When we think of the Irish fashion industry, we’re typically reminded of Aran knits, tweed waistcoats, famine-style shawls and TV3’s Xposé. We’re reminded of traditional styles, inside-the-box thinking and a ‘follow the crowd’ attitude. Khaki parkas in the Winter and denim shorts in the Summer. From the outset, it seems pretty clear cut: we are a nation subject to stereotypes, and attitudes towards Irish fashion bear no exception.
Despite a broad range of misconceptions, the Irish Fashion industry has never been as creative as it is today. Emerging and established designers have committed themselves to producing innovative, daring collections that can compete on an international level.
On a national level, Irish designers have also proven that they can compete with large fashion retailers. As consumers, the way we interact with fashion has changed over the past ten years. The ability of Irish designers to anticipate and adapt to these changes has proven that shopping ‘local’ for on trend sustainable fashion pieces is attainable.
Our nation of artists and designers is inevitably pioneered by a handful of talented creatives.
- Aoife McNamara
A recent graduate of LSAD, Aoife McNamara is just beginning to forge her career in fashion with her own label, AOIFE. The Limerick-based designer has extensive experience in the fashion industry, having spent some time in New York interning with Marc Jacobs, and more recently having lived and worked in fashion in Paris. The designer’s sustainable and affordable SS19 collection is currently available to order through her Instagram page @aoifemcnamara, and will soon be available on her website aoifemcnamara.com
- Eamonn McGill
Established designer Eamonn McGill has forged his way to the throne of Irish fashion through the consistent use of social media influencer advertising. Creating bespoke gowns for a host of influencer events, McGill has dressed all of our favourite online Irish personalities including James Kavanagh, Suzanne Jackson and Ciara O’Doherty. The designer specialises in creating bespoke occasion wear and “once in a lifetime” dresses.
- Simone Rocha
Following on from her father, John Rocha, Simone Rocha has quickly became one of the primary thought leaders within the Irish fashion design industry. She debuted at London Fashion Week 2010, and has since risen to stardom, having her collections featured in some of the worlds most prestigious stockists, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Dover Street Market.
- Don O’Neill
Don O’Neill of Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry originally studied as a chef, but began a career in fashion upon winning a full time scholarship for the Barbara Bourke College of Fashion Design. The New York based designer launched the THEIA label in 2009, and has since dressed some of the world’s most influential stars, including Oprah Winfrey and Carrie Underwood.
- Paul Costelloe
Besides Paul Costelloe’s Dunnes homeware and fashion collections, the designer has long been one of Ireland’s most memorable creators. The ethos of his brand is built around luxurious fabrics, cutting edge design and creativity. Having maintained his brand for over thirty years, the designers recent showcase at London Fashion Week has proven the elegant timelessness of his design.