TWO Moira entrepreneurs have collaborated to create a unique, innovative opportunity for graduate designers from Northern Ireland.
Unify Collective Fashion Studio is the brainchild of Sara McCann from The Sewing Cottage in Moira, who has joined forces with Mandy Baxter from Pollini Fashions, also in Moira, to give graduate designers a commercial promotional platform.
It is based in Carnegie Building, Donegal Road, Belfast and will allow graduate designers to work in a fully fitted, professional studio and will proactively create trade links by networking with established fashion outlets throughout Northern Ireland to advertise their collections, hence making the designers more commercially viable.
The studio was launched recently in the opulent surroundings of The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast, where up and coming designers David Henderson, Shauna Fay and Sean Henry showcased their ready-to-wear autumn/winter collections, which are now available at Pollini Fashions.
Mandy Baxter from Pollini Fashions said: “In the current economic climate, the retail sector has suffered dramatically and graduate designers often do not have a lot of opportunity to develop their skills. Sadly, a lot of our talented designers move away from Northern Ireland or work in menial fashion related jobs such as shop assistants or window dressers, which certainly does not help to nurture their career as a designer, nor boost their confidence.
“Pollini Fashions in Moira is delighted to be the first boutique in Northern Ireland to embrace this initiative and since the fashion showcase other potential fashion outlets have shown interest to collaborate with graduates too. I am grateful to Sara McCann for developing my concept of supporting students into something amazing.”
For further information on how to become part of Unify Collective Design Studio, please check out www.unifyni.com or phone 9261 0502.