forgot to backstitch! But practice makes perfect and I’ve learnt from my mistakes!

Who would you say are your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations are Alexander McQueen, Viktor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood & Gianni Versace. I love reading their life stories and seeing where they came from and how they succeeded. I also love newer and more contemporary fashion designers such as iris van herpen, Craig Green, Walter Van Beirendonck. I could honestly name designers all day… I love taking inspiration from all types of designers. My current obsession is Lirika Matoshi though, her style is very my vibe!

Has there been any challenges or problems you’ve faced?

Yes, to be honest I was really frightened to choose a career in the fashion industry; it’s an extremely competitive and tough industry. I felt that I wasn’t good enough and that I would fail. So when I finished my Leaving Cert I decided to study Architecture at DIT instead as I thought my job prospects would be better. After two years there I realised that my true passion was in fact Fashion so I decided to drop out and study Fashion design in NCAD. The new challenges I face as I am in my final year are fears of not being able to work in the Fashion industry due to the effects of Covid-19. Almost all internships were cancelled this year and the future is so unpredictable so I’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I’m trying not to think about it too much and take each day as it comes. I love what I do and that’s what matters the most!

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

 I’d like to get experience interning in the fashion industry when I finish college, but ideally I would love to have my own brand in the future. This has always been a dream of mine! I set up a little Instagram shop about 5 months ago which I absolutely love working on. It’s called @lazy_banana_shop. I make clothes, jewellery and accessories. I’m not able to do too much on it at the moment as college takes up most of my time. But when I graduate I’d like to put a lot more effort and time into it and hopefully have a website!

Author: Aoife Noonan 

Image Credit: (@lazy_banana_shop)