Her trademark colourful, chunky knits have graced the cover of GQ magazine and won her celebrity fans from tennis star Naomi Osaka to supermodel Gigi Hadid.
But now Northern Irish designer Hope Macaulay is set for even greater exposure after one of her creations was chosen to feature in Sports Illustrated’s iconic swimwear issue, modelled by Brazilian Lais Ribeiro, of Victoria’s Secret fame.
Hope’s handmade Bella Colossal knit, made from 100% jumbo merino wool in summer shades of pastel pink, mint green and sunflower yellow, appears in a range of photographs worn by Ribeiro as a swimwear cover-up. The swimwear shoot took place in Sacramento, California and appears in this month’s edition of the world-famous American sports magazine.
Hope, from Portstewart, is getting used to the widespread attention her funky, bespoke brand has been getting since she launched her fashion career in 2018. But she said having her design featured in the pages of Sports Illustrated was beyond her wildest dreams.
“I was approached by the magazine back in April and asked to loan them some knitwear for a shoot, so I sent a few pieces out,” she said.
“They told me the swimwear edition would be out in July but to be honest, I wasn’t sure they’d follow through. I didn’t even realise that the magazine was out until I saw them online today.
“It’s a beautiful shoot. The knitwear is cropped and in pretty, summer colours, so it looks gorgeous worn with the swimwear as a cover-up.
“I was delighted when my design featured on the cover of GQ, worn by the Australian Open tennis champ Naomi Osaka, but to have it appear in Sports Illustrated is totally amazing. It’s crazy really.”
All Hope’s designs are made in Northern Ireland with the help of a small team of 15 knitters. Described as ‘wearable pieces of art, that are bold and vivid experiences’, the garments have been featured in Vogue’s Six New Names in Summer Knitwear to Obsess Over and Best Street Style at London Fashion Week.
Her designs have been seen on US singer Halsey, Coleraine actress Bronagh Waugh and were spotted hanging on a clothes rail in a Kourtney Kardashian fashion shoot.
Hope said: “The Bella Colossal knit is our best seller now. I designed it a few years ago after I'd been experimenting with chunky wool and lots of colour.
“It’s really taken off and I’m delighted more people will get to see it now.”
Hope said she was also thrilled to see Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn step out in one of her knitted dresses in LA earlier this week. The luxury realtor turned TV reality star was photographed wearing Hope’s Mermaid patchwork dress as she enjoyed the LA sunshine.
“When I graduated three years ago, I never imagined my brand would take off the way it has,” said Hope, whose father is well-known writer, Tony Macaulay.
“My mum and granny were very into fashion and dad is creative, so I guess that creativity just rubbed off on me.”