Irish businesses are being highlighted in New York this week as part of a Showcase Ireland preview event
Top experts in media, retail, fashion and design in New York gathered on Wednesday evening in Soho House to support Irish makers and designers at a special showcase event. Organised by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, ahead of Showcase Ireland in the RDS in January, the preview kicked off with a special screening of the film FÍ, a beautiful film displaying contemporary Irish fashion by acclaimed director Perry Ogden in collaboration with stylist Paula Hughes.
Cork native Samantha Barry, Editor-in-Chief of Glamour Magazine, chaired a talk with designer Colin Burke, Rosy Temple of Magee 1866 and Perry Ogden, where they discussed what makes Irish fashion so unique and the challenges of keeping traditional weaving and design alive.
Marketing Manager of Magee 1866, Rosy Temple explained the intricate relationship between marrying old with new: “Heritage is a fine balance and for us, you want to stay true to your roots and be relevant today and for the future. It’s about weaving and designing for contemporary Ireland.”
Young designer Colin Burke said his contemporary collection is inspired by his grandmother, who knitted Aran jumpers in Galway: “I take a lot from her, I’m trying to reinvent the Aran jumper by using colours and patterns she would have loved and bringing them forward.”
Alongside Colin, 11 other makers were in attendance: Criostal na Rinne, Foxford Woollen Mills, Hanna Hats of Donegal, Inner Island, Magee 1866, Mourne Textiles, Rathbornes 1488, Reuben Avenue, McConnell Woollen Mills, Bernie Murphy, Ros Duke.
The group will spend the next couple of days in Bank of Ireland’s innovative StartLab in midtown New York where they’ll have opportunities to meet buyers, retailers, media, and influential people in the design and fashion industry.
Brian McGee from Design and Crafts Council of Ireland says, “We’re reaching out to new buyers and press here in New York this week to talk about the many, many inspiring designers in Ireland, to encourage them to come to Showcase Ireland in January.”
On the making of FÍ, Brian said: “The idea of doing the film was that we could create some sense of the magic of Ireland, and that would be more compelling for people to come and visit us. To have Bank of Ireland involved has enabled us to do something special here in New York.”
This Showcase Ireland initiative is a collaboration between the Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the Consulate General of Ireland in New York, and is sponsored by Bank of Ireland. Showcase Ireland takes place between the 19th and 22nd of January 2020 in the RDS.