Ten designers from Ireland hoping to break into the American market, came to New York this week for the “WearingIrish NYC” event, a new platform for promoting Irish fashion.
They also came to break stereotypes of Irish design being mired in tradition and lacking modernity. Tweeds and knitwear are iconic to the region, though organizers of WearingIrish NYC say the participating designers are adept at both giving “a nod” to Ireland’s heritage and maintaining a contemporary appeal.
Selected from 170 qualified candidates, the winners included Aine, Alison Conneely, Bláithín Ennis, De Bruir, Inner Island, Jennifer Rothwell, Natalie B. Coleman, Sands and Hall, The Tweed Project and Triona. Each showed their fall 2018 collections to American retail buyers, editors, business and fashion leaders at WearingIrish NYC, a mini trade show at the Bank of Ireland, one of the sponsors of the three-day event, that also featured panels and networking. None of the designers currently sell American retailers, but some have sold products online to American consumers.
“We are firmly rooted in tradition and we work with weavers on the West Coast of Ireland. But our design philosophy is filtered through a modernist lens. Our cuts are very contemporary,” said Conneely, who utilizes Donegal tweed and Connemara lace in her
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