The Fashion & Textile Design Centre (FTDC) in Derry has joined forces with McElhinneys of Ballybofey to bring customers an experience of shopping from the latest collections of local design brands at the ‘North West Designer Weekend.’
A total of nine designers from FTDC will display their latest collections for one week from Wednesday, May 1, until Tuesday, May 7 in Donegal’s finest and most established department store.
The FTDC is supported by The Inner City Trust and is housed in one of the oldest buildings in the city and is equipped with the expertise and facilities required to support emerging fashion businesses.
The products range from contemporary Irish Linen, hand woven Irish tweed, printed scarves and dresses, millinery to high fashion and sportswear. All of the brands are proud to say that their designs and manufacturing are produced locally and a large percentage of the brands also source their fabric and trims locally.
Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager at the Fashion & Textile Design Centre said: “Sustainability, fair trade and a low carbon footprint are becoming increasingly important as there is a growth in the awareness of climate change and the effects that fast fashion has on the planet.
“In the North West, our designers are proud to manufacture at a slower pace and of a quality that will last for years to come.
“The North West of Ireland has a rich history of textiles production and garment manufacturing, the skills are still in place and we believe that there is a resurgence happening in this area with the increase in niche brands and a desire for Irish product, globally.
“We are very excited to collaborate with Mc Elhinneys, to showcase some of the finest design talent in the North West.
“We are keen to promote the North West as a stronghold for local textiles, manufacturing, design talent and the support facilities like the Fashion & Textile Design Centre that are on our doorstep to enable such strong brands to base themselves in the North West of Ireland and compete on a global scale.”
Creative Director of Mc Elhinneys, Eilish Kennedy, met with the designers on their recent trip to Pure London and invited them to display their collections at McElhinneys.
She said: “Here at McElhinneys we are excited to host our first North West Designer Expo, this is a new initiative that we hope to roll out yearly highlighting the best designers of the North West. We have so many talented designers on our doorstep, introducing them into the marketplace and into customers lives gives them the exposure they need and helps them transition into the next stage of their business.”
The brands showcasing at McElhinneys are: Bridie Mullin Irish Linen, The Season Hats, Empire Leotards and Dancewear, Heterogeneous, Valerie Taylor Hand Woven In Ireland, In_Chlomo, Connie, Ona by Agne and Alan Creswell Designs.