Monday, 11 January 2016

Ireland's International Creative Expo Celebrates its 40th Year

Showcase 2016

Showcase - Ireland’s International Creative Expo returns to the RDS from Sunday, 24th to Wednesday, 27st January 2016, marking the 40th year of one of Ireland’s largest trade shows.

Showcase has established itself as a must-see trade event, attracting more than 5,000 buyers from Ireland and over 20 countries keen to view the latest collections from more than 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople across Fashion, Jewellery and Home & Giftware. A particular emphasis is placed on new products to market, providing retailers with opportunities to discover and stock up on the latest design-led products, many of which are unique to the show.

This year, for the first time, Showcase will introduce The Knitwear Project, an exciting presentation of innovative Irish knitwear created by emerging and leading Irish designers and manufacturers. Collaborations include Peter O’Brien working with Donegal’s Fisherman Out of Ireland and twice Oscar-nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon working with Beacon Designs Ltd. in Cork. New and original work by companies such as Coletti from Wicklow, Ireland’s Eye from Dublin and recent start-up Ekotree from Clare will be unveiled and innovative designs from a strong cohort of recent graduates will also be on display. The new work developed through The Knitwear Project will be presented at Showcase 2016 in a special fashion show produced by Catherine Condell.

The Knitwear Project aims to highlight the potential of the Irish knitwear industry as a driver of Irish design, culture and exports. This new initiative has been led by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) working closely with both Enterprise Ireland in setting the brief and with an external panel of fashion and design experts, including Deirdre McQuillan, Catherine Condell and Angela O’Kelly, as advisors to the project.

For 2016, Showcase will once again feature Home & Giftware and Jewellery categories and specialist curators Alanna Gallagher (Home & Gift) and Natasha Sherling (Jewellery) will be guiding the international buyers to the very best and exciting new products from the show’s exhibitors.

82% of international buyers attending Showcase come to purchase products that have been authentically designed and made in Ireland. Creative Island, at the heart of the show, is a special area featuring 90 DCCoI client companies selected by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship. In addition, the Enterprise Zone will feature unique products from almost 100 micro enterprises throughout Ireland whose attendance is supported by their Local Enterprise Offices.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland said: “This annual tradeshow plays a crucial role in growing the market for Irish design and craft both at home and internationally. We are seeing a growing recognition and appreciation for the quality, diversity and provenance of the work of Irish designers and makers, especially following on from Irish Design 2015, the year-long government-backed initiative showcasing contemporary Irish design in Ireland and abroad. Showcase provides a unique opportunty to connect buyers from Ireland and around the world with hundreds of Irish designers and makers over an intensive four day period, generating up to €20 million in sales orders. Through developing Showcase as a professional, world class trade show focused on Irish creativity, we continually strive to maximise the potential for increased sales and exports of creative Irish businesses."

Showcase is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland through their network of offices overseas. According to Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland: "Showcase is a unique platform for Irish designs, it is a ‘shop-window’ for Irish clothing, textiles and high quality designers.Every year, Enterprise Ireland helps promotes Showcase to International Buyers and in 2016, we will help bring more international buyers than ever before to visit Showcase. Some buyers are returning to Ireland, to build on the success of previous buying trips to Showcase, but importantly, many are first-time visitors to Showcase, notably almost 50% of UK buyers to Showcase are visiting for the first time. The rising number of buyers is a testament to the unique designs coming out of Ireland. We are excited to be part of such an iconic event and proud to promote intrinsically Irish products to global buyers. Our ambition is to help Irish design companies to win export orders from visiting buyers, thereby sustaining jobs within Irish businesses in Ireland.”

Always popular with attendees, an extensive retail seminar programme over the four days of the show will feature top international industry speakers delivering thought provoking presentations, providing retailers with expertise, research and advice.

Showcase 2016 runs from Sunday 24th to Wednesday 27th January and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event and to register to attend, please visit: www.showcaseireland.com.