Anne is the face and the award-winning Irish knitwear brands Áine Knitwear, McConnell Menswear and McConnell Living, under the umbrella of McConnell Wollen Mills Ltd. Ireland.
A home-grown graduate from the distinguished Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) with a degree in fashion design and a specialty in knitwear, Anne won the Student Knitwear Designer Award during her undergraduate years. She also holds a postgraduate qualification in knitwear and CAD from LSAD.
Following her tenure at fashion and knitwear companies including Carraig Donn and Ireland’s Eye Knitwear, she went on to create Áine Knitwear. Considered by many of her peers to be one of the most influential Irish Knitwear designers of her time, Anne is best known for her ‘Knitwear as Art Work’ approach making wearable art that is contemporary, looks good and most importantly, makes the wearer feel good as well.
Anne refers to her work as “a study of Irish heritage in form.” Her ability to fuse culture, history and colors and transforms it into readytowear premium fashion draws inspiration from art, literature, music, architecture and nature. She then reacts to her inspiration by producing patterns in knitwear that are stunning textural statements that appeal both to the eye and to touch.
Making beautiful pieces of clothing alongside her exclusive team of specialty knitters based in Co. Clare, Ireland might be viewed in the context of creating Irish heritage as a prophetic act, as Anne’s passion for knitting and her passion for the McConnell brand forms part of the matrix of what will become Irish Knitwear Heritage for generations to come.
She also believes that McConnell as a brand is a promise, and as such, integrity is at the heart of everything they do. Her pricing is based on her years of design excellence in the industry and her award-winning designs are sophisticated yet wearable, well-made but also well priced. When a customer buys a McConnell garment Anne says that the customer will be reminded of the great choice they made every time they see or use the garment. It is this attention and care about how the customer will feel that drives Anne to exceed industry benchmarks and continue making what people clearly love.
To ensure success, McConnell chooses to only work with friends, specialty and boutique shops and organizations such as Kilkenny Design Centre, House of Ireland, GlenAran and Daimaru that like her, are passionate about what they do.
McConnell believes that being professional and personable plays a key part in understanding and satisfying customers. She ensures that all her local and international clients are well looked after by having her creations made in Ireland by a full Irish workforce using state of the art technological infrastructure that is optimized to ensure quality is consistent and customers get exactly what they see on her label.