EIGHT local designers will get a unique opportunity to showcase their collections to thousands of buyers, influencers, retail and trend experts at the UK’s leading fashion tradeshow ‘Pure London’ on 10-12 February 2019.
The eight designers who have been selected to travel to London as part of the Council’s ‘Designer Enterprise Programme’ follows a special Dragon’s Den-style ‘pitching’ event held last month at the Inner City Trust’s Fashion & Textile Design Centre (FTDC) on Shipquay Street.
A total of 13 designers put forward their ‘perfect pitch’ to the panel of three judges made up of Annabel Breen, Designer of the ladies ‘Gallery’ collection at Dunnes Stores, Tara Nicholas, DCSDC Business Officer, and Aishling Logue, Bridal manager at McElhinneys of Ballybofey.
Derry City and Strabane District Council, in partnership with the Fashion & Textile Design Centre held the ‘pitching’ competition as part of their ‘Designer Enterprise Programme’ which supports emerging designers and helps to take them commercially to market.
The programme – which is also sponsored by FTDC – ensures local designers are empowered and provided with essential skills training, knowledge and the tools to develop their businesses effectively and efficiently.
Helen Quigley, Chief Executive of the Inner City Trust which sponsors the Fashion & Textile Design Centre said the opportunity to travel to London which has been created for the eight local designers is the culmination of the partnership working that has taken place in the FTDCentre over the last number of years.
This work has combined significant support from the team at the Inner City Trust, Derry City & Strabane District Council and Invest NI – and represents a commitment in presenting local talent in a global setting.
Danielle McNally, Business Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “I am delighted that the eight winning designers have now been selected and will avail of this incredible opportunity!
“Council is delighted to be working on this fantastic programme – which is providing unique opportunities for emerging designers to commercialise their design talents.
“We have a significant wealth of local design talent and this programme provides the tools and the opportunities to support them in making their fashion or textile business a reality.
“It also aims to give local designers an invaluable profile boost by presenting them to an international audience during Pure London and one of the most important weeks of the fashion calendar.”
Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager with the Inner City Trust’s Fashion & Textile Design Centre added: “I would like to pay tribute to the strength and diversity of all the local designers who took part in this year’s ‘pitching’ event.
“The judges were hugely impressed by the diversity and innovation of the designers who are such creative and talented people representing both quality and variety in the fashion and textiles sector.
“It is clear from the outstanding talent displayed at the pitching event that our region – as in the past with our world famous shirt industry heritage – is continuing to produce amazing talent whose imagination and quality of design is key to a successful future in the global fashion industry.
“Indeed, this will be a great opportunity for the winning designers to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2019 collections at Pure London.
“It will also provide fantastic opportunities for the eight local designers to engage with the UK fashion industry and build international connections.
“I’m therefore delighted that they’ll be availing of this unique opportunity to present their collections outside of local markets to an international audience.”
For further information on the ‘Designer Enterprise Programme’ please visit http://www.derrystrabane.com/designerprogramme and www.fashionanddesignhub.com