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BA Fashion Design student, Louise Marchand, receives award following Unwrap Fashion Festival 2018.

Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT, fashion student Louise Marchard has been recognised for both her fashion design skills and her business attribute, following the inaugural Unwrap festival.

The Canadian native was presented with an award by the the Local Enterprise Office in Limerick in recognition of her fashion business plan, as she prepares to graduate from the prestigious art college.

In total three aspiring designers – Louise, Michelle Woong and Kristina Finlay – from LSAD’s BA Fashion Design and BA Fashion Knitwear and Textiles courses were short listed for the award.

The students presented their graduate design work and a development plan for commercialising their creative business to a panel of industry judges including Sinéad Burke, academic, writer and advocate; Eddie Shanahan, Chairman of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers; Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise, Limerick Local Enterprise Office, and Muireann Charleton, Design Enterprise & Development lecturer, LSAD.

LEO Limerick sponsored the prize, which included a bursary of €1,500, three professional mentoring sessions and free access to all LEO training courses for the remainder of 2018.

Winning student Louise, whose mother is originally from Northern Ireland, is a graduate of Fanshawe College, Toronto, Canada. She chose to study her final year at Limerick School of Art & Design, LIT due to its international reputation for fashion excellence worldwide.

The judges commended the winning student for range of skills, including the technical expertise of her work and its commercial viability, as well as her market research into fashion as a business. Louise was also a shortlisted nominee for the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2018.

Commenting on the award, Muireann Charleton, Design Enterprise & Development Lecturer said,

“Limerick School of Art & Design is committed to supporting its students and emerging designers in their enterprise development potential. This award demonstrates the importance for students to link their creativity and design capability with enterprise skills for a successful career.”

Presenting the award at the Unwrap Fashion Festival, Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise at LEO Limerick, highlighted the importance of supporting students of fashion in the early stages of their careers.

“Limerick LEO are delighted to support the enterprise development of the next generation of fashion designers, which is vital to sustaining jobs in the creative sector in the region,” he said.​​

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