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It’s ‘Aoife in Paris’ as Claudy designer takes to the French catwalk

12 March 2024
Woman looking at sustainable fashion designs on a mannequin

County Derry designer Aoife Harvey says she’s enchanté to be invited to Paris this week to take part in the International Upcycling and Sustainable Fashion Festival.

And if the judging panel like her work, one of Aoife’s exciting creations could be worn on the red carpet by a French actress during the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.

Aoife will spend two days showcasing her work to an international audience on the Peniche Annette K barge on the River Seine, with a view of Eiffel Tower. Her work will be judged by a jury composed of fashion professionals, and winners will have the exclusive opportunity to present their collection during a runway show at a prestigious Parisian venue, as well as have their creation worn at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Claudy woman who previously studied Art & design at NWRC before graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Fashion and Textiles at Ulster University, said taking her designs to the fashion capital of the world, is a dream come true.

“It’s all happened so fast, “said Aoife. “Every designer dreams of watching their designs on the runway in Paris, and now it’s happening to me.

“I'll be taking over 10 looks from my waste to wardrobe collection, and I am just so excited. Since graduating I’ve been flat out working full-time on my fashion brand AH Designs specialising in upcycled fashion using my fabric-first approach. I’ve come a long way since my first creations where I upcycled old seat belts into fashion.

“My passion is to take textile waste and turn it into a stylish wardrobe. I often use traditional techniques like patchwork and quilting, combined with modern 2024 fashion trends. I've upcycled upholstery, denim, and leather that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. That’s so important to me.

“My collections are versatile, so you can mix and match the pieces and wear them again and again. I hope my work inspires others to rethink their approach to design and upcycling, and to change their attitudes towards upcycled clothing.”

Last year Aoife’s work came to local and national acclaim when she won the BBC TV show ‘A Stitch through Time.’

In 2023 she was the only Northern Irish designer showcasing at Northern Fashion Week in Manchester.

Her designs have been featured at fashion shows across the UK and Ireland, and at New York Fashion Week. In 2023 she received an honorary award at North West Regional College’s graduation ceremony for her contribution to the Arts and Fashion.

Last year she won a NI Women’s award for achievement in STEM, and regularly visits her former college and university inspiring the artists and fashion designers of the future.

“I can’t wait,” said Aoife. “Paris here I come!”

<p>Aoife Harvey with some of the designs she is taking to Paris. </p>

Aoife Harvey with some of the designs she is taking to Paris.

sustainable design on a mannequin
sustainable design on a mannequin
sustainable design on a mannequin
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