Women around the world are wearing Irish and here's why
Life & Style

Women around the world are wearing Irish and here's why

CAN you name an Irish designer?

This was the question that inspired an Irish woman in the US to create a social media campign encouraging people around the world to dip a toe into the rich yet undiscovered world of Irish fashion and the creative minds behind it.

Originally from Offaly, New Yorker Margaret Molloy wants to challenge the idea that Ireland can not compete globally with other contemporary brands.

"Irish designers are producing first-rate fashion but few people can name an Irish designer," the B2B marketer says.

"Ireland is the only country in the world that can claim a month - March, and social media provides citizens a platform to show support for brands," she adds.

"Connecting all three interests - fashion, Irish heritage and marketing - I saw an opportunity for people to support Irish designers, especially when all eyes are on Ireland this month."

We can't imagine a more incredible backdrop for our Dublette than this gorgeous New Zealand scenery!

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Having launched the initiative last year, the Irish woman says she has seen an overwhelming response to the #WearingIrish project over the last three weeks.

Margaret in a cape by kymaia fashion, sleeves by Canopi and a dress from Lennon Courtney. Picture: Clare Pearson

Publishing a directory listing the a-z of Irish fashion brands proved a tipping point.

"Designers in Ireland have also been energised by the idea and have discovered fellow designers in the community that they never knew," Molloy says.

"And I’m aware of many people across the globe who have bought Irish fashion based on the campaign."

But Molloy is quick to point out that project is not about nostalgia or charity.

She's keen to banish antiquated notions and showcase Irish fashion as a flourishing, modern sector.

"Wearing Irish does not require compromising style. There are plenty of options for every budget and taste," she says.

"Irish style is charismatic - it draws you in to look closer and when you think you’ve figured it out, it surprises you.

"The designs often derive inspiration from nature as reflected in the vibrant colors and varied textures.

"Sometimes there’s a nod to heritage and legends in whimsical motifs," she adds.

With a week still to go this March, Molloy plans to continue wearing Irish - it helps that her wardrobe is almost exclusively designed in Ireland.

"I plan to wear at least one Irish piece every day from now on," she says. "I'm looking forward to discovering more talent.

"Ultimately, this is a citizen-led initiative to help to build Ireland’s reputation as a location for world-class design."

As Global Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Business Development at brand strategy and design firm Siegel+Gale, Molloy first launched #WearingIrish in 2016.

Her ultimate aim is for men and women around the world to buy at least one item of Irish fashion to wear every March - whether it's for work, party or casual wear.

"The idea is that you are wearing Irish without compromising your personal style," she says.

Day 23: #wearingirish ☘️ Magnificent volcanos of Nicaragua! SCARF: @jrothwelldesign

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People are also being encouraged the add the hashtag #WearingIrish to their Twitter and Facebook posts and selfies.

"#WearingIrish isn’t about fashion models, it’s about role models," Molloy says.

"It’s about real people showing their support for Irish fashion in everyday situations.

"There is truly something for every taste - some of the more traditional fabrics and jewellery designs now have a modern twist."

Read more about Irish designers succeeding in business here