The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2020

Entries are now open for the 2020 Irish Fashion Innovation Awards.

Deadline: 10th December 2019

Award Categories

A shortlist of aspiring designers and students from fashion colleges throughout the country will showcase their top designs in the hope of being crowned winner across the following six categories. The judging panel will select one overall winner from each category on the night of the event. The winner will be chosen by secret ballot and will be announced at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards ceremony in The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway.


Student Designer of the Year

The competition is open to students currently enrolled in a fashion design course at a recognised college within Ireland. A different design brief is set each year, which provides the colleges with the opportunity to create a unique design to fit the brief. Each college will be asked to select four entrants to represent them as finalists at the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards. Submissions must include a formal sketch representation of the design, accompanied by working drawings to illustrate cut, detail and fabric samples.

Accessories Designer of the Year

Designers must present a collection of six pieces of which three will be chosen to appear on the catwalk. Designers may submit in one of the following categories – bags, footwear, printed/woven scarves or shawls. Designers will be judged on innovation, design integrity, quality of materials and workmanship.

Jewellery Designer of the Year

Designers must present a collection of six pieces of which three will be chosen to appear on the catwalk. Jewellery may be made using precious or semi precious metals and stones, glass, wood, leather, synthetics, fabric or felted materials. Designers will be judged on innovation, design integrity, quality of materials and workmanship.

Millinery Designer of the Year

Designers must present a collection of six pieces of which three will be chosen to appear on the catwalk. Colour is strongly encouraged, along with unusual shapes and sizes. Designers will be judged on innovation, design integrity, quality of materials and workmanship.

Fashion Designer of the Year

Designers will be required to provide six complete outfits to be presented as a ‘collection’.

Innovation Awards Winner

This award is presented to one of the winning designers to acknowledge their innovative and unique style of design.

Ones to Watch

A selection of rising stars will showcase their latest collections in this category.

2019 Award Sponsors

Wella Professionals
Bee Green Logo

Meet the 2019 Winners & Finalists

Fashion Designer of the Year
Sponsor: The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway

WINNER: Katie Ann McGuigan


Katie Ann McGuigan

Helen Hayes

Alanagh Clegg for Four Threads

Amie Egan

Anne Behan for the Aine Collection

Jewellery Designer of the Year
Sponsor: Hartmanns of Galway 

WINNER: Emer Roberts 


Emer Roberts

Fiona Mulholland

Emma Jane Champley

Millinery Designer of the Year  
Sponsor: Gate Dental Clinic

WINNER: Ashleigh Myles


Paul Stafford

Michelle Kearns

Ashleigh Myles

Deb Fanning

Aoife Harrison

Accessories Designer of the Year  
Sponsor: BeeGreen

WINNER: Rita White 


Rita White 

Clare O’Connor

Nicole Jackson

Ones to Watch
Sponsor: Brown Thomas


Colin Burke

Alla by Alla Sinkevich

Charlotte Lucas

Arvydas by Arvydas Zapivalovas

Overall Irish Innovation Awards Winner

Sponsor: WELLA Professionals

The Perfect Ten – Unique Irish Design Showcase

Sarah Murphy

Last year’s winner and a former ‘One To Watch’, Sarah is regarded as one of the most creative fashion designers working in Ireland today. Angela Scanlon wore one of her pieces on for her appearance on the Late Late Show in London.

Katie O’Riordan (Theo+George)

A designer who creates young and contemporary wardrobe pieces with an international appeal.

Leonora Ferguson

A milliner and textile designer who has worked on film and tv productions including Game Of Thrones.

Niamh O’Neill

A former winner in the fashion category of The Irish Fashion Innvovation Awards and creator of one of the most elegant Irish labels. She recently showed in London in a gala show in aid of the London Irish Centre.

Sara O’Neill for Éadach

Sara creates her own prints and translates them into ‘must have’ silk scarves, wraps, kimonos as well as applying them to vintage leather jackets.

Helena Malone

A gifted goldsmith who demonstrates her extraordinary skill in using precious metals, exquisite diamonds and gemstones in her jewellery design.

Carla Johnson for Mona Swims

Carla’s designs have featured at New York Fashion Week in 2018 with her internationally renowned swimwear and cruise collections. She sells in several elegant international cities and resorts including New York, London, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Ibiza, Turcs & Caicos Islands.

Caithriona King

An innovative milliner who balances creativity, skill, elegance and premium quality in her award winning designs.

Deirdre Duffy for Wild Cocoon

A textile designer with a unique ability to combine colours and textures in a mesmeric expression of Irish fashion and craft.

