Talia Byre: The Designer Seamlessly Fusing Sustainability With Style

Daisy Murray
·2-min read
Photo credit: Diana Eastman
Photo credit: Diana Eastman

From ELLE

Launching Talia Byre was not part of the plan. Though, as many discovered, 2020 didn't care about plans.

Days after graduating from the MA Fashion Womenswear course at Central Saint Martins, 26-year-old Talia Lipkin-Connor moved back to her family home in Manchester when her grandmother and other family members sadly passed away.

'I'm not really a person to sit and dwell,' she says. 'I had to push forward. Grandma would have wanted that.'

Push forward she did, using the first lockdown to launch her brand from scratch. In a matter of weeks, her work was worn by model Adwoa Aboah (on the cover of TIME, no less), and caught the attention of stylist Francesca Burns.

Photo credit: Courtesy of brand
Photo credit: Courtesy of brand

'She has an incredible eye for detail. Her clothes are a celebration of form and tactile materials,' says Burns.

While recognition excites the designer (and her dad, who bought 10 copies of TIME), it's the Byre family name that matters most. It's why her brand bears that, rather then Lipkin-Connor.

If you lived in Liverpool between the 1960s and 1980s and were interested in fashion, you were sure to shop at Lucinda Byre. The now-defunct boutique was the spot for womenswear, and had its own line.

Lipkin-Connor explains her great-uncle Ralph built the store 'from nothing', and the family manned the shop floor. As part of the first generation not to, she is reviving the family trade with her own label: 'Seeing them excited about the Byre name again is my small victory.'

Photo credit: Imaxtree
Photo credit: Imaxtree

Her brand is also a family affair, with sister Freya in the role of 'the Yes or No-er' to ideas and 'reluctant' fit model.

The launch of Talia Byre under not one, nor two, but three national lockdowns has helped keep the brand environmentally conscious. Unable to leave the UK, Lipkin-Connor sources deadstock wool from a mill just a bus ride from her home. For her sustainability, is implicit, rather then secondary - she uses natural materials, such as walnut husks, to dye fabric (from a woman with a walnut tree down south who she met online).

Her future goals? 'I want to create a second collection,' she says, producing pieces to order via email for now.

She dreams of bringing the Byre name back as a retail space in Liverpool, but we might have to wait on the family's official 'yes' or 'no' for that.

This article appears in the March 2021 edition of ELLE UK.


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