SIXTEEN local designers will be pitching to a panel of fashion experts next week to be in with a chance of showcasing their brands to thousands of buyers, influencers, retail and trend experts at Ireland’s leading fashion tradeshow ‘Showcase Ireland’ that takes place at the RDS in January.
Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with the Fashion and Textile Design Centre put the call out last month for local designers to come forward and be in with a chance of travelling to Dublin to showcase their collections at this prestigious event.
The response to the call out was huge and as a result sixteen companies have been selected to take part in a Dragon’s Den style pitching event scheduled to take place on Tuesday next, December 17 at the Inner City Trust’s Fashion & Textile Design Centre on Shipquay Street.
The ‘pitching’ competition is part of the Fashion and Textile Design Centre’s ‘Designer Enterprise Programme’ which supports emerging designers and helps to take them commercially to market.
The programme, collaborates with Derry City and Strabane District Council and Invest NI to draw on the expertise of industry experts and ensuring that local designers are empowered and provided with essential skills training, knowledge and the tools to develop their businesses effectively and efficiently
Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager with the Inner City Trust’s Fashion and Textile Design Centre said she is overwhelmed at the response to the call out and is excited about being part of next week’s pitch event.
“We are delighted to be working with Derry City and Strabane District Council and Invest NI to offer this unique opportunity to local designers to showcase their collections to thousands of buyers at Showcase Ireland.
“The response to the competition is fantastic and is evidence of the growing fashion and textile industry that exists here in the North West.
“We are particularly delighted at the diversity of entrants and that they represent a wide range of design genres and styles and we are really excited to see the collections at the pitch event next week.”
Tara Nicholas, business officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council speaking ahead of the pitching event, said it is a fantastic way of showcasing local skills and talent in the fashion and textile design industry and promoting entrepreneurship.
She said the Showcase Ireland event is hugely iconic in the Irish fashion industry and being part of it had the potential to allow local up and coming designers the opportunity to meet potential buyers, forge new relationships with retailers and those involved in the fashion industry.
Among the companies selected to take part in the Pitching event on Tuesday next are: Amy Carroll from Remnants; Valerie Taylor from Valerie Taylor Hand Woven in Ireland; Agne Nazebetauskaite from Ona by Agne; Bridie Mullin from Bridie Mullin Irish Linen; Siobhan Carr from Celtic Irish Art; Natasha Duddy from Natasha Duddy Glass Design; Alan Creswell from Alan Creswell Designs; Jill Hyndman from Jill Hyndman Designs; Amy Gault from Amy Gault Designs; Lisa Carragher from Beauty and the Bump; and Hope McCauley from Hope McCauley.
The judging panel will consist of Tara Nicholas from Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business Support team; Katherine Spratt, Client executive INI; Eilish Kennedy, Creative Director McElhinney’s Ballybofey and designers Annabel Breen & Josh Mc Kay from Dunnes.
For further information on the ‘Designer Enterprise Programme’ contact Tara Nicholas Business Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council on 02871 253 253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org