Brown Thomas showcases innovative Irish design

Diversity of work ranges from knitwear, swimwear, footwear and jewellery to toys, glass, ceramics and furniture

Create celebrates its fifth year in Brown Thomas, showcasing the very best in Irish design & craft. This year 65 designers will be exhibited throughout the Brown Thomas Dublin store. Video: Daniel O'Connor


The fifth year of the Brown Thomas Create initiative, which showcases innovative Irish design in fashion, accessories and craft, was unveiled at a gala event in its Dublin store on Tuesday. Coinciding with Irish Design 2015, a year-long programme highlighting works produced in the State, this is the most extensive event the store has staged, with the work of 65 Irish designers dispersed on all floors, the new alongside the more established.

Sixteen fashion and millinery designers are displayed on level two under a beech canopy while specially made pieces are exhibited in the Grafton Street windows, including the spectacular furniture of Joseph Walsh.

Started by fashion director Shelly Corkery in 2011 with the aim of supporting Irish fashion talent, Create has grown to become a platform for establishing some of Ireland’s leading designers including Heidi Higgins, Lucy Nagle, Lucy Downes, KDK and Chloe Townsend.

This year Mairead Whisker makes a return to the fold with a special collection in heavy silk for the store made in her signature angular and asymmetrical shapes. She is joined by talented newcomers such as Richard Malone and Jill de Burca, along with student work from the National College of Art and Design.

“A lot of them are small and do everything themselves and we bring them into the department store world which is such a big operation,” said John Redmond, the creative director responsible for the overall presentation in the store.

The diversity of work is impressive – from knitwear, swimwear, footwear and jewellery to toys, glass, ceramics and furniture – and took more than a year to be organised by the different department heads.

“It is a massive amount of work and a major commitment, but it has taken on a life of its own,” said Ms Corkery. “Now people are ringing up all the time wanting to take part.”

The event runs until August 15th with a selection of pop-ups in Brown Thomas Cork and Limerick from August 21st to September 21st.