Tánaiste officially opens Showcase - Ireland's international creative expo

24th January 2016

Showcase

  • 5,000+ trade buyers from over 20 countries attend one of Ireland’s largest international trade shows
  • More than 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople launch their latest collections
  • Showcase celebrates its 40th year 

The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D., today officially opened Showcase - Ireland’s International Creative Expo at the RDS in Dublin.  One of the country’s largest international trade fairs, Showcase 2016 will welcome over 5,000 buyers from more than 20 countries including the UK, North America, Germany, Italy, Japan and UAE over the four days of the show which runs until Wednesday, 27th January. 

Now in its 40th year, Showcase has established itself as a must-see trade event for retailers to source unique Irish design and craft and to discover the latest products to market, many of which are unique to the fair. Over 450 Irish designers, manufacturers and craftspeople across Fashion, Jewellery and Home & Giftware are unveiling their new collections at this year’s show. 

The Tánaiste said: “The work of Irish designers and makers is highly regarded around the world for its quality, diversity and provenance, especially following Irish Design 2015, the year-long government-backed initiative showcasing contemporary Irish design in Ireland and abroad. Showcase provides a unique opportunity to maximise the potential for increased sales and exports of creative Irish businesses. Thanks to Enterprise Ireland’s promotion of Showcase abroad, the show continues to attract buyers from all over the world, connecting them with hundreds of Irish designers and makers. Generating up to €20 million in sales orders over the four days of the show, Showcase is critical to sustaining and growing jobs in the design and craft sector which employs thousands of talented people throughout the island of Ireland.”

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) said:  “Over the last 40 years, Showcase has been developed as a professional, world class trade fair focused on Irish creativity and innovation. This annual show is a key component of our market development strategy, particularly in the area of exports, and plays a crucial role in expanding the market for Irish design and craft both at home and internationally. Our exhibitors include micro, small and medium sized enterprises keen to break into the export market or expand their existing international presence, and Showcase provides them with the opportunity to present their latest innovative products and secure orders for the coming year.  We are anticipating a very strong show again for 2016 and wish both buyers and exhibitors a very successful event.” 

Key features of Showcase 2016 include:

  • A new initiative, The Knitwear Project, an exciting presentation of innovative Irish knitwear created by emerging and leading Irish designers and manufacturers in a special fashion show produced by Catherine Condell.
  • Home & Giftware and Jewellery categories, with specialist curators Alanna Gallagher (Home & Gift) and Natasha Sherling (Jewellery) guiding the international buyers to the very best and exciting new products from the show’s exhibitors.
  • Creative Island, at the heart of the show, a special area featuring 91 DCCoI client companies selected by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship.
  • The Enterprise Zone featuring unique products by almost 100 micro and small craft and design businesses who have been supported by their Local Enterprise Office and plays a critical role in helping emerging Irish entrepreneurs develop their business and expand their client base.
  • An extensive retail seminar programme over the four days of the show featuring top international industry speakers, 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.

ENDS  

About Showcase:

Showcase – Ireland’s International Creative Expo is one of the country’s largest international trade shows.  The annual event is attended by over 5,000 buyers from Ireland and up to 26 countries around the world, generating sales orders of up to €20 million over the four days of the show. Showcase is a partnership between the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd, with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the show internationally through their network of offices overseas. www.showcaseireland.com

Key features of the show:

  • A new initiative for this year, Showcase 2016 introduces The Knitwear Project, an exciting presentation of innovative Irish knitwear created by emerging and leading Irish designers and manufacturers in a special fashion show produced by Catherine Condell. The Knitwear Project, which aims to highlight the potential of the Irish knitwear industry as a driver of Irish design, culture and exports, has been led by DCCoI working closely with 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. Collaborations include Peter O’Brien with Donegal’s Fisherman Out of Ireland, Oscar-nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon with Beacon Designs from Cork and Mariad Whisker with Elaine Madigan Cashmere. New and original work by companies such as Áine Knitwear from Clare, Ireland’s Eye from Dublin and Callan from Co. Down will be unveiled and innovative designs from a strong cohort of recent graduates and students will also be on display.
  • 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, including selecting products for the Best Product Awards at the show.
  • 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 91 DCCoI client companies selected by an independent jury for their creativity, innovation and craftsmanship.
  • The Enterprise Zone features unique products by almost 100 small craft and design businesses who have been supported by their Local Enterprise Office and plays a critical roles in helping emerging Irish entrepreneurs develop their business and expand their client base.
  • Always popular with attendees, an extensive retail seminar programme over the four days of the show features top international industry speakers, providing retailers with expertise, research and advice. 

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland:  

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,180 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie 

ENDS

For further press information please contact:

Aoife Smith

Elevate PR 

Aoife Smith

01-6625652

Tara Walsh

Elevate PR

Tara Walsh

01-6625652

Sorcha Furlong

Elevate PR

Sorcha Furlong

01-6625652