Leopardstown Racecourse and ITV Racing Stylist Sarah Kate Byrne launch ‘Leopardstown for Life’ featuring a sustainable and affordable fashion campaign

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Sarah Kate Byrne

To commence this campaign the focus will be on fashion, encouraging their audience to be ethically and environmentally aware but also in their own actions with this area. Fashion is a focal point for many race meetings with the upcoming Longines Irish Champions Weekend on September 12th acting as a suitable starting point where it is one of the main elements that supports world class racing. However, this is a cause which the racecourse will be applying across all their racedays.


With the help of Irish native & stylist Sarah Kate Byrne, Leopardstown are aiming to encourage race goers to embrace reusing, recycling and re-working vintage & second-hand pieces to create a unique story. The main goals of the campaign are:


  • To encourage sustainability and accessibility in fashion through affordable; re-wearable looks.
  • To highlight and celebrate elegant and unique raceday outfits using affordable fashion.
  • To support small & local businesses including vintage and charity shops by featuring and encouraging reinventing/re-wearing
  • To show how racegoers can put together a fabulous outfit at minimal cost while still being ethically & environmentally aware.


Leopardstown’s partnership with Sarah Kate to use her skills and penchant for reusing, recycling and re-working vintage & second-hand pieces highlights the extensive possibilities but also takes into account people’s limitations on disposable spend in the current climate. Sarah Kate sourced an outfit for ITV racing presenter Francesca Cumani for the 2018 Investec Derby Day for just £75, proving that beautiful occasion-wear can be found at great value and with serious sustainable credentials (Rentable hat from Jess Collett Millinery £60; Blouse from H&M via a charity shop £10; Belt from a charity shop £2; Watered satin 1960's skirt from a charity shop £3).


With such a large number small businesses suffering terribly during the coronavirus pandemic, both Leopardstown Racecourse & Sarah Kate were keen to support the many Irish fashion and millinery businesses who will need the support of the Irish racing community to sustain their livelihood. The campaign, which will run across Leopardstown’s digital channels, will begin today where Sarah Kate will be posting daily on Instagram about her choice of outfits for Francesca for Royal Ascot and how they are fitting for this campaign. This campaign will run over the summer and featured highlights will include bespoke affordable style inspiration put together by Sarah Kate, resources, articles, and online marketplaces for people to seek inspiration, not to mention promoting sustainable and local Irish fashion outlets.


Speaking on why she got involved in sustainable fashion, Sarah Kate Byrne said: “Vintage & bespoke fashion works particularly well in the race-day environment as it can really elevate an occasion-wear look and ensure you stand out from the crowd. With vintage especially there is little chance of ‘Who wore it better’. Borrowing or renting a piece of millinery makes a day at the races more affordable and means I can create a new look using the same dress.”


Tim Husbands MBE, Leopardstown CEO said; “We have an obligation to safeguard the future of Leopardstown for the sporting and social fans of the next generations. By taking small steps to promote sustainability and environmental consequences we can help to do this along with the collaboration of our stakeholders and customers. Highlighting fashion and how this can be sustainable and achievable for everyone is relevant to the summer racing season where fashion is an integral part of the event as can be seen with Royal Ascot this week.


For more information, visit the Leopardstown Racecourse website on Leopardstown.com or follow Leopardstown Racecourse on all social media outlets.


About Sarah Kate-Kate Byrne:

Sarah Kate Byrne has established herself as a hugely in demand stylist specialising in occasion wear, especially around key horse-racing events such as Royal Ascot as well as events that comprise "the season". One of her high profile clients, Francesca Cumani of ITV Racing is regularly cited as a style icon off the back of the looks Sarah Kate creates for her. Her client base tends to be high profile

individuals as well as corporate entities such as The Jockey Club who come to her for her expertise and understanding of what works for quintessential British social events. An expert in sourcing one-of-a-kind pieces and coordinating unique looks, she teams the contemporary with the classic seamlessly.

Sarah Kate is a champion of small boutiques & emerging talents within the millinery sphere. Recognising there was a gap in the market for an event dedicated to women’s occasion wear, Sarah Kate established “Maison de Saison” - a curated luxury womenswear pop-up devoted to the classic British season. This specialised shopping destination features an edit of fashion, millinery & accessory brands for clients to get race, polo or wedding ready, while supporting small businesses & sustainable brands.

Sarah Kate mixes contemporary sustainable fashion with vintage & charity shop finds for her editorial, commercial & private client work. Collaborations with Georgia Toffolo, Vogue Williams & Francesca Cumani have changed how pre-loved, second-hand & ethical fashion is viewed. 

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