Naomi Ajetunmobi finalist in the Dublin Fashion Festival Young Designer of the Year 2016

Naomi Ajetunmobi finalist in the Dublin Fashion Festival Young Designer of the Year 2016

We are delighted to see final year Grafton Academy student Naomi Ajetunmobi shortlisted for this prestigious prize. “[Naoimi’s] design concept is based upon an idea of a future where climate change has ravaged the planet. [she] watched ‘Mad Max’ and was drawn to the way they dressed.” The inspiration for Naoimi’s burnt orange fabric, above, came from the rust and decay of wasteland.

Best of luck Naomi!


On Wednesday September 7, the Dublin Festival of Fashion’s ‘Young Designer of the Year’ catwalk show and competition takes place at the Bank of Ireland on College Green.

A total of 12 finalists have been chosen for this year’s competition, which offers the platform – and profile – to catapult the winner onto shop rails and into the public spotlight.
Now in its fourth year, the DFF’s Young Designer of the Year competition is all about championing young talent and getting it to the next step. But young Irish designers are always faced with the same hurdle – there are not enough support systems in place in Ireland for fashion graduates with big plans but small budgets.

Ballyheigue-born Kerry designer Don O’Neill worked in McDonald’s in Paris after he graduated from design college in Dublin, determined not to let his designer dreams evaporate in the City of Light.
In London, Irish designers Simone Rocha and JW Anderson were selected for the NEWGEN scheme sponsored by Topshop at London Fashion Week. This showcase undoubtedly helped the two launch their careers which, within a short space of time, went international.

Danielle Romeril, a graduate of the Limerick School of Art and Design, is tipped as the next big name to watch and has been offered her sixth season in NEWGEN at LFW.
However, her Irish counterparts can only dream of finding similar financial support here.

River Island is one high-steet store that offers young talent a bursary, while this year NCAD graduate Aideen Gaynor won the CREATE at Brown Thomas bursary which comes with all-important mentoring.
Independent retail consultant, Eddie Shanahan, points to the difficulties facing young designers who cannot get onto the manufacturing lines because of high minimum orders, and the same goes when it comes to buying the fabrics.

So much about getting ahead in the rag trade is about networking and meeting future customers, but oportunities like that were lost when Dublin Fashion Week ceased due to lack of sponsorship.
Tonight’s launch of the seventh Dublin Festival of Fashion at City Hall centres on a major catwalk show of over 50 looks drawn from the high street and independent boutiques.

For the young designer finalists attending three weeks before their big catwalk show, the air is full of designer possibilities.

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