Rag trade has a grand design as we cut our cloth
WE are no longer spending money like it's going out of fashion, leading some of the country's leading designers and couturiers to take a stand.
The newly-formed Council of Irish Fashion Designers (CIFD) aims to create "an aspirational brand for the premium sector of the Irish fashion industry" in what is seen as a fight back against "disposable fashion" and an incentive to buy Irish.
"This is not going to be a stitch and bitch session," Eddie Shanahan, a retailing consultant who chairs the new CIFD, said yesterday.
"The Council of Irish Fashion Designers is to promote its members' interests in the positive opportunities in the marketplace.
"There are too many people in Ireland standing at their shop doors complaining. They now need to get out and do something for themselves because nobody else will do it for you. There is no point in blaming customers for not buying Irish fashion, we must offer them reasons to buy Irish fashion.
"There is huge positivity out there and we want to attract customers to our brands and to the product we produce."
Among the leading members are couturier Jen Kelly and Niall Tyrrell, whose clients include Enya and the Taoiseach's wife, Mary Cowen.
"The CIFD aims to speak with a strong voice on behalf of its members to the Government, state agencies, media, business associations and the public at large," Mr Tyrrell said.
"We want to create a forum for discussion with a programme of lectures and to share commercial information with members."
The CFID plans to work with colleges in providing speakers and work opportunities for students coming up through the rag trade.