AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT SHOWCASE 2020
Winners of the annual Showcase Awards were announced at Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo®, which takes place at the RDS in Dublin until Wednesday, 22nd January. Showcase 2020 was officially opened on Sunday, 19th January by Dr. Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and the awards were presented by Louise Allen, Managing Executive of Design & Crafts Council Ireland.
Now in its 44th year, Showcase is one of Ireland’s most important international trade fairs, with new season collections being unveiled by over 400 creative brands, including more than 50 debuting at the four-day event this year. Buying teams from over 2,760 retail businesses across the world are visiting the RDS to discover unique, authentic, contemporary products designed and made in Ireland, many of which are exclusive to the show. The main international markets for this trade-only show are the UK, USA, Mainland Europe and the Far East.
Louise Allen, Managing Executive of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, said:
“It’s wonderful to see hundreds of creative brands from throughout Ireland connect with retail buyers from all over the world at this busy and vibrant trade fair. The productive activity among Irish designers and makers as they network with buyers is testament to the positivity and desire among retailers for high-quality Irish designed and crafted products worldwide. Every year, our Showcase awards programme encourages makers to innovate and develop new and exciting products, and 2020 is no exception when it comes to quality, craftsmanship and creativity among the awards contenders. Sincere congratulations to all our award recipients, runners-up and those who were highly commended.”
BEST PRODUCT AWARDS
The Overall Winner of the Showcase Best Product Award was Studio Donegal for its shirt jacket. This is the second year in a row that Studio Donegal has won in this category as well as the Showcase Best Product Award in the fashion category. Studio Donegal’s woollen mill, situated in the village of Kilcar in the heart of Donegal, maintains the tradition of handweaving, spinning and garment making.
Best New Product Category Winners
HOME: This year’s Showcase Best Product Award in the home category went to McNutt of Donegal for its woollen rug. Located in the seaside village of Downings, on Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way, McNutt of Donegal have been producing some of the world’s finest weaves for over 60 years. Highly commended were woodturner Roy Humphreys, based in Mohill, Leitrim, for his wooden bowl and Saille Baskets (based in Banteer, Cork) for their woven contemporary basket.
(l to r) Willie McNutt of McNutt of Donegal and Louise Allen
GIFT: The Showcase Best Product Award in the gift category went to Badly Made Books, based in Cork City, for their notebooks. Founded by product designer Seán O’Sullivan, Badly Made Books create books and paper products of all shapes, sorts and sizes, having learned that their one core product is infinitely variable and only limited by imagination. Highly commended were 29 Bride Street, based Dublin city centre, for their canvas planters and gift bags, and woodturners Ballyshane for their chopping board. Ballyshane’s studio is situated on the grounds of Ducketts Grove Castle, just outside Carlow town.
Badly Made Books
(l to r) Oisin Geoghegan, Sean O’Sullivan of Badly Made Books and Louise Allen
FASHION: The Showcase Best Product Award in the fashion category was Studio Donegal for its shirt jacket. Studio Donegal Woollen Mill is based in Kilcar, Co. Donegal, where a tradition of hand weaving and woollen textiles has been in existence, dating back to the late 1700s and earlier. Highly commended in this category were Donegal town weavers Magee 1866 for their Ladies Herringbone Tweed coat and McConnell Woollen Mills, based in Killaloe, Co. Clare, for their Breton stripe sweater.
Magee 1866 Suits for Fashion Category highly commended
JEWELLERY: The Showcase Best Product Award in the jewellery category went to Filip Vanas Designs for his neckpiece and earring set. Czech-born Filip Vanas moved to Dublin in 2005 following his graduation from architectural college. He undertook jewellery courses at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin and launched his business in 2009. His studio is in Rathfarnham. Highly commended in this category were Inner Island (based just outside New Ross, Co. Wexford) for its neckpiece and ring and Connemara-based Lynsey de Burca for her neckpiece and earring set.
Filipino Vanas Designs winner Jewellery
(l to r) Louise Allen and Filip Vanas of Filip Vanas Designs
Highly commended Gemma of Inner Island
Lindy De Burca highly commended Jewellery
Other Category Winners:
DESIGN IRELANDO: The winner of the Design Ireland® Award was Jill and Gill for their boxed original prints. Jill & Gill are award-winning Irish illustrators and printmakers working across fashion, design and fine art. They are based in Ballyfermot, Dublin. Highly commended were Field Day for their Irish Wildflower Seed Bombs, from Newtownards, Co. Down, and Jerpoint Glass Studio for their hand blown fused glass. Jerpoint is based in Stoneyford, Kilkenny.
(l to r) Jill Deering, Louise Allen and Gillian Henderson of Jill & Gill
INNNOVATION AND CRAFTSMANSHIP AWARD: Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s Innovation and Craftsmanship Award, which promotes innovative and creative development in craft, was awarded to Filip Vanas Designs. A former architect, Vanas’ work reflects his professional background: simple shapes, dramatic contrasts, vivid colours, unusual materials and a long and structured design process. Filip tries to keep his designs as simple as possible, so the beauty of pure geometrical shapes amplified by the colours can stand out.
LOCAL ENTERPRISE SHOWCASE: The Local Enterprise Offices selected Oxmantown Skincare, a natural, ethical and environmentally friendly skincare company based in Stoneybatter, Dublin, for its skincare range for the Local Enterprise Showcase Award. All of their products are handmade locally in small batches using natural, organic and botanical ingredients. Highly commended were Waterford-based Monkey Cups for their reusable glass cup and Galway-based Berina Kelly Jewellery for her neckpiece and earring set.
Showcase 2020 runs from Sunday, 19th to Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 and is for trade attendance only. For further details on the event or to register to attend, please visit showcaseireland.com.