To mark International Women's Day, we are celebrating the achievements of one of the most successful Offaly women abroad, Margaret Molloy. Margaret is a native of Tober in Co. Offaly but is also a high-powered New York executive, and pioneer of the #WearingIrish campaign in the States.
In March 2016, Molloy, who is the Global Chief Marketing officer for branding firm Siegel+Gale, began sharing photos of various Irish fashion pieces on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, encouraging others to “dress head-to-toe in Irish-designed clothing, or pick one item or accessory to wear, in celebration of our heritage."
She put her social media marketing skills to good use by promoting the #WearingIrish hashtag trend. She extended the tradition of people wearing green on St. Patrick's Day by dedicating the whole month of March to wearing and promoting Irish fashion labels, designers, jewellery makers, etc.
The Harvard graduate feels that Irish fashion does not get the recognition it deserves, and her vision was simple - "to create a movement around #WearingIrish, that men and women around the world will choose to buy at least one item of Irish fashion to wear every March. Ultimately, it’s about building Ireland’s reputation for fashion.”
She got a sense that her campaign was catching on when she attended New York Mayor De Blasio's breakfast event on St. Patrick's Day, where she met many people sporting Irish clothing. She also heard a story from another New York-based Irish native, who had heard about the campaign while back in Ireland, and returned to New York with a host of new Irish products to wear during the month of March.
In creating the initiative, Margaret Molloy was keen to include affordable clothing and jewellery for the everyday person, and not just celebrities. She chose pieces from designers such as Orla Kiely, Jennifer Rothwell, Don O’Neill, Dunnes Stores amongst others.
After the success of the last year’s campaign, Molloy spent much of the latter half of 2016 laying the groundwork to make 2017 a bigger and better year. “This year I’m looking forward to seeing pictures on social media of groups around the globe wearing Irish,” she said. “I’ve dubbed the organisers of these groups photos ‘Sartorial Ambassadors,’ because they are using fashion as a way to represent Irish culture, creativity, and collective goodwill.” Indeed, Margaret posts daily images of herself to Twitter wearing various Irish clothing and accessories under the growing hashtag, #WearingIrish.
To make it easy for people, Molloy has also compiled an online directory where people can find a large list of Irish fashion and accessories, and you can see @MargaretMolloy on Twitter for more details.
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