A Recap of the Last Year

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My final hand in at Belfast School of Art & Design. May 2015.

2015 brought with it a year of accomplishment, adventure and new beginnings. In June, I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design, followed by a long awaited interrailing trip around Europe (which I would highly recommend!!) and joined the Fashion and Textile Design Centre FTDC as a platform to launch my own label.

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Me at Lake Bled, Slovenia – my new favourite place!

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On a gondola in Venice!

From my school days, having my own label was always my main aspiration. I always thought my name was strong and suited my persona and knew I would use this as the name of my label. There aren’t too many Kyree Forrest’s about..in fact, I don’t know if there’s any!

The Past 6 months…

The past 6 months have been a rewarding mix of graft and achievements. The first event my label participated in was the Designer Showcase in the City Hotel, Derry in September. Curated by Eddie Shanahan, Chairperson of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers, the designers selected to show were each allocated a stand, in which we presented our collections to potential buyers and customers. The response to my designs was phenomenal, it was so well received and it was a chance to collect opinions and valuable market research from the attendees.

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Me at my stand at the Designer Showcase in the City Hall, Derry.

A few days later, Fashion Fest’s Gala Fashion Show launched, directed by Tracey Hall and her striking models in her esteemed agency, Style Academy. This was my first professional fashion show, I was in the very premature stages of launching my brand at this stage so it had heightened gratification to show my garments alongside established designers, including the internationally acclaimed Helen Cody.

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One of my garments in Fashion Fest’s Gala Fashion Show in St. Columb’s Hall, Derry.

The next few months were filled with business meetings, business plans and business courses. Knowing my craft is not knowing business and this needed to change. I wanted a solid foundation of knowledge to build my label on and through Enterprise NI and the Prince’s Trust; I was able to do that.

The New Year welcomed me to the news that Eddie Shanahan had selected me to showcase in the Ones To Watch category of the Irish Fashion Innovations! I was absolutely elated with this news!! Only 1 week to go before the big reveal! After such an exhilarating year in 2015, 2016 started off with a bang!

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The Irish Fashion Innovation Awards, of which I am in the “Ones to Watch” category.

The last accomplishment of the past 6 months was participating in my first business pitch for the reward of winning a grant. Mentioned earlier, as an introvert this is not something that I would be eager to do but thankfully, on the day I delivered and pitched my collection with so much authority and confidence that I was selected for the grant!

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Pitching my collection in Belfast

The past few months have been filled with designing, sourcing fabrics, business planning, pattern cutting, sewing, interviews, more business planning and the sleepless nights and all nighters will be worth it when I see my collection on the runway at the IFIA!

More exciting things are on the horizon for 2016 and I can’t wait to share when they’re in fruition!

Kyree ♥

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