17th January 2018
Showcase – Ireland’s International Creative Expo® opens at the RDS, Dublin from Sunday, 21st to Wednesday, 24th January 2018.
This on-trend annual trade fair enables 450 of Ireland’s top designers and manufacturers to present their very latest work to over 5,000 retail buyers from Ireland and 20 countries, including the UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Far East.
One of Ireland’s largest international trade shows, Showcase has enjoyed very strong growth over the past two years, with estimated sales orders generated at the show growing from €18.4 million to over €21.2 million at last year’s show, equating to an annual market value of €140.4 million.
Founded by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland 42 years ago, Showcase is an international launch pad for the 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople who unveil their new season collections across fashion, jewellery, home and giftware. Each year, 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.
Commenting on the trade show, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. said: “Showcase plays a crucial role in sustaining and growing Ireland’s vibrant design and craft sector which provides vital employment across all regions and makes an invaluable contribution to our economy and our culture. The annual show offers a unique opportunity to highlight the diversity and quality of design and craft being created here in Ireland to trade buyers from all over the world, enabling creative Irish businesses to expand their client base and maximise the potential for increased sales and exports.”
For 2018, Showcase introduces MADE/Slow, a special presentation of quality design featuring beautiful products to adorn the body, dress the home and warm the soul, designed to be loved and cherished forever, not cast aside. The work featured in MADE/Slow is designed and made in Ireland providing sustainable rural employment through the combination of technology and traditional production methods.
Brands participating in MADE/Slow include: Áine; Aran Woollen Mills; Avoca; Bernie Murphy; Celtic Tweeds; Elaine Madigan; Ireland’s Eye; Fisherman Out of Ireland; Mary Callan; Ros Duke; and Triona. The fashion and textile products selected for MADE/Slow will be introduced at a vibrant fashion show curated by renowned stylist Catherine Condell.
Throughout the show beautiful new timber shelving units, designed by award-winning exhibition designer, Steven McNamara of ROJI and made in Ireland by Klimmek Furniture, will show off tastefully curated displays of the best and most innovative products as selected by specialist curators Alanna Gallagher (Home & Gift) and Natasha Sherling (Jewellery).
At the heart of Showcase 2018, Design Ireland will feature 80 leading contemporary Irish brands chosen by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship. All the products in this dedicated area of the Main Hall have been designed and made with passion in Ireland.
Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, commented: “Inspiring and supporting client companies to scale and successfully compete both at home and abroad is central to our strategy in growing the international reputation and commercial potential of Irish design and craft. The interest from specialised trade buyers across the world in Showcase each year is a testament to the unique offering of Ireland’s vibrant design and craft sector. Over an intensive four days, hundreds of Irish designers and makers have the opportunity to connect with domestic and international buyers, making this annual event critical to their business. Given the very positive response to a preview of Showcase in Paris and Chicago in late 2017, we are anticipating another busy and productive show this year.”
Showcase is promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland through their network of over 30 international offices. Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland, said: “Ireland is widely known for its high-quality designs in craft, jewellery, textiles and clothing, and Showcase is the perfect stage from which to highlight our unique offering in this arena to international buyers. Enterprise Ireland’s ongoing support and promotion of Showcase is aligned with our mission to promote quality Irish products and services to international buyers in overseas markets and to support businesses in achieving their global ambition. It has been great to see that year on year, the number of international buyers increases, as does the interest among international media as a result. The rising interest in Showcase demonstrates the quality designs being produced in Ireland, and we are proud to once again work closely with DCCoI.”
The Local Enterprise Showcase, which will once again fully occupy the balcony of the Main Hall at the RDS, will feature unique products from emerging Irish businesses supported by their Local Enterprise Offices. Sheelagh Daly, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, said: "The Local Enterprise Showcase is the perfect destination for discovering new Irish design and craft talent in 2018. In this hub of creativity, buyers will meet over 100 designers and craftspeople from all over Ireland, all supported by their Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities across the country. We're delighted as well to be continuing with our Local Enterprise Showcase Awards this year, to highlight Irish design innovation to buyers from all over the world."
For attendees wishing to expand their knowledge and learn more about global trends, an extensive retail seminar programme over the four days of the show will feature top international industry speakers delivering thought-provoking workshops and presentations that provide retailers with expertise, research and advice.
Showcase is a partnership between the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd., with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally through their network of offices overseas.
Showcase 2018 runs from Sunday 21st to Wednesday 24th January and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event or to register to attend, please visit www.showcaseireland.com.
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