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In Conversation with Rosy Temple of Magee 1866

Rosy Temple is part of the 5th generation behind Magee 1866 which has over 150 years’ experience in designing, weaving and tailoring luxury fabrics and clothing in Co. Donegal, Ireland. Today Magee 1866's lifestyle collections include men/women/home interiors and accessories. This generation is about a sustainable future as they continue to focus on their heritage of long-lasting quality and weaving natural fibres like wool and linen (biodegradable & renewable).

The brand was established in 1866 by John Magee, as a small drapers shop in Donegal, Ireland, buying and selling handwoven tweeds. Magee are still designing and weaving luxury fabrics in Donegal – the ever-changing land and seascapes surrounding Donegal inspire colours and designs. In 2015 Magee acquired Robert Noble, a Scottish mill established in 1666. They use the finest of yarns – cashmere, lambswool, alpaca, silk, and linen. These fabrics are used for men and women’s apparel and home furnishing. They still maintain a small hand-weaving business – fabrics are a far cry from the coarse tweeds of the 1800’s, today they are woven using luxury yarns, resulting in a beautifully soft handle.

Every Magee collection, whether fabric, garment or accessory is designed to reflect their distinctive heritage with a contemporary twist. Magee are unique in the fact that they incorporate many of these fabrics into seasonal men and women’s lifestyle collections. We have been specialising in tailored garments for over 100 years and in later years they have developed a more casual offering. 

“We wholesale our clothing collections to over 300 independent clothing stores in Ireland and the UK. We have three of our own stores in Ireland and also an eCommerce store. The company started in the 1860s by a cousin of mine called John Magee. He would buy and sell handwoven tweed which is a product very traditional to Southwest Donegal. Donegal tweed is unique to this region and its main defining characteristics is the yarn. The spinning process includes little colourful neps which are small speckles which are spun into the yarn. They come through into the fabric in a random assortment.”

This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 203 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Rosy Temple, CEO at Donegal tweed clothing company magee1866.com. You can listen to the full version on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast player.

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