SHOWCASE - IRELAND’S CREATIVE EXPO ANNOUNCES EXCITING ADDITIONS FOR 2012 SHOW
9th January 2012
Additions include Showcase Fashion 2012, an expanded Creative Island and new products from 350 top companies in craft and design…
SHOWCASE - Ireland’s Creative Expo announces exciting additions for 2012 show
- 350 top companies in craft and design to unveil their new products to the world
- Export growth anticipated, built on strong Year of Craft 2011 performance
- Pre-show buyer registrations up by over 70% on 2011
- More than €20 million in sales orders expected over four days
- Exciting launch of Showcase Fashion 2012 runway show and events
- Expanded Creative Island featuring Irish designed and made craft
Image Details: Teodora Sutra in an Aran dress, gloves and hat by Edel McBride; Karen Fitzpatrick wears a knit dress by Lisa Shawgi and scarf by Susannagh Grogan; and Yomiko Chen models a silk cotton dress and shrug by Meli Bondre. Photographer: Robbie Reynolds
SALES orders exceeding €20 million are expected over the four days of Showcase 2012, Ireland’s largest trade event featuring 350 of the country's leading designers, manufacturers and craftspeople.
Now in its 36th year, Showcase - which takes place in the RDS (Main Hall) from January 22nd to 25th 2012 - is expected to attract more than 5,500 retail buyers from Ireland and over 17 countries around the world including Britain, North America, continental Europe and Japan, all seeking out the best of Irish creativity. Online bookings are already up over 70% versus last year.
An exciting new addition to this year’s show will be Showcase Fashion 2012, a bold presentation of the best of Irish fashion with a heritage slant from Irish designer-makers and manufacturers. A dramatic runway show in the RDS will unveil selected work from the latest collections by Ireland's leading and up-and-coming fashion creatives.
Curated and produced by Sonia Reynolds, Showcase Fashion 2012 – one of the biggest fashion presentations in Ireland this year – will provide a platform for new designers and established brands to wow 200 exclusive trade buyers in a fresh, innovative way, reflecting the excitement and creativity of the sector which holds significant international potential.
Showcase includes a wide range of well-known consumer brands including Tipperary Crystal, Belleek, Galway Crystal and Avoca. Making a return this year is Fisherman Out of Ireland from Kilcar, Co. Donegal. The company offers a range of traditional styles and yarns in ladies and gents ranges and ships to the four corners of the globe.
One of the central features of Showcase will be Creative Island, a space dedicated to beautifully crafted products exclusively ‘Imagined, Designed and Made in Ireland’. First launched at Showcase in 2010, Creative Island has been expanded from 55 to 85 exhibitors, all chosen by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship.
Amongst the exciting new designers accepted into Creative Island for 2012 are: Artist Raymond Kinghan from Dublin whose work includes the Forms of Life range of ceramic bird, fish, horse, dog and other animal sculptures; Woolcore Design from Wicklow which offers high quality wool based, handcrafted baby and lifestyle products featuring Joma merino wool pile, wool felt and natural fibres; and jewellery maker Fiona Kerr from Cullybackey, Co. Antrim, who combines her skills working with precious metals and gemstones with dazzling effect.
Returning to Creative Island this year with exciting new launches are established craft enterprises including Maureen Lynch Jewellery, Rachel Swan Designs, Castle Arch Pottery, milliner Wendy Louise Knight, men’s knitwear designer Edmund McNulty and The Handmade Soap Company.
This year’s Showcase will include a new Enterprise Zone, where 52 new micro enterprises from 15 counties in Ireland will display their fresh talent under the umbrella of the County and City Enterprise Boards. These small businesses with unique products to sell will be using Showcase as an opportunity to develop Irish and international business contacts.
Other elements of Showcase 2012 include:
The Showcase Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening, January 21st, where the winners will be announced of ‘Exporter of the Year’, ‘New Product of the Year’, ‘Creative Island Award’ and ‘Craftsmanship Award’.
The Top 50 New Products which will be displayed at the show, ensuring buyers can easily locate some of the best newly launched items.
A ‘New Trends’ Area highlighting the hot products for 2012. The overall theme for 2012 is Brave New World, reflecting a shift from safe styles to a riot of exotic colour and pattern as Ireland confronts a period of uncertainty and austerity.
Seminars for retailers featuring expert speakers on topics such as business development, merchandising and trends forecasting, including James Burke, advisor to the RTÉ TV programme ‘Feargal Quinn’s Retail Therapy’.
One-to-one clinics offering advice to retailers on how to weather the recession and create points of difference for their shops.
Networking Events where buyers and exhibitors can meet and mingle in a friendly, informal environment.
The Crafts Council of Ireland is the main driver behind Showcase, which is one of the most important means of developing export and market opportunities for Irish designer-makers. According to Brian McGee, Head of Market Development at the Crafts Council of Ireland: “Showcase is Ireland’s Creative Expo and an incredibly important trading opportunity for Irish designers and makers. The event provides them with a unique opportunity to connect with buyers from all over the world who are keen to unearth new and relevant products for their shops. Now in its 36th year, Showcase is a key component in the Crafts Council of Ireland’s export strategy. The show is busy and exciting and we try to keep the atmosphere warm and inviting, and of course the overseas attendees love to spend a bit of time in our famous and friendly city of Dublin.”
McGee said there is always huge excitement at the show with buyers keen to see the newest innovations and craftspeople viewing the annual event as their main chance to secure contracts for the coming year. “In the current tough economic climate the authentic nature of product is becoming increasingly important to consumers. Showcase provides buyers with the perfect opportunity to source new, unusual, unique or limited edition products which create strong sales opportunities.”
Commenting on the announcement of Showcase 2012, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive at the Crafts Council of Ireland said; “The Crafts Council of Ireland is committed to maintaining and growing the more than 5,700 jobs in the Irish craft sector and Showcase is critical to this. Without the invaluable support of our partners and the ongoing participation of our talented exhibitors, this annual event would not be possible. I would especially like to thank Ministers Richard Bruton and John Perry at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the County and City Enterprise Boards and Fáilte Ireland for their support throughout the year. I would also like to express sincere gratitude to the team at Enterprise Ireland for their expertise and professionalism in promoting Showcase overseas and attracting buyers from all over the world.”
The core mission of Enterprise Ireland is to accelerate the development of world-class Irish companies to achieve strong positions in global markets, resulting in increased national and regional prosperity.
“For many Irish companies, Showcase is a pivotal event in their business calendar as it presents the ideal opportunity to further develop long term relationships with buyers”, said Charlie Kelly, Manager Consumer Retail Markets, Enterprise Ireland. “Despite the current economic conditions, it is anticipated that Showcase will help to generate €11 million in exports for Enterprise Ireland client companies exhibiting at the event. Showcase also provides international journalists the opportunity to visit Ireland and discover what Irish companies have to offer and the diversity of products available”.
Showcase 2012 takes place in the RDS (Main Hall), Dublin from Sunday January 22nd to Wednesday 25th January. Trade attendance only. Further details and a full list of exhibitors are available at www.showcaseireland.com