Congratulations to Margaret Molloy, Global CMO, SiegelGale, on her innovative #WearingIrish Campaign - which has gained such traction and positive media exposure (social and traditional) within such a short period of time. Based in New York City, Margaret started the campaign herself on the first day of March with the commitment of #WearingIrish every day for a month. As St. Patrick's Day is on the 17th of March, and the eyes of the world are focussed on all things Irish, this was an ingenious and engaging way to shine the spotlight internationally on Irish Design. Her wardrobe choices spanned the extensive gamut of Irish designed fashion now available including Paul Costelloe and Lennon Courtney at Dunnes Stores; bespoke dresses by Tina Griffin and Karyn Moriarty; leading womenswear labels by Heidi Higgins and Fee G and some very fashion forward looks by Jennifer Rothwell and many, many more. #WearingIrish has gained such momentum, that it is certain to both continue all year around and indeed - go global .
When I was growing up, it was actually really difficult to wear Irish as essentially Ireland had no culture of promoting the fashion industry or young fashion designer talents. It was also not seen as very cool to wear irish - and much more chic to have a French or Italian label. I vividly remember when I was first introduced to John Rocha (I spent my first ever paycheck on a suit by him from A Wear!) and Quin and Donnelly! It started a lifelong love affair with Irish design - and although I make the odd sneaky purchase in Zara, I try to keep it Irish as much as possible.
So why not join in. . . by #WearingIrish you are supporting your own economy, community and jobs. Also in this centenary year of 1916, this is the ultimate sartorial expression of your culture and identity and pride to be Irish. Plus it's so easy now - with chic and affordable looks from Designers at Dunnes Stores (where Men are not forgotten - with very on trend collections by Paul Galvin and Paul Costelloe) and irish owned retailers Carraig Donn, Pamela Scotts, Paco and Kilkenny Design and all the independent boutiques nationwide. We have a burgeoning fashion industry, bursting with brilliance from leathergoods artist Una Burke, womenswear designers Caroline Mathews, Louise Kennedy, Emma Manley, Helen Steele, Helen Cody, Colin Horgan, Fee G (it goes on and on) , milliners, accessories (I love Chupi) and so many, many more.
#WearingIrish is cool.
So go on, your fashion economy needs you !