Featuring bright colours, cartoonish figures and striking prints, Electronic Sheep are changing the perception of knitwear design. Brenda Aherne and Helen Delaney have know each other for years, and have nurtured their creativity to launch one of the most exciting brands out there. With their last collections inspired by vintage dolls from the ’70s and books on Paris artists, their distinct blend of fashion and graphic design has gained them huge praise and stockists worldwide, including our own Wonderland shop!
We managed to catch up with Helen just after their AW17 collection presentation on the weekend.
You guys have known each other for a long time. How did you first meet?
Brenda and I met on our street when we were about 7 or 8 years old. At the time I was a tomboy who loved dolls and dressing up as a native Indian. Brenda had similar tendencies and was only next door so we struck up an instant friendship. My earliest memory of Brenda is that she jumped off a builder’s pick-up truck parked in my garden. She broke her arm – it seemed pretty cool at the time!
Can you tell us a bit more about your brand?
We are primarily a unisex knitwear brand known for our graphic knits. We began in 1998 when Brenda won a knitwear award to set up the label. My background is graphic design so we came together to combine our two disciplines. We have experimented a lot with different manufacturers to perfect our techniques and have created a signature style with our complex jacquards and colours.
We are both from Ireland. I’ve lived in London for over 15 years and Brenda is based in Dublin. It is very important for us to have a good story each season and that all our imagery and styles are different to other labels. It needs to look like an ‘Electronic Sheep’ piece even from the distance.
Where does the name ‘Electronic Sheep’ come from?
The name makes reference to a film that we love – “Bladerunner’ which was based on the book ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’. It conveniently fit well for what we do – digital wool.
What’s it like running a business with your best friend?
It’s a luxury. I think having a similar aesthetic and two different skills coming together it gives us a chance to create something that is truly our own. We have a long history together and we can mix up the good and the bad times to get ideas and create pieces that feel right and experimental with little compromise.