Designer Profiles: Emerald & Wax | AW’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the third installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Virtue Shine – Emerald & Wax


Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion?

My interest in design and fashion was sparked when I was a child in Accra, watching in amazement every day all of the amazing designs that women made from wax prints. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to be involved in when I was older. Also my grandmother and my mother both were wax print fabric traders so I guess designing with African wax print fabric is in my blood.

Mick Russell Photography

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I am self-taught. I also had the privilege to work with a few designers in New York.

Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

I had come to the cross roads of whether to go back to work or continue stay home with my young children. I decided to stay at home, work for myself and raise my children at the same time combining both passions. It was also very nice that my customers were asking to see what more I can design using African wax prints aside from skirts and accessories. I wanted to show them what else I could design and give them what they wanted.

Mick Russell Photography

What is your aesthetic?

I love very bold bright colors, clean architectural lines and African wax prints are far from that, so I love merging the two things together. It’s always like curating an art exhibit and seeing results always gives me so much pleasure and joy.

Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection? What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

My collection is inspired by Japanese culture, their food and clothing, especially the kimono and how versatile it can be worn. I am fascinated at the moment with designers like Cristobal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, André Courreges, to name a few, and how they made simple designs such elegant classics. I love simple, elegant and clean lines so I look up to their style for inspiration.

Mick Russell Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

As I was self-taught I was limited by what I could make but overtime since my skills improved and I have challenged myself to try out more complicated designs. I am constantly learning what my strengths and weaknesses in designing and executing a garment are. I never decide that I can’t make anything – I’m constantly pushing and challenging myself.

Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

To never lose my passion for creativity because it’s what drives me to stay up at all hours of the night without sleep sometimes and to wake up in the wee hours of the morning with nothing on my mind but what my next design is going to be.

Mick Russell Photography

Describe your creative process.

I think of a particular era and what fun, sleek and chic clothing women were wearing then and then I simplify the ones that I love and add my own twist and transform it into a look that I already in mind.

Mick Russell Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

Normally I will close my studio door for a few days, read online blogs and magazines but lately I watch a classic films for creative inspiration since I get a lot of inspiration from very well dressed women in classic black and white movies.

Mick Russell Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Will I wear what I am  about to design? How will it sit on the body? Does the combination of the colors I have chosen work well together? Will the woman I am designing with in mind feel comfortable and be wowed?

Mick Russell Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

For me personally I thrive under chaos and since I have a large young family there’s never time to properly organize or for balancing so I do everything at the same time. Most days, I am cooking, doing laundry, tiding up and working in my studio simultaneously. But I work very late into the night when they are asleep in bed as well.

Mick Russell Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

The fashion industry has definitely gotten bigger and there has been a huge  influx of independent designers. However, along with that is a lot of fast fashion and not necessarily good or wearable fashion. I would like to see the slow fashion revolution going further.

Mick Russell Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I will like to see my line globally in small design shops that sell quality wearable stuff on a small scale.

Mick Russell Photography


What advice would you give to young designers?

Dream big and never give up if you are passionate about what you are doing.

Mick Russell Photography


Images 2&3|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Images 4-15|Model: Andzelika Baciulyte|Rachel Mulcahy MUA

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Mick Russell|


Virtue will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via prior to September 9th.


The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email

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