18 May 2022

Derry designers prepare to exhibit designs at Showcase Ireland this weekend

The country's biggest trade show can be a great stepping stone 


Successful local brands who will be going to the trade show.

Eight local designers have been chosen to exhibit their design brands to thousands of buyers, influencers, retail and trend experts when they take part in Ireland’s leading fashion trade show ‘Showcase Ireland’ that takes place at the RDS in the coming days.

The designers were selected following a competitive pitch process, carried out by Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with the Inner City Trust’s Fashion and Textile Design Centre to give local designers a chance to showcase their ranges at this prestigious event.

The response to the call out was huge and as a result, sixteen businesses were selected to take part in a Dragon’s Den style pitching event that took place last month with eight being selected to take part in the prestigious Dublin event that will take place on 19-22 January.

The successful brands are: Amy Gault Designs; Alan Creswell Designs; Grace Loves Embellishments (Cara Sweeney); Celtic Irish Art (Siobhan Corr); Bridie Mullin Irish Linen; Piece Makers (Joanne Doherty); Natasha Duddy Glass Designs and Valerie Taylor Hand Woven In Ireland.

Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager with the Inner City Trust’s Fashion and Textile Design Centre said excitement is building for the designers who are busy putting the final touches to their designs.

“The response to the competition was fantastic and evidence of the growing fashion and textile industry that exists here in the North West. We are really proud to have these top quality designers taking part in the Showcase Ireland event and to be working with the Council and Invest NI to provide this fantastic opportunity to these designers to showcase their collections to thousands of potential clients.

Tara Nicholas, business officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council said the Showcase Ireland event is hugely iconic in the Irish fashion industry and the participation of the local designers is fantastic in promoting the NW region’s growing fashion industry.

Cara Sweeney, founder director of the Strabane based accessories brand ‘Grace Loves Embellishments’ said that she is really excited to have been selected to showcase at the event. “My range of embellished headbands, bags and accessories is designed and handmade in Strabane – I am hoping to appeal to a customer who appreciates handcrafted, Irish made product”

Alan Creswell, print designer and owner of Alan Creswell Designs said that he is really looking forward to networking with buyers, traders and other designers. “ This is a big annual event and attracts buyers from all over the world – I’m hoping to reach out to these buyers and negotiate some orders”

The competition was 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.

For further information on the ‘Designer Enterprise Programme’ contact Deirdre Williams on 07807795889 or email and for business support, contact Tara Nicholas Business Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council on 02871 253 253 or email tara.nicholas@derrystrabane. com


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