Project Fashion hosts The Young Designer of the Year Awards in support of Make a Wish Ireland

by Alison O'Hanlon
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This Year’s Project Fashion – Young Designer of The Year Awards was a wonderful success in more ways than one. 

Held in the City North Hotel and Conference Centre, the event this year was in support of a very worthy charity, Make a Wish Ireland who rely entirely on the generosity and support of individuals and events run by businesses like Project Fashion.

Make-A-Wish Ireland has one simple aim – to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, to bring hope, strength, and happiness and this year they are celebrating 30 years of granting wishes. 

project fashion young designer of the year donation to Make a wish foundation. Photo Andrew Collins

Make-A-Wish does not receive any government funding and relies overwhelmingly on the kindness of the Irish public to continue granting wishes. 

Paul and Paula Keeley, Founders of Project Fashion, Swords, Co. Dublin, came up with an idea in 2019 to create a platform to inspire their many students who attend Project Fashion classes, workshops, and academies throughout Ireland. They started this family run business following Paul’s background in the Fashion industry where he himself started out as a Fashion Designer. Their idea was to allow their students showcase their creativity on the catwalk while working towards the charitable goal of supporting a good cause annually. This led to the very first Young Designer of the Year Awards which took place in 2019 in aid of another charity who do great work, LauraLynn. 

The awards this year were again a phenomenal success raising over eleven thousand euro for Make a Wish Ireland. However, none of this could have been done without the trojan efforts of the all the Project Fashion community to include its tutors, students and of course their parents. And least not forget too the most important part of putting together a fundraiser like this and that is the many collaborations of businesses working together to a common goal. The fantastic partners of this year’s show were The City North Hotel and Conference Centre, FlynnPark Outdoor Adventures in Balbriggan and WOW Balloons who’s support ensured fundraising success! 

The show itself was hosted by the fabulous Glenda Gilson who was joined by four inspirational celebrity judges, Orla-Morris Toolen (this year’s RTE Junk Kouture Presenter), Helen Steele (Fashion Designer extraordinaire with current collections in Dunnes Stores), Emer O’Neill (RTE’s Homework Hub Presenter, Activist and Children’s Author) and Katie O’Connor (This years MISS DUBLIN and All-Ireland Champion Dancer). There were two stunning performances on the night too by two Britain’s Got Talents past contestants. The audience got to delight in the silken voice of the beautiful Leah Barniville and then to be amazed by the unbelievable dancers from House of Swag who incorporated the show’s theme ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and then not to forget that it was Halloween included their own superb rendition of ‘Thriller’. 

project fashion young designer of the year Photo Andrew Collins

This year’s show was even bigger and better than the last and according to event director Sabrina Morris “It is all down to the many sponsors and individuals who are willing to join the cause and donate products, time and effort to make it happen, because without them it just wouldn’t be possible” 

There were even more sponsors this year who Project Fashion said were at the core of making the event the great success it was, and they included Videographer Majestic 360, KB Designs, Hickey’s, Heaven Ashbourne, Dessert Diamonds, PEELO, Bly Amour, Helen Steele Fashion, Andrew Collins Photography, Film Equipment Hire, Eurospar Kinsealy, The Flower Yard,, One4all, The Bridal Outlet, and Designworks Photography. 

project fashion

If any fashion creatives, individuals, or businesses would like to get involved with next years Project Fashion’s ‘Young Designer of the Year Awards 2023’ please get in touch by emailing [email protected]. As for who they will be supporting next year we will need to watch this space. 

For more information on this year’s event and future events visit

Photos Andrew Collins Photography

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