Why is there no Fashion Week in Dublin?

Oxford Fashion Week - Tomasz Ras (Flickr)
Oxford Fashion Week - Tomasz Ras (Flickr)

The Fashion Week is currently taking place in Paris, with many brands represented like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Jacquemus, Christian Dior, Lanvin and others. This week, The Circular is going to take a closer look at this fundamental question all Irish are asking themselves, why there is no Fashion Week in Dublin?

Oxford Fashion Week - Tomasz Ras (Flickr)
Oxford Fashion Week 2017 – Tomasz Ras (Flickr)

Dublin is already organizing a fashion event since few years, but with a completely different purpose than the Fashion Week. This event is called The Dublin Fashion Festival and promote many new creators, the aim of this festival is to highlight and create a competition between many new artistic directors. There are many catwalks going on during two days at the end of September each year, thereby an event close to the Fashion Week has already been set up in Dublin since some years. But it still not the Fashion Week, with all those luxuries brands and really expensive decors just build for the occasion.

The reasons why there is no Fashion Week in Dublin are quite different depending on people. Claire is working for the Dublin Fashion Festival, and on her own, there’s no need for a partnership to schedule a real Fashion Week, but the event she promotes is slightly different, the goal of their event is only to promote new creators coming from all around the world. “On my own, there’s enough place over the year covered by the Fashion Week, and the brands promoted are already more than famous, they don’t even have to participate sometimes, it’s just to launch new collection and assure their assets,” she says.

Dublin Fashion Festival Flyer - Steve Petherbridge (Flickr)
Dublin Fashion Festival Flyer – Steve Petherbridge (Flickr)

For Niall, who is one of the managers of Brown Thomas the reason why there’s no Fashion Week in Dublin is that people are not enough interested in Fashion, he explains “Many of our customers in Brown Thomas are tourists, to be honest. They come to make shopping here because they know that we have some brands they don’t have in their countries.” Niall adds that “the main items we sell for the man sector per example are “niche” brands, per example Gucci, Yeezy (the collaboration from Adidas launched with Kanye West), Off-White or Balenciaga. Our customers know that we have those brands and they come for that.” Therefore on Niall’s point of view, there’s no need of a Fashion Week in Dublin, because most of the people, on his own, who are interested in really high fashion are non-Irish consumers.

On the other hand, views differ, for Paul a manager from M&S, a Fashion Week is really required in Dublin. Paul thinks that Irish style is a really different style, young generation thanks to the internet are now more interested than ever about Fashion and want to know more. “I went a couple of times to the London Fashion Week, and it’s a cultural event for me. You can learn more than never about luxuries brands and young creators”, he says. And that’s true, at each of those marvellous events all over the world, people learn about the stories of those brands, where they come from, who created them? Paul adds that “nowadays people are immersed in this Fashion world, you see fashion everywhere from the cinema to the people you’re working with. On my own Fashion is now more important than ever, even for hiring people, I interviewed many people who wanted to become sells managers or assistant, and they couldn’t even tell me what was the nationality of Louis Vuitton.”

To be sure, that it wasn’t a problem of infrastructure, we went to ask the Dublin City Council and their answer was that they can definitely welcome an event like the Fashion Week and spread the event all over Dublin, in Grafton Street, in malls like in Brown Thomas, the only problem is that Dublin just never received any invitations to welcome a Fashion Week. We keep our fingers crossed for one day maybe a giant event in the middle of Stephen’s Green with catwalks as the one Chanel made in Paris last year with their 35 meters tall rocket’s catwalk.

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