While many of us were sharing banana bread recipes, Pippa O’Connor Ormond and Lucy Nagle were using the time to cook up something completely different.
The two, well known for their fashion businesses POCO and Lucy Nagle Cashmere, decided to join forces to create a collaborative collection.
“When we decided to work together, the world was normal,” Pippa laughs. “We were able to meet up and chat about what we were going to do and get started on our plans. No one had any idea what was coming.”
But fashion is a business built on tight timelines and couriers shipping samples internationally, so a lockdown wasn’t going to be enough to make these two put their partnership on hold.
“We did a lot of it separately but we managed it really well between video calls and pieces being sent back and forward from Dublin to Kildare to look at. It was actually great having a creative project to work on while everything was so crazy. It was something different to our own businesses and was a really enjoyable distraction,” Pippa explains.
Though this is the first time the two have come together on a collection they’ve actually been friends for years and Lucy remembers the boost Pippa gave her start up business: “We know each other about six years, we had lots of friends in common and bit by bit we began seeing more of each other. When I started the company and launched my very first collection, Pippa wore one of the sweaters. I had only just joined Instagram but there was an explosion of excitement that Pippa was wearing a piece of mine. Over the years, we’ve done some things together and a collection was always the next step. We’re a natural fit and I’m delighted with the results.”
“I remember that sweater,” Pippa laughs, “It was the one with three stars on it!”
Pippa and Lucy are clearly great pals but one of the downsides of working with friends is that it’s a little too easy.
At the start of the process Lucy and Pippa were planning a capsule collection of between five and seven pieces but with a shared aesthetic and nobody to stop them encouraging each other they found themselves adding more and more to the line. This collection is different for Lucy in that it’s predominately in Merino wool instead of cashmere which helps to keep the price points more accessible.
This isn’t Lucy’s first time working with a collaborative partner and she has just launched her second collection with Laura Wills, better known as UK influencer The Fashion Bug Blog.
“We launched the first last October. I can remember the exact date because I was eight months pregnant and had to get in a photo shoot with her! It was the last thing I did before I had my daughter, I can remember flying home through Heathrow which seems like another time now.
"That collection has been a great success and I really like doing the collaborations because like this one with Pippa it’s about bringing together two peoples tastes and audiences. And you know, it’s so interesting doing something different from your usual thing. I’ve more planned with Laura, I love her fashion sense and how she puts things together. We’re also going to do some children’s clothes.”
There are more collections planned with Pippa too. After this launch there will be another one in November with different pieces and the two are already working on more.
“We have very similar tastes and so it’s easy working together, we keep coming up with more ideas,” Pippa says.
There’s no escaping the fact that we’re in the midst of a pandemic and with both women running hugely successful and busy fashion companies starting new projects while working from home might seem like adding more stress.
But for Lucy it wasn’t too much of a change as she has always operated from a home office and though her children, aged five, four and 10 months, were at home, so too was her husband.
“He never works from home and it was actually great because it was kind of a novelty for him. He’s usually gone 12 hours a day. I’m naturally an early riser and I love getting up and getting some work done before anyone else is awake. Though that’s probably why I’m in bed so early!
For Pippa and husband Brian, things were pretty hectic as they were managing the launch of a new POCO collection of trainers as well as looking after sons Ollie and Louis at home.
“There were definitely moments of stress trying to juggle everything but that was the same for every family. You just had to keep going,” Pippa says.
Because she lives in Kildare, Pippa has already experienced two lockdowns and with winter closing in and uncertainty over what will happen in the coming months, she is trying to be more relaxed in her approach to life.
“I think at the moment, from my own experience anyway, having the kids out of school can be worrying, and none of us know what the future holds. I think we all like to be organised and mothers in particular like to plan for things but for once in our lives, we can't do that.
"A bit of advice I'm trying to follow is to try not to always be so in control. I think we just have to take each week as it comes and keep our heads. I’m trying to live in the moment.
"It can be a time of huge anxiety or panic so I’m trying to not think too far ahead and just live in a way that keeps everyone safe.”
The new Lucy x Pippa collection is available exclusively from www.lucynagle.com.