Dermott Rowan is the managing director and co-owner of Kiely Rowan Plc, the company that owns the fashion brands Orla Kiely and Olive & Orange. His wife Orla Kiely started the brand in the early nineties as a women's bag designer.
Rowan was born in Dublin where he attended Clongowes Wood College, and graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He worked as a financial controller before 1997[where?], when he and Kiely founded the Orla Kiely Partnership, which would become Kiely Rowan Plc. in 2004.
He is responsible for international business negotiations for the company, and the supply of the 550 US stockists. His focussed on the Japanese market, following the lead of Paul Smith. With Kiely he won the UK Fashion Exporter's Exporter of the Year Award 2008. In 2009 he was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards International category.
Rowan lectures on international brand building and export strategy at colleges in the UK in addition to being a regular guest speaker to the UK Fashion Exports, the Japan Institute and the Entrepreneurs Club of Hong Kong.
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