Asked where her style comes from, Wauchob doesn’t offer a straight answer. Although one can easily find traces of Japanese and Belgian influences, she thinks otherwise. “I don’t know,” she says. “Maybe among the northern countries you’re more likely to see a tendency of design. You see a different type of woman there than coming out of somewhere like Rome.” The designer does note that Tyrone, the rural county in Northern Ireland where she grew up, is “sepia-toned, tougher and grittier [than other areas].” Of her childhood home, Wauchob remarks, “Let’s just say you don’t see other houses when you wake up in the morning. There’s definitely a sense of solitude.”
And although she now lives in Paris, she hasn’t left Tyrone behind entirely. Her company is registered there, and Wauchob frequently returns home—she has even brought some of her staff with her. “It’s a good escape,” Wauchob remarks. She also goes back to assist her parents, sheep farmers living in the house her family built nearly 200 years ago, with the yearly lambing, which involves helping the animals with the birthing process. Not many fashion designers come from such backgrounds.
Tyrone, the rural county where she grew up, is “sepia-toned, tougher and grittier [than other areas].”
But it’s this groundedness that informs Wauchob’s collections creatively and has helped her function as a small independent amid a sea of industry giants. And even though she admits that she might listen if the right fashion backer came knocking, she remains proud of her indie mantle. “People are wearing the clothes based on the product,” Wauchob says. “It’s definitely not due to the nonadvertising campaign we have.”