TV Presenter and Fashion Designer Brendan Courtney shares his design philosophy, his favourite journey and why he loves his Volvo XC40 Plug-in Hybrid …
What is your current state of mind? Peaceful! I am constantly aware of how lucky I am right now to be able to say that, but I have worked hard at finding peace – peace in space and peace with who I am. I am very comfortable in my own skin (I wasn’t always!) and that only comes with experience, time, effort, and for me, the practice of Transcendental Meditation.
What is your favourite occupation? I see myself as having three occupations, and asking me to pick my favourite is like asking me to pick my favourite child. Firstly, I am a TV presenter which I love. It allows me to share stories and messages for good. I am currently shooting my next series of “Keys to My Life” – a format I wrote in which I take celebrities back through the halls of their past by visiting the homes they lived in. The format has actually just been optioned in a number of countries around the world (including Sweden!). Secondly, I am a womenswear fashion designer at Lennon Courtney where our core values are equality, confidence and empowerment, so everything we do and design is to empower women. Thirdly, I am an Advocate for Equality across a number of issues from LGBTQ+ to age, housing and health. I am currently studying a Masters of Business in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.
Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon, co-founders of Lennon Courtney
What is your design philosophy? Our designs must add value to one’s life, be optimistic, make you feel good, and always represent our core values of equality, confidence and empowerment. Why do you think “omtanke” (considerateness) is the new “hygge”? For me, it means think about ‘why?’ and ‘what for?’ before you act or do!
What is your most treasured possession? My dog, Nancy Drew. I actually don’t like calling her ‘a possession’, but she is my most treasured non-human! What does thinking again mean to you? Checking yourself! Check your choices, think about the impact of your choices, including your words. Every action has impact, so how can you use them for good? What is the trait you admire in others? Kindness and humour in equal measure. I am drawn to kind people, and I love the company of funny people. What is the trait you deplore in others? Greed and meanness! I cannot bear people who have plenty and act in a mean and greedy manner. What is your greatest extravagance? I am really not very extravagant (anymore). When I was in my 20s, I was very extravagant, but I learned that it didn’t bring me joy. So now my greatest extravagance is to bring Nancy Drew EVERYWHERE with me – to hotels, restaurants, on trips – everywhere!
What is your favourite journey? My drive from Dublin to Glenmalure Lodge, at the foot of Lugnaquilla Mountain range, where we park up, hike for about 15k, then have a plunge and a sauna by the freezing river and then dinner in the lodge. What is the quality you most admire in a car? The silence! When I am driving in electric mode, the silence is so peaceful, you can actually hear the planet purrrrr. Electric or diesel, solar or oil? Electric all the way! I am currently driving a Volvo XC40 Plug-in Hybrid.
XC40 Plug-in Hybrid in Crystal White
What values do you hold dear? Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the core of a sustainable planet. We must consider all people in our value chain. What is your motto, the words you live by or that mean a lot to you? Someone once said to me “These are the good old days” and it has always stayed with me, be aware of the fleeting nature of time and life and enjoy the present respectfully. How best do you like to enjoy nature and the outdoors? I am a keen wild sea swimmer and will swim wherever my stunning Volvo car takes me!
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