PHOTOS - Ten Irish designers to watch in 2014
1. Emma Kate Manley
Making the number one spot on our list is, Dubliner Emma Kate Manley. Manley studied fashion design in Dublin and then moved to New York, where she interned at sportswear label VBL. An expert in embellishment and design she launched her own design label in 2010. “Manley” is a play on words, which includes contemporary separates and alternative evening wear.
Quality of fabric and production is at the absolute core of all Manley products. Materials are sourced from the world's finest luxury houses and innovative manufacturing methods of laser cutting are fused with time-honored, hand-sewn and embellished detailing.
Immensely proud of her Irish heritage and ethical values, Emma produces 50 percent of Manley in her home country ensuring affordable, beautiful, crafted luxury in every garment.
Twenty-seven year-old Niamh O’ Neill was “voted” the top fashion designer of the year in 2013 at the Irish fashion innovation awards.
We here at IrishCentral feel 2014 is going to be another big year for the young designer.
The Dunleer, County Louth native honed her design skills in New York, London, and Paris, where she worked alongside some of the biggest names in fashion including Diane Von, John Galliano, Philip Treacy, and Martin Grant.
The Louth woman returned to Ireland in 2012 to launch her own label. O’Neill’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection was a huge hit with its strong tailoring and soft draping accentuated by soft shades of pink and bright fuchsia. Her famous leather pencil skirt put in another appearance on the runways last season.
She has big plans for the expansion of her label in 2014 with international buyers also taking note of the young Irish woman. She has appeared in fashion shows in London and New York. Buyers are keen to buy elegant clean looks.
3. Jonathan (JW) Anderson
"His breakout moment came in 2011 when he showed a mod paisley silk pajama suit, topped with a white rubber clerical collar", pos:right]]
Donatella Versace has called him a great talent and LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) have recently announced that it is backing his signature brand and banking on him to refresh the iconic brand, Loewe.
JW, as he is known in the fashion world, hails from County Derry. The young designer is set to become the new Tom Forde, as 2014 sees him head up the creative design for the Loewe.
His breakout moment came in 2011 when he showed a mod paisley silk pajama suit, topped with a white rubber clerical collar as the centrepiece of his second women’s collection. After joining London fashion week in Feb 2012 Vogue highlighted his new accessible collaboration, JW Anderson for Topshop.
4. Margaret O’Connor
O’Connor is from the tiny village of Tubber in the middle of the Burren in County Clare. She opened her millinery business in London a little under a year ago and she is already the talk of the town after Lady Gaga discovered her work.
She studied sculpture and paint at G.M.I.T Galway before specializing in textiles, focusing on three dimensional textile pieces.
She spent a year interning for Noel Stewart and then moved on to work with Philip Treacy. O’Connor went on to study millinery in Kensington and Chelsea college. During the course one of her hats was selected to be sold in Fenwick and her career has continued to jump since then.
5. Sorcha O’Raghallaigh
Sorcha O’Raghallaigh (26), originally from Birr in County Offaly, says that she never intended to pursue a career in fashion design as her first love was Art.
[[quote:"Lady Gaga is the perfect customer for me because there is no creative boundaries and it’s exposed my work to a much greater audience than I ever imagined.”
When she reached her teens she realized that her true passion was fashion so she picked up a needle and thread. She attended the Limerick School of Art and Design and then pursued fashion at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.