Pictured during the launch are Fashion, Knitwear and Textile Design students Siobhan O’Dea, from Tullamore, Co. Offaly, left, and Aisling McCallion, from InishOwen, Co. Donegal, showing their bag designs to Jan O’Sullivan, Minister for Education and Skills, and Dr Maria Hinfelaar President, LIT. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene/Fusionshooters
The launch of LIT’s International Fashion Incubator Limerick (IFIL) by Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan is set to stimulate employment in Limerick in the exciting sector and link the city centre into the international fashion industry.
The launch was a key element of the official opening of the refurbished Merriman House on Lock Quay, a new Centre of Excellence in Fashion Design that builds on the international reputation of LSAD.
Speaking at the launch, Minister O’Sullivan said, “It is a great privilege to be here today to launch the International Fashion Incubator Limerick (IFIL). This new creative space in Merriman House will host approximately 100 students in a single fashion hub in the heart of Limerick City. Today’s announcement builds on the ground breaking work that the Limerick School of Art and Design has achieved in the fashion and textile sector.
“Limerick is now at the forefront of Irish fashion, both nationally and internationally. The IFIL will ensure that this exciting and dynamic field of study will continue to go from strength-to-strength. The location of IFIL at the heart of the City is also a very significant boost to the ongoing enhancement of the City Centre and I want to pay tribute to the vision that LIT has displayed in this and all its future capital development plan.”
President of LIT Dr. Maria Hinfelaar commented, “The opening of Merriman House is a very significant step for LIT and for Limerick. We are creating employment in Limerick City Centre by increasing the number of students and staff in the city, while sowing the seeds of new enterprises in an iconic building on Lock Quay.
“This investment enables us to increase the number of students in fashion design and related disciplines, and to co-locate them with International Fashion Incubator Limerick (IFIL) to form a single Centre of Excellence in Fashion Design.
“IFIL will become part of Limerick’s business and educational infrastructure, with a remit that is not only local and national in its scope, but truly international. LSAD is ranked among the world’s leading fashion schools and is the only Irish institution to exhibit at London Graduate Fashion Week. It is fitting that we launch IFIL as Limerick prepares its bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2020, and during The Irish Year of Design 2015.
“IFIL is unique in Ireland. LSAD design graduates have created a network of global renown in the world’s leading fashion houses. What IFIL does is open the door for these designers to work and live in Ireland, while mentoring up-and-coming young designers through the IFIL Designer-in-Residence Programme.
“This circular movement of mentors whose education started in LSAD and who are now returning to expand their business and support recent graduates, is the backbone of IFIL.
“This is an investment in Limerick City Centre and the future of fashion here. It is an integral part of LIT’s Campus 2030 capital development plan, and works to a number of key objectives in the Limerick 2030 Strategic Plan. It is part of LIT’s commitment under the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs, launched last month at LIT’s Moylish campus.”
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Photos by Diarmuid Greene/Fusionshooters. All Rights Reserved.