Blaithin Ennis

A multi award-winning jewellery designer who sells on both sides of the Atlantic. Her exclusive handmade technique has captured the imagination of a host of celebrities. She lists Cheryl Cole, Nicole Scherzinger and Una Healy as clients.

Celebrating the Most Innovative Irish Design 

Highlights of The 2019 Irish Fashion Innovation Awards

March 15th at The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway


Millinery Designer of the Year  
Sponsor: Gate Dental Clinic

WINNER: Leonora Ferguson


FAO by Freya Ann Oatway

Wendy Louise designs by Wendy Knight

Michelle Kearns

Leonora Ferguson

Accessories Designer of the Year  
Sponsor: Standún Spiddal 

WINNER: Niamh Daniels


Rita White

Niamh Daniels

The Tweed Project

Claudia Taheny

Jewellery Designer of the Year
Sponsor: Hartmanns of Galway 

WINNER: Helena Malone


Helena Malone

She Vibes by Karolina Sexton

Scribble & Stone


Fashion Designer of the Year
Sponsor: The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway

WINNER: Sarah Murphy


Sarah Murphy

Caterina Coyne

David O’Malley

Dolly Delinquent (Amanda Eustace)

Ros Duke

Sara O’Neill

Ones to Watch
Sponsor: Brown Thomas


Pearl Reddington

Barbara Hewson

Amie Egan

Keem by Denise Thomas

Overall Irish Innovation Awards Winner

Sponsor: Monaghan & Sons Ltd.
WINNER: Sarah Murphy

 Highlights of The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2017

Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway


Who attended the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2017?
  • Local and National Fashion Designers
  • Buyers and Fashion industry Executives
  • Personal Shoppers and Stylists
  • Local and National Press
  • Fashion Bloggers/Digital Influencers
  • Affluent Consumers from every county in Ireland
  • Socialites and Celebrities
  • Professional Photographers and Models

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway transformed into a mecca for fashionistas last night for the 2017 Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, with 500 guests in attendance. The awards celebrated their 8th year and are recognised as one of the most important and influential platforms for emerging Irish talent. Speaking about the night, producer Eddie Shanahan said “This is the show to come to if you want to see real imagination and excitement from some of the best new and established Irish Designers”.

Guests were treated to a spectacular show with work from forty two designers taking to the catwalk. The competition was judged by Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, Eddie Shanahan, Elaine Prendiville from the Sunday Business Post, Designer Rebecca Marsden and MD of Goldenegg Productions Patricia McCrossan who said “It is an honour to be able to showcase and promote upcoming Irish talent. The level of creativity and innovation that the designers bring each year is astounding and we are proud that the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards gives them the opportunity to showcase their talent to a wide audience”.

The success of the awards has led to the addition of multiple events as part of Galway Fashion Week with show producer and Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Design, Eddie Shanahan hosting a series of seminars. A “Bloggers Breakfast” and the Galway Fashion trail took place also during this Fashion Festival extravaganza. Featuring showcases from a wide range of Galway stores, these events are free to the public and promise to be a wonderful day out.

Categories were sponsored by Brown Thomas, Hartmanns of Galway, the Local Enterprise Office Galway, Standún, the Gate Clinic – Smiles Dental and the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway with some of the sponsors announcing that they will showcase the finalists in their stores for a special limited time.

Finalists from each category were selected in January 2017 to come to Galway on March 30th 2017 for
the final of Irish Fashion Innovation Awards in the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway.

2017 IFIA Finalists & Winners


Finalists: Delphine Grandjouan, Lynsey Mcgarrigle,, @Éadach by Sara O’Neill: Stylist, Designer, Illustrator

WINNER: Theo & George – Katie O’Riordan


Finalists: Ana Caples, Davina Lynch Millinery #Lynchmobhats, Margaret O’Connor, Michelle Kearns Designs

WINNER: Davina Lynch Millinery #Lynchmobhats,


Finalists: Louise Porter, The Atlantic Equipment Project, Niamh Daniels Scarves, Marie Claire Duncan, Wild Cocoon

WINNER: Wild Cocoon – Deirdre Duffy


Finalists: Hannah McGuinness Jewellery, Lynsey De Burca, Rachel McKnight, INNU

WINNER: Hannah McGuinness

Student Designer of the Year:

Galway Technical Institute, Limerick School of Art and Design, University of Ulster, Nation College of Art and Design, Griffith College, St Angela’s Sligo, Letterkenny Institute of Technology

