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Welcome to the Pilot Issue of LookBook magazine. 

Ireland’s first Fashion Concept magazine, providing a platform for the best of Irish fashion talent to showcase their work.

This is my first editors message. If you could all see me right now in my kitchen with my table covered in magazines researching how to write an ‘editors message’. I never thought of myself as an editor. In my head I’m just a fashion designer doing the thing I love and trying to make a living from it. 

You may ask yourself, ‘why are you producing and editing a magazine if you’re a designer?’ As you look through the magazine you will see why, but I’ll tell you anyway.

Seven years ago I moved to London in search of my dream job in the fashion design industry with my sights set high. London seemed the obvious destination, London is where it was going to happen. After being accepted into a few major British fashion brands such as Alexander Mc Queen and Mathew Williamson as an intern, I started to notice the high number of Irish fashion graduates and designers that supported and worked at these major fashion houses. They obviously thought the same as me… ‘London is the place to be to carve out your career in the fashion world.’  I often heard of people graduating from universities in Ireland and moving to London to find themselves dazed and shock at how graduates are expected to work and live in this wonderful fashion capital, only to return home disheartened and drained of energy or to find themselves trapped in a never ending cycle of internships with no promise of long term employment.  Running from your part time job… fingers crossed, ‘cash in hand’ so you can sign on job seekers, just so you can pay your rent in a house you share with 8 other people and feed yourself with food full of goodness 😕

For those of us who were lucky enough to get a job, it doesn’t take long for the reality of a Design Assistants role to kick in. That’s an Oprah Winfrey show in itself. Wouldn’t it all be easier if my internship was paid or even better still, we could intern at home in Ireland or set up a viable fashion business where I can work for myself.

Apologies for venting, however I can assure you, emotion itself is the catalyst for this product I call LookBook.  I feel passionate about supporting and promoting the best of Irish Fashion talent. I feel annoyed that Irish graduates feel their only option is to move from home to find work.  I feel inspired to reduce the sheer number of graduates educated and trained in Ireland ‘for export’, giving away their design ideas only to have someone else’s name stitched into the label. Ireland is no stranger to change and so I feel positive about Irelands future as a nation full of innovative High Fashion Designer labels.

LookBook magazine is my attempt to add to the Irish fashion ecosystem, something that I feel is missing. Like life on a planet, in order for this to work, the conditions have to be just right. The right amount of advertising to keep it going, the right amount of time to put it together, the right team of professionals and of course the right amount of quality designers, sure there’s no shortage of that in Ireland.      

Being submerged and swallowed up by the forever busy London life, it’s easy to forget what is happening anywhere else in the world.  One can feel emotionless, I tell a lie… exhaustion is something that you will always feel. 

It’s only on my visits home and the visual impact from the number of shops closing down, that my emotional instincts re-emerge to want to do something to prevent this happening in the future.  It seems a bit unfair the people and families here have to suffer more because of foolish decisions makers who don’t really care.

I want to see more of what Irish people do best, support our own and each other. 

LookBook is about supporting fashion designers, providing exposure for new Irish Design labels.  I want our future designers to have a reason to stay home, so let’s make the conditions for them just right. 

Play a part in the future of Ireland - Support a new fashion designer - Fashion designers buy a lot of fabric - Lets provide them with fabric mills and suppliers - Designers hire factories to manufacture fashion in high volumes - Let’s provide them with factories with highly skilled employees - Buyers will buy and so the fashion ecosystem starts again.