LIKE everyone else in the world, the Irish are obsessed with fashion. We’re always on the lookout for the hottest trends and models, Sophie McDermott writes.

While the local fashion industry here in Ireland is quite vast for such a small country, are there enough readable publications to show this? We have a highly active journalism industry but has fashion been pushed to the backseat and forgotten?

Our fashion designers are included in the list of the top designers in the world. The likes of Galway man Philip Treacy, who designed the hats for the Royal Wedding.

Never heard of him? That comes as no surprise as Irish fashion designers aren’t in the Irish limelight and appear on a more global level. Ireland lacks a fashion journalism industry that caters to promote Irish fashion and make these designers and models household names.

We hear about models on a daily basis but it may not always be in a positive light. Tabloids and celebrity gossip magazines may feature Irish models in their spreads but there is no emphasis on their career alone.

Much of the focus is on their personal lives and neglects their success in the industry. This further highlights the proper Irish fashion journalism drought that Ireland is experiencing. Many people want to read magazines for the local fashion trends or to admire the next top Irish model.

While there are a few very talented fashion journalists in Ireland, there doesn’t seem to be much work accredited to them. The likes of Bairbre Power and Angela Scanlon haven’t received anywhere near the same amount of recognition that journalists in other fields do. They may have a column or two in a few different papers but it’s hardly the same as Vogue, is it?

Instead, we are forced to buy UK and US magazines such as Company or Vogue to get our fashion fix. They’re the kind of magazines we need in Ireland for Irish women.

It’s desponding to think that young girls or boys who want a career in modelling think that the only way to get anywhere is to emigrate to these countries that recognise the need to promote the fashion industry and inform the public of issues and successes that the fashion industry is currently experiencing.

It’s evident that Ireland needs fashion journalism to promote the Irish fashion industry. We have hundreds of talented individuals who work in the industry that deserve to be recognised. Irish people have the right to have a fashion magazine we can be proud of and can compete with the likes of Vogue.