WINNER: Kate O’Doherty-Limerick School of Art and Design

Ones To Watch

Emma Ward, Sarah Murphy, Aisling Duff, Chloe Duggan

Innovation Awards Overall Winner

Wild Cocoon – Deirdre Duffy

Guest Designers

Niamh O Neill and Rebecca Marsden

Press Coverage

Strong links with local and national media partners through collaboration with newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, TV and radio stations
Press Coverage 2017 Nationwide – a full 30 minute programme devoted to the IFIA’S 2017

Press Coverage 2017

  • Xpose
  • Galway Bay FM
  • iRadio
  • Irish Independent Weekend Magazine
  • Sunday Independent Life Magazine
  • The Irish Independent
  • The Herald
  • The Sunday Business Post
  • The Galway Advertiser
  • The Galway Independent
  • The Connacht Tribune
  • The Tuam Herald
  • The Mayo People
  • The Westmeath Examiner
  • RSVP Magazine

Weekly coverage in local and regional newspapers over
a 6-week period leading up to the event

Into The West Blogger Network coverage

Irish Fashion Innovation Awards received extensive social media coverage to post event images

With an increased focus on our social media and media partnerships, the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards saw dramatic growth in engagement across all social media platforms last year.

2016 IFIA Winners


Dee Mangan’s Kinsale


Emma Bourke


Colin Burke


Carla Johnson


Elaine Keogh

Accessory Designer of the Year 2016

Leather collection scooped the award on the night with a collection that was inspired by fables and stories of the world.

Founded by Dee Mangan in 2014, Kinsale Leather builds companions for your everyday adventures by allowing the simplicity of the design and the quality of the leather to speak for itself. Dee believes your accessories are your everyday companions, accompanying you on your daily adventures and their handmade, leather goods are made to be worn and loved.

Fashion Designer of the Year 2016

Carla Johnson aka MONA SWIMS was crowned Irish Fashion Designer of the Year 2016 at the glittering awards ceremony on March 10th. She also took home the Innovation Award 2016.

The creative force behind MONA is Irish print designer Carla Johnson, who studied Textile design at NCAD in Dublin. After graduating in 2006, Carla moved to London, where she worked and designed prints for Duro Oluwu, before becoming a full time freelance print designer. Carla spent the next six years developing prints for the fashion industry all over the world from her east London studio. She draws inspiration from her love of travel and a deep fascination with water.

Jewellery Designer of the Year 2016

Emma Bourke proudly took the honour of Jewellery Designer of the Year 2016.

Emma is a glass artist and researcher based in County Mayo. Her interest lies in traditional and contemporary use of wild plants. Last year, Emma developed a collection called Ethnobotany in which she placed tiny glass flowers inside blown clear glass organs.

Millinery Designer of the Year 2016

Elaine Keogh took the title of Millinery Designer of the Year 2016.

Her stunning collection dominated the catwalk with striking pieces that were innovative, unique and perfectly crafted.

Student Designer of the Year 2016

Colin Burke from the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) saw off tough competition to be chosen as the Student Designer of the Year 2016.

Colin’s winning design was a response to the brief set by Goldenegg which perfectly encapsulated ‘Where Life Meets Style.’

About Us

The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards presented by Goldenegg Productions is an awards platform for fashion designers and fashion students, showcasing the highest expression of creativity from the most innovative designers in Ireland. Recognised as a launching pad for Ireland’s most talented designers, the event attracts entries from promising fashion creatives competing for the prestigious Awards. The Irish Fashion innovation Awards continually aspire to showcase the most cutting-edge designers, giving up-and-coming designers an invaluable connection to the public. The brainchild of Patricia McCrossan of Goldenegg Productions, the Awards give visibility, support and a voice to design talent throughout Ireland, offering an unrivalled opportunity for their work to be shown to a jury made up of fashion design experts.

“The Goldenegg Irish Fashion Innovation Awards are unique to Ireland. They are seen as providing a rite of passage for many of our top designers as they make their way up the rungs of the fashion ladder. We have a fantastic track record to date with some of Ireland’s best-known designers making their national debut at the Goldenegg Irish Fashion Innovation Awards,” explains Patricia.

Previous winners include Carla Johnson, Natalie B. Coleman, Una Burke, Niamh O’Neill, Martha Lynn, Blaithin Ennis and Rebecca Marsden.

Who are Goldenegg Productions?

Goldenegg Productions, publishers of the West of Ireland’s leading monthly glossy magazine GALWAYnow and biannual WEDDINGSnow, are proud to present this prestigious event.


Patricia McCrossan
Managing Director
086 8045518

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