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Final call for emerging local designers to pitch for prize

12 December 2017

Up-and-coming designers in the Derry and Strabane area are urged to enter a prestigious competition by Monday, December 18th, which could see their collections showcased during London Fashion Week.

Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Fashion and Textile Design Centre and renowned Fashion Enter London, are collaborating in the business support initiative which is aimed at emerging local designers.

The unique competition is being run as part of the Designer Business Start-Up Programme, a collaborative scheme drawing on the expertise of industry specialist Jenny Holloway and her team at Fashion Enter. The closing date to apply is Monday, December 18th.

Applicants will put their Perfect Pitch to the team to be in with a chance to win a range of prizes including 1:1 Specialist Support from Fashion Enter; the opportunity to showcase their designs at an exclusive exhibition taking place during London Fashion Week; and free membership of the Fashion and Textile Design Centre located at Shipquay Street in Derry.

Danielle McNally, Business Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “Council is delighted to be working with the renowned Fashion Enter team on this fantastic initiative, providing unique opportunities for our emerging designers to work with leading industry experts to commercialise their design talents. 

“We have a wealth of local design talent and ultimately this programme will provide the tools and the opportunities required to support designers in making their fashion or textile business a reality. We would call on all emerging designers to register for this incredible opportunity before the closing date on December 18th.”   

Deirdre Williams, Business Development Manager with the Fashion and Textile Design Centre and Inner City Trust, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for ten up-and-coming designers from the Derry and Strabane district to showcase their Autumn/Winter ’18 collections during London Fashion Week at the Fashion Enter premises in London.” 

Three workshops are also being held in the Fashion and Textile Design Centre covering topics including business planning, finance, accountancy, legal, range planning, costing and pricing, production, sales strategies, marketing and PR. The first session was delivered last month by Caroline Ash, Production Manager at Fashion Enter. Jenny Holloway is hosting the other two workshops on December 19th 2017 and January 10th 2018.

Applicants for the competition must be relatively new to the industry and demonstrate drive and entrepreneurial flair to match their creative talent and potential for growth. They must also reside or have a business established within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

The application process closes on Monday, December 18th and shortlisted designers must be available for a pitch on Tuesday, January 9th 2018, and then on the dates confirmed for the 1:1 support and London Fashion Week. 

Request an application by email to [email protected] or visit www.derrystrabane.com/Designer-Start-Up-Programme.  Look out for updates on Facebook Business Support Derry Strabane & Twitter @dcsdcbusiness.