Alice Walsh's Traveller's Tale
Alice Walsh is the Founder of the luxury male accessories brand Alice Made This. Specialising in industrial design techniques and manufacturing processes Alice creates beautiful cufflinks and tie pins for men. Her pieces are exquisitely made in England using a variety of industrial techniques.
Dom first met Alice in London at a UKTI (UK Trade & Industry) organised trade mission to Japan. They travelled, together with about 30 British entrepreneurs, to Tokyo to meet with fashion buyers and members of the Japanese media. It was a fascinating trip and one of the highlights was when Alice and Dom took an early morning trip to the famous fish market in Tokyo. They never imagined they'd be eating a bowl of sashimi for breakfast (at 5am) but it was quite possibly the most delicious fish they had ever tasted. They stayed in touch and have since met up regularly at Fashion Shows and launch events such as London Collections: Men and the launch of the Michael Johnson Performance bag. Dom is a big fan of Alice Made This cufflinks and has started his own collection!
Here Dom talks to Alice about her travels and the inspiration behind her brand.
Alice, can you tell me a bit about your brand and the inspiration for your latest collection?
Of course! Alice Made This is a men’s accessories brand celebrating British manufacturing, industrial engineering and raw materials. Our processes and our factories inform everything we do, from the design stages right through to the finished product, and we are incredibly proud to say that we make all our products in Britain. We’re mainly known for our cufflinks, but the recent collection includes a range of lapel pins, made using our Marine, Royal Household, Aerospace and Nanotechnology processes. We wanted to create something that a man could dress up or dress down and that would be perfect for the spring/summer season.
Why is travel important to you?
The two things I wanted in a career doing were design and travel and I feel very fortunate to have achieved this. I grew up with a father in the army so moved house and geographic location every few years as a child. This gave me exposure to different cultures and ways of life – My passion for travel grew from this. With Alice Made This travel is essential. We travel to factories locally and participate in shows both in Europe and Asia and have retailers globally. Relationships are a very important part of our industry and there is nothing better than a bit of face time with our retailers and the press. We also find that travel is key to understanding the different markets and customers we are selling our products to.
When you travel what do you always take with you?
A travel sized Diptyque candle. It makes any hotel room or apartment inviting!
Where do you see your brand in five year's time?
Alice Made This aims to be a leading global men’s accessories brand.
What do you like most about the Dom Reilly brand?
I first met Dom and saw the Dom Reilly collection in Japan. I was really impressed with the quality of the materials and the attention to detail, (within minutes I had purchased one of his travel wallets for my brother). Second to that Dom Reilly is a brand that is born out of experience in absolute quality, ultimate performance and premium travel and these virtues are all visible through the collection.
What's next for Alice Made This?
We are soon to launch our new collection online. As I mentioned before, I grew up moving around as part of a military family so have always been inspired by the regalia and details. The new collection of cufflinks and lapel pins is inspired by military symbols and produced using military accoutrement manufacturing techniques. We are working with two brilliant British factories to create our ‘Uniformity’ collection and will be introducing two new processes. Our Military Hardware process sees us working with one of the last military armouries in the world and uses a deep draw stamping process. For our Military Tailoring process we are working with a London based Atelier and creating a range of embroidered lapel pins.
Alice Made This accessories are sold at a variety of department stores around the world and online at www.alicemadethis.com
The Dom Reilly travel wallet is now on sale