When it comes to Irish fashion, there are a few names that immediately spring to mind. Expert milliner Philip Treacy, textile guru Orla Kiely and haute couturier Sybil Connolly have all brought Irish style to a global audience, and paved the way for a new generation of designers, including Hope Macaulay, Laura Weber and Simone Rocha. It’s no surprise then, that Ireland is one of the most exciting European destinations when it comes to fashion.
Designers from the island of Ireland creating big waves on the fashion scene around the world. Just look at Katie Ann McGuigan from Newry, who has been busy gaining experience with big brands such as Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs since graduating college in 2016. Or how about County Tyrone’s Sharon Wauchob, who has been building her reputation since the 90s, becoming a staple of the London Fashion Week schedule and regularly working with luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton.
More recently, Dublin native Laura Weber made headlines after Dr Jill Biden wore one of her creations to the US presidential inauguration in 2021. Over the years, Weber has created garments for Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Bette Midler and former US First Lady Michelle Obama.
And if you think talent runs in families, you’d be right. In 2021, Simone Rocha, daughter of well-known fashion designer John Rocha, became the first Irish designer to have launched her own brand of clothing for the chain store, H&M. She also has stores in London, New York and Hong Kong.
But while the global scene is packed with big name Irish designers, at home there’s a buzz surrounding exciting breakthrough talents who are coming up the ranks. Want to source an original piece of Irish design? Look to knitwear designer
If you’re visiting the Rebel County, Cork by Design has a great collection of vegan-made wallets and handbags. and Havana for up-and-coming names, or go high end with some luxury cashmere from Lucy Nagle, luxury tailoring from Louise Kennedy, or a bright bold statement piece by JW Anderson – all at Brown Thomas. In Belfast, Envoys is the place to head for covetable pieces by Simone Rocha.
And make sure to pop into a Dunnes Stores when you’re on the island of Ireland – internationally renowned designer Hynes stunning collaboration