Inis Meáin - hollington : a story of friendship and survival
In the late '70s, Patric Hollington travels to Ireland. Patric often travels because, by creating his own brand of men's clothing, his specific angle was to adapt the world's various workwear to the men's wardrobe. In order to develop his elegant and arty visual vocabulary, he seeks with a persistent constancy, among the traditions of all countries, what will nourish his inspiration.
In a little fashion fair, he discovers a very fine series of marine pullovers and decides to go to Dublin to see the whole collection of its mysterious manufacturer. On site, he asks a lot of questions and gets very few answers. But on returning to the hotel, a surprise awaits: an open plane ticket for the island of Inis Meáin - the name of the famous brand. Its creator got wind of Patric’s interest and offers to tell him the story of his sweaters on the very place that gave birth to them.
And what a place! Patric is blown as he arrives at the "Middle Island" of the Aran Archipelago, fifty kilometers West from the shores of Ireland. He instinctively understands how this enchanting country of rugged, wild beauty has developed an independent, resourceful, and innovative spirit. On Inis Meáin, survival traditionally depends on fishing, practiced by means of boats called "currag" (those same that appears on the brand’s logo).
Tarlach de Blácam, an academic specializing in the Gaelic language, and his wife Áine Ní Chonghaile welcome Patric. They decided to develop the local production of pullovers to prevent the departure of the island’s inhabitants and the impoverishment of a rich and endangered culture. They thus participate in a strong commitment: Inis Meáin is a conservatory of the Gaelic language and its folklore, the resource point of a culture. Its cliffs and waves have inspired the romantic imagination of many poets - including W. B. Yeats.
For centuries, the fishermen’s clothes have been imagined, woven and knitted by the women of the island. So many secrets that have evolved with the generations and that reflect a turbulent environment, with its majestic waters and skies, its wild flora and its kilometers of stone walls running in the moor’s moss.
Tarlach and Áine have updated the traditional Aran Islands sailor’s sweater, warm and protective. While respecting the initial models, including colors, they added cashmere or silk, and robust inserts on the friction zones.
Immediately convinced, Patric orders several hundred pullovers for his shops, inaugurating Inis Meáin’s order book. He is their first client and quickly wins a great success: this is the beginning of a collaboration which cement is friendship. Patric is even present when Inis Meáin's slogan "Warmth from the Edge of the World" is chosen.
The authenticity of pullovers sold at hollington carries with it this ferment of friendship, the wild beauty of a unique place and the opportunity to support a community. To wear these sweaters is to bring the splendor of these islands, of this project, of this concrete and living history.
Today, hollington is the only regular point of sale in France for Inis Meáin men's sweaters.