July 17, 2015 Eddie Shanahan

Quality Counts!

Create Brown Thomas with Eddie Shanahan

Craftsmanship and imagination have always been the trademarks of our Irish knitters and weavers.

When I was growing up I was fascinated by the ability of my mother’s generation to knit creatively and at the speed of light. Later I became enthralled by the textile designers who conjured rivers of colour to run the length of a warp and used the inspiration of Irish landscapes to interrupt their flow, across wefts full of texture.

”…as borders opened, tariffs fell and the internet made distant markets local…”

In time my work brought me closer to the fashion designers who applied their ‘alchemy’ to add value to these crafts of ages as they created seasonal collections.

As borders opened, tariffs fell and the internet made distant markets local international competitive capability became the acid test. Once achieved we could overlay this with our Irishness, creating a distnguishing point of difference. The heritage and craftsmanship that were so long our trademarks could then become our trade.

The ‘Create’ project at Brown Thomas proves the point convincingly. Here Irish designers are encouraged to wear their Irishness as a badge of honour.

At ‘Create’ Irishness is about quality, creativity and the ability to compete. Ireland’s premier retailer generously offers Irish designers the opportunity to line up beside the best in the world. Several have done so convincingly and moved to permanent relationships with the store.

The project, now in its fifth year, has been about professionalism, innovation, imagination and standards. The store has been as demanding of its own contribution to the project as it has of the designers who have been chosen to participate.

Quality counts and brings a special reward.