Open Call was launched in July last year with emerging designers and craft makers across Ireland invited to submit an online application, including those working in fashion, accessories, textiles, jewellery, glassware, ceramics, pottery, fragrance and wellness.
On October 12th 2017, 50 successful applicants were selected to pitch to CEO Marian O Gorman and Kilkenny Group’s buying department in person in the RDS.
From this group, 5 winners were chosen representing homeware, pottery, jewellery, wellness and art and prints. Considerations such as commerciality, originality, pricing and packaging were all taken into consideration in the rigorous process with only five chosen to be stocked.
In developing this exciting initiative, Kilkenny worked closely with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, and even provided ongoing mentoring and advice to prepare the candidates for a tough retail environment.
Each supplier will receive valuable commercial support from Kilkenny along with an advertising and PR campaign to assist with launching them to the Kilkenny customer.
Speaking about the initiative, Marian O’Gorman, CEO of the Kilkenny Group, commented ‘’Kilkenny is always proud to promote Irish – it is at the very heart of who we are. We are constantly on the look out to find those hidden gems and bring them to our customers.
Open Call is the perfect platform to allow us to do that and we are thrilled with the talent we saw coming through. I am very excited for the future of the business and the future of Irish craft and design.’’
To view all the winners and their collections view the gallery above.