Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Aoife Coyle Designs is one to watch

Aoife Coyle Logo

AOIFE Coyle from Milford, in my opinion, is one to watch in the world of millinery. Aoife has always had a passion and interest in design and fashion but millinery is the craft that has stolen her heart.

She completed an Hons diploma in Art and Design at Limavady College and from there she studied jewellery design at NCAD in Dublin. One day in the library while researching for an essay she got distracted by a large design book on hat designer Philip Treacy. She fell in love with his unique designs.

Keen to find out more Aoife enrolled in a night class in millinery at the LA College of Creative Arts in Dublin with Irish milliner Kate Betts and she says that she hasn’t looked back since. To date Aoife has completed two sets of night classes with designer Kate Betts as well as a day course and thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working alongside one of Irelands top Milliners.


Aoife has just begun an internship with designer Sarah McGahon Millinery in Bray, Co. Wickow and loves learning as much as she can about the industry. In this interview I find out what inspires and motivates Aoife to create such beautiful designs and what the future holds for this talented up and coming milliner. Aoife is a milliner, so her primary material is sinamay. “It’s a natural material, made from banana fibres. It’s magic! I also work with felt occasionally.”

Aoife Coyle.

Aoife Coyle.

She tries to use as many bright colours as possible in her work. “They really stand out! I don’t really have a theme running through my work, other than vibrant colour. “I always think bigger is better with hats. I find it harder to make small and simple pieces, as I just cant leave them alone, I keep wanting to add more to them.”

Aoife feels, over time, her colour co-ordinating has definitely improved and her designs are becoming a lot more sophisticated. “I’m learning all the time,” she said.
The Milford native has just started her internship with Sarah McGahon in Bray which is her main focus right now. “I’m still working on customer orders in my spare time and I’m also trying to teach myself how to make a top hat. I haven’t quite mastered it yet, but watch this space!”

Aoife’s goals for the future are to become established as a milliner with her own studio and shop. Her dream project would be to do work experience with Philip Treacy who is a huge inspiration to her as a milliner. “Who doesn’t love him!? His collections for Alexander McQueen are just incredible. I love Stephen Jones too, his designs really show you that anything can be done in millinery, anything is possible!

“I also love Anna Mott, she’s an Australian hat fanatic and director of Daphne Guinness is another, her style is amazing! I also have a massive appreciation for a lot of Irish designers and photographers. Chupi Sweetman is an incredible Irish Jewellery Designer. Also, Blaithin Ennis and Joanne Hynes. And designers like Sorcha O’ Raghallaigh, Umit Kutluk, and Emma Manley, all amazing Irish talent! I’m going to Paris in September, so I’ll be looking there for a lot of inspiration for a new collection!”
Aoife sells her pieces mainly through her Facebook page which is ‘Aoife Coyle Design’. She has also done a few craft fairs in Rush, Co. Dublin where she currently lives.
Contact Aoife Coyle Designs: Facebook: Aoife Coyle Design; Instagram: Eefs88; e-mail:

Aoife Coyle 2

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’,, e-mail is, Twitter @zaramcdaidart and Instragram ZARA MC DAID


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