19 Jan 2020 | 09.25 pm
Irish Design Showcase Opens At RDS
Product awards announced at trade-only design fair
19 Jan 2020 | 09.25 pm
Designers and creators are showing off their wares for the 44th successive year at the Showcase trade fair in the RDS, Dublin, from January 19 to 22.
The ‘creative expo’ concludes on Wednesday Jan. 22, with buyers from 26 countries expected, representing more than 2,760 retail businesses from across the world.
The Design & Crafts Council Ireland presents the show, with support from Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.
Managing executive Louise Allen said: “Showcase is pivotal to our strategy in growing the market for Irish design and craft and in supporting our clients to achieve their ambitions in scaling and successfully competing at home and abroad.
“Each year this show provides a unique opportunity for exhibitors to meet and do business with retail buyers from across Ireland and around the globe. Working together with Enterprise Ireland, we have been very focused on expanding the profile of Showcase in key international markets and in promoting the wealth of innovation and creativity that Ireland has to offer.
“This is reaping benefits in building the commercial potential of the sector, and contributes to Ireland’s profile internationally. For retail buyers in fashion, jewellery, home and giftware, an annual trip to Showcase is essential for your business. You are sure to find something exciting, innovative and new among the very latest collections being launched at the RDS.”
Showcase claims that orders generated by the 2019 show amounted to €25m. Some of the features of the 2020 show include:
- The launch of Só, above, a short film to create awareness and appreciation of Irish-made textiles, accessories and apparel. Directed by Irish photographer Boo George, in collaboration with fashion director Paula Hughes, the film was commissioned and produced by DCCI.
- Specially curated displays of the best products at the show, arranged by product category to make locating them easier for busy delegates.
- Design Ireland will feature 67 leading makers selected by a jury of international retail experts for their creativity, innovation, craftsmanship and market potential.
- An extensive seminar programme featuring international industry speakers with “thought-provoking” workshops and one-to-one advice.
- The Local Enterprise Showcase will feature unique products from emerging Irish businesses supported by their LEOs
Meanwhile, the board of Design & Crafts Council Ireland has announced the appointment of Rosemary Steen to the position of CEO. Steen is currently an executive director at EirGrid and has a wide range of business experience across a number of sectors. She will take up her position in mid-February.
Showcase 2020 is a trade-only event. Registration details are available here.
BEST PRODUCT AWARDS
The Overall Winner of the Showcase Best Product Award was Studio Donegal for its shirt jacket. This is the second year in a row that Studio Donegal has won in this category as well as the Showcase Best Product Award in the fashion category. Studio Donegal’s woollen mill, situated in the village of Kilcar in the heart of Donegal, maintains the tradition of handweaving, spinning and garment making.
Best New Product Category Winners
HOME: This year’s Showcase Best Product Award in the home category went to McNutt of Donegal for its woollen rug. Located in the seaside village of Downings, on Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way, McNutt of Donegal have been producing some of the world’s finest weaves for over 60 years. Highly commended were woodturner Roy Humphreys, based in Mohill, Leitrim, for his wooden bowl and Saille Baskets (based in Banteer, Cork) for their woven contemporary basket.
GIFT: The Showcase Best Product Award in the gift category went to Badly Made Books, based in Cork City, for their notebooks. Founded by product designer Seán O’Sullivan, Badly Made Books create books and paper products of all shapes, sorts and sizes, having learned that their one core product is infinitely variable and only limited by imagination. Highly commended were 29 Bride Street, based Dublin city centre, for their canvas planters and gift bags, and woodturners Ballyshane for their chopping board. Ballyshane’s studio is situated on the grounds of Ducketts Grove Castle, just outside Carlow town.
FASHION: The Showcase Best Product Award in the fashion category was Studio Donegal for its shirt jacket. Studio Donegal Woollen Mill is based in Kilcar, Co. Donegal, where a tradition of hand weaving and woollen textiles has been in existence, dating back to the late 1700s and earlier. Highly commended in this category were Donegal town weavers Magee 1866 for their Ladies Herringbone Tweed coat and McConnell Woollen Mills, based in Killaloe, Co. Clare, for their Breton stripe sweater.
JEWELLERY: The Showcase Best Product Award in the jewellery category went to Filip Vanas Designs for his neckpiece and earring set. Czech-born Filip Vanas moved to Dublin in 2005 following his graduation from architectural college. He undertook jewellery courses at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin and launched his business in 2009. His studio is in Rathfarnham. Highly commended in this category were Inner Island (based just outside New Ross, Co. Wexford) for its neckpiece and ring and Connemara-based Lynsey de Burca for her neckpiece and earring set.
Other Category Winners
DESIGN IRELAND®: The winner of the Design Ireland® Award was Jill and Gill for their boxed original prints. Jill & Gill are award-winning Irish illustrators and printmakers working across fashion, design and fine art. They are based in Ballyfermot, Dublin. Highly commended were Field Day for their Irish Wildflower Seed Bombs, from Newtownards, Co. Down, and Jerpoint Glass Studio for their hand-blown fused glass. Jerpoint is based in Stoneyford, Kilkenny.
INNNOVATION AND CRAFTSMANSHIP AWARD: Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s Innovation and Craftsmanship Award, which promotes innovative and creative development in craft, was awarded to Filip Vanas Designs. A former architect, Vanas’ work reflects his professional background: simple shapes, dramatic contrasts, vivid colours, unusual materials and a long and structured design process. Filip tries to keep his designs as simple as possible, so the beauty of pure geometrical shapes amplified by the colours can stand out.
LOCAL ENTERPRISE SHOWCASE: The Local Enterprise Offices selected Oxmantown Skincare, a natural, ethical and environmentally friendly skincare company based in Stoneybatter, Dublin, for its skincare range for the Local Enterprise Showcase Award. All of their products are handmade locally in small batches using natural, organic and botanical ingredients. Highly commended were Waterford-based Monkey Cups for their reusable glass cup and Galway-based Berina Kelly Jewellery for her neckpiece and earring set.
Photo: Designers Aoife McNamara of Aoife Ireland from Co. Limerick and Luke Dully of Walker and Hunt from Westmeath. (Pic: Joe Keogh)