Finalists are announced for the IFIAs: Irish fashion's answer to the Oscars
The countdown to one of the most important events in Ireland's fashion calendar is on, as the finalists for the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards (IFIAs) are announced.
Often referred to as the Irish Fashion Oscars, the IFIAs celebrates up-and-coming designers from all over Ireland.
They've shortlisted Ireland's best design talents in five exciting categories including: Millinery Designer of the Year, Jewellery Designer of the Year, Accessory Designer of the Year, Student Designer of the Year as well as the hugely coveted title of Fashion Designer of the Year.
One of the lucky category winners will also receive the overall Innovation Award and four up-and-coming designers will also showcase their collections in the Ones to Watch category.
Caroline Mitchell, Mona Swims' Caroline Mitchell and Hannah Mullan and Grainne Finn of the brand Tissue - the popular brand that uses traditional fabrics such as pure lambswool, silk and Donegal tweed by Molloy & Sons - have all been nominated for Designer of the Year, along with Irish rising star Giovanna Borza.
Half-Italian fashion designer Borza, whose work has been given the seal of approval by Made in Chelsea's Millie Mackintosh and model Madeline Mulqueen, recently said that social media plays a big factor in raising her profile as the fashion landscape changes.
Special guests, Mariad Whisker and Heidi Higgins, will lead the event which takes place on Thursday March 10 at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway.
Renowned as one of the industry leaders, Mariad started her own label in 1984 and following a move to Los Angeles in the mid-90s, she continued to produce collections for prestigious stores in the United States and Europe before returning to Dublin to set up her own studio in 2001.
A finalist at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards in 2011 and 2012, Heidi Higgins now returns to present pieces from her chic and contemporary label that she established in 2009.
“The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards is the only event of its kind in Ireland and each year recognises the wealth of innovative and creative designers we possess, from students emerging in to the industry to established designers making waves on the fashion scene internationally," said Patricia McCrossan founder of the awards.
"We wish all of the finalists the very best of luck and welcome the fashion-loving community of Ireland to come along and support the finalists, while enjoying an amazing night of fashion and style at the same time."
Be part of what promises to be the highlight of the year for the Irish fashion industry with tickets just €35 each (reserved seating just €45).
Fashion Designer of the Year
Mona Swims: Carla Johnson
Tissue: Hannah Mullan (Derry) & Grainne Finn (Dublin)
Millinery Designer of the Year
Emily Jean O’Byrne
Jewellery Designer of the Year
KiKiNa (Ciarna Pham)
Accessory Designer of the Year
Sara O’Neill- KDK (Keira & Dairine Kennedy)
Dee Mangan- Hazel Greene
Ones to Watch
Student Designer of the Year Colleges
Limerick School of Art & Design (LSAD)
Galway Technical Institute (GTI)
National College of Art & Design (NCAD)
University of Ulster
St Angela’s Sligo