As Boston Fashion Week gets set to host their fifth annual Emerging Trends Runway Show, we are glad to hear that an Irish designer, Jennifer Rothwell has been invited to showcase her new clothing line, the Humming Bird Silk Digital SS13 at the show.
The Emerging Trends Runway show aims to give the opportunity to emerging designers to shine and in many cases launch their line. The shows main initiative is to introduce new faces of the fashion industry to the up and coming Boston fashion market.
With designers coming from places around the international fashion map, IrishCentral caught up with our very own Irish designer, Jennifer Rothwell to speak about her broad knowledge of the fashion industry, her unique clothing line and her hopes to promote Ireland and Irish fashion in the US.
The New York born Dublin native who creates her own prints has always displayed talent from a very young age. "My earliest memory of finding my passion for fashion was when I was seven years old, I cut the elastic pink cuffs off a jacket and I sewed a pair of trousers for my barbie doll. Throughout school I always loved art and drawing, so I decided to go to art college. I managed to get into NCAD and I graduated with honours in 1995.
While in college, the ambitious fashion student travelled to New York for three consecutive years during the summer for work, interning at Bergdoff Goodman and working in sales at Dolce & Gabanna and designer Donna Morgan.
After Jennifer graduated she knew that she would return to New York in search of more permanent experience and work in the fashion business.
"I always loved costume and drama and I was hoping to get into that field but I found it was too difficult. In New York I was lucky enough to get in with designer, Norma Kamali. She, to this day is my main inspiration in the fashion world. With her, I worked as an assistant PR and executive PR. The experience I gained there was unbelievable. I learned the A-Z of fashion- from the production, to head hunting for new designs, to photography. I basically did everything. She threw me in at the deep end, but she was a great mentor and she gave me lot's of confidence.
During my time in New York I had the privilege of working for several high-end designers, including Calvin Klein.
In 2005, the hard-working fashion expert decided to travel back to Ireland to strive to develop her own line. She was successful in getting her designs underway.
All the materials Jennifer uses are 100% Irish. Any garments produced by her name are designed and developed in Ireland under her design direction- something that the print expert is passionate about. "I campaign to promote the initiative for my clothing range to sport a 'Return to garment manufacturing in Ireland' label. I think it is important for Ireland to be recognized as a place of produce , like it is already widely known for Irish food produce. You always see 'Made in US' tags and so on. This would mean better for our own economy.
I want fashion to be respected in Ireland and for Irish designers not to feel the need to leave the country to make it big somewhere else overseas. Ireland is not as 'cool' in the fashion world and I want that to change for fashion.
After creating several clothing lines, including the jaw-droppingly beautiful 'White collection', Rothwell travelled to a trade show in Paris last year where she viewed hundreds of prints that were on show, aimed to inspire fashion designers. The prints were extremely costly and failed to impress the eccentric Dub. On her travels back to Ireland, she met an old college friend that introduced her to a textile designer, who was to work with her to create her most talked about designs yet.
'Everything came together then. I visualized what I wanted. I used books and chose vibrant colors. We changed it a lot along the way but eventually the 'Humming Bird' collection was created."
"I have a strong, professional team behind me. From the cutter to the seamstress, everyone works diligently."
All the hard work has certainly paid off for Jennifer and the rest of her team. The designer has taken her ability to mix and match colors to a whole new level. Her garments that will be showcased in the upcoming fashion show are stunning, vivid and almost surreal.
Jennifer Rothwell will come to New York on September 16th in hopes of catching the eyes of some top boutiques across the city, before travelling to Boston to showcase her line in the Emerging Trends fashion show on September 29th.
The Irish community in New York and Boston wishes all the success to Jennifer Rothwell in her hopeful pursuit in creating such splendor.