With the Irish fashion industry making incredible strides, here are some of the best designers to know
With summer on our doorstep, it’s a good time to explore our style and try something new in our wardrobes. Excitingly, there are lots of brilliant fashion designers based here in Ireland, that are creating beautiful collections that compete on the global stage. Each year, we aim to seek out the best in the business in the Fashion Category of the Irish Made Awards. To inspire you this season, here are some of our previous winners and runners-up.
Magee 1866 is a fifth-generation Irish family brand with over 150 years’ experience in designing and weaving natural fibre fabrics and creating iconic clothing and accessories in Donegal, Ireland. It is fitting so that they are onboard as sponsor of the Fashion Category at the Irish Country Magazine Irish Made Awards 2023. Leaders in Irish textile design, Magee 1866 have grown and evolved over the decades since the early years trading at tweed markets in the 19th century to now in the 21st century designing and weaving natural-fibre fabrics for their men’s and women’s collections.
Champions of Irish-made products, their flagship store, Magee of Donegal, proudly showcases many past nominees and winners alongside their own collections. “This is our third year being part of the Irish Made Awards and each year it just gets better and better,” says Charlotte Temple, Design Director Magee 1866. “The quality and ingenuity of Irish producers, brands and makers is incredible and we are delighted to be part of this exciting community. Huge credit is due to the Irish Country Magazine team for spearheading this initiative, we can’t wait to see this year’s entries.”
Meet the past Fashion winners and runners-up of the Irish Made Awards:
Caoimhe Murphy: The 2022 winner of the Irish Made Fashion award was Caoimhe Murphy. Since launching in April 2021, this is a brand that has grown steadily and found its place in the market. Each piece is made in Dublin, and designed with sustainability and wearability in mind. The brand’s aesthetic is unique, fun and feminine, with quirky prints, exaggerated silhouettes and inventive fabric manipulation techniques. Caoimhe uses GOTS certified organic cottons, natural materials like silk and lyocell and recycled materials where possible.
IrelandsEye Knitwear: Our 2021 winner in the Irish Made Awards fashion category was IrelandsEye Knitwear, inspired by nature and the colours and textures of the Irish coastal landscape. Their knitwear is designed to provide comfort and warmth, and gives traditional Aran stitches a modern twist with fresh designs and a contemporary look and feel. Each colour palette inspired by Irish nature.
Úna Burke: Our 2020 Irish Made Awards winner was Úna Burke, a multi-award-winning luxury leather designer and artist. Formerly based from London, she relocated back to Ireland recently. Úna uses traditional leather-working techniques in the development of complex architectural constructions. Check out this unique cuff that will last a lifetime.
Aoife Ireland: Our 2019 Irish Made awards winner was designer Aoife McNamara. Founded in 2019, her label Aoife Ireland is a luxury slow-fashion brand with a vision of empowering women through their unique garments made consciously in Ireland and designed to last a lifetime of experiences.
Bébhínn: Our 2018 Irish Made awards winner was Bébhínn, who after working in costume design for film and TV, decided to branch out and create her label in 2017. With a passion for Irish produce and sustainable clothing along with a vast knowledge of garment construction the brand became a success.
Cobbler’s Lane: The 2022 runner-up in the fashion award category was Cobbler’s Lane – a slow fashion Irish ladieswear brand. Each piece is created in small quantities with the intention of becoming a keepsake. Designed and made in Ireland, Cobbler’s Lane combines quality fabrics with feminine and vintage inspired silhouettes.
Native Denims: Our 2020 runner-up for the Irish Made Awards was Native Denims, who opened their doors in 2018 at the Chocolate Factory due to a demand for quality and sustainable garments. They are proud to be rekindling what was once a thriving industry but sadly began to diminish from the early 80s due to “fast fashion” where price was valued over quality.
The Costume Room: Our other runner-up in 2020 was The Costume Room, a sustainable gender neutral clothing and accessories brand for women and men who want contemporary, bold, considered design. Based in Ballsbridge, Dublin, they design and create pieces that are made to last beyond the season, working to produce long-lasting clothes and accessories with a handcrafted touch.