First up in our series of some of the participants in the Stiall Challenge, Emma Manley

At only 31, She’s the owner and Creative Director at Manley, an Irish womenswear fashion and accessories brand. Health and fitness are a huge part of her life. If she’s not working on Manley, you’ll find her cooking healthy grub in the kitchen while sipping wine and dancing to cheesy 90’s girl groups. We chat with Emma about her relationship with fashion..

David Gannon Photography


You won’t find Emma trailing the high-street

“I buy what Manley doesn’t make and only when I need it. Workout gear, shoes and undies are almost all I need to buy so I’m a lucky gal really. You’ll never find me actively ‘shopping for stuff’ nor would I be caught dead doing a ‘haul’”.


Her relationship with clothing has changed over time

“Come work in the fashion industry and you get to see it all. I’m ashamed at what the industry (fashion) is doing to our people and our planet and I’m sad that people are voting with their wallets in favour of fast fashion. I’m proud of what Manley creates and the transparency it creates it with. The 12 year old me buying as many items for €20 as possible in Penny’s is a long time ago and yes, I am very much changed”.


How does she shop now..

“I only buy what I fall in love with a think I will wear to death, simple as. Nothing is an impulse buy, it’s always considered. I mix it up between shopping online and shopping in store. Where possible, I support local shops, where not, I click to purchase”.

We asked Emma to come along to the photoshoot in her favourite pieces that she’s been using for the #stiallchallenge

“This Boxter Tee is the newest piece from this outfit being Manley SS17. Every season we do statement leather tee’s and this guy won my heart. My leather mini is from AW16. I live in this. I wear it twice a week at a minimum. It’s great for dressing up with heels but equally as cool with a pair of trainers and Adidas Originals sweatshirt.  My shoes are from Buffalo, its pretty much my go to shoe shop for something that little bit different. I have a  jacket that was one of the first pieces I made out of 100% wool – I remember deliberating about whether to buy the wool as it was so costly and I didn’t know if Manley could afford it. It was one of my first lessons in quality and I haven’t looked back since!”.


So 30 days and 30 items for the #stiallchallenge, how was it for Emma

“Not as easy as I had expected, but if anything, it has taught me where the holes in my closet are. The part I’m finding the hardest is the amount of pieces my work out gear takes up and how many times I have to change in a day for different work gig’s. Yesterday I had three changes for a shoot so that kinda ate up my pieces 22,23,24,25,26 and 27!  I do love a challenge though so watch me take this one on and win!”


Manley’s lesson learned from the challenge

“Nobody needs to own as much as they think, including me. I have an embarrassingly large selection of metallic brogues and trainer collection to rival Kanye’s, I wont be purchasing either for a very long time”.

 The final say

“Everyone should try this challenge. It’s costs you nothing but will save you a lot of money in the future.”

Photography: David Gannon

With special thanks to The Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin

Leave your thought here