Margaret Molloy: Wearing Irish
Margaret Molloy has tied her pride in her Irish heritage with her love of fashion and social media expertise to create the #WearingIrish social media initiative.
In March 2016, Molloy, the New York-based global chief marketing officer for branding firm Siegel+Gale, began sharing photos of various Irish fashion pieces on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and encouraged others to “Dress head-to-toe in Irish-designed clothing, or pick one item or accessory to wear, in celebration of our heritage,” all the time using the hashtag #WearingIrish.
Molloy, an Offaly native and Harvard graduate, feels that Irish fashion does not receive the recognition it deserves. Her vision was simple; she “wanted 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.”
In creating this initiative, Molloy was keen to include affordable clothing and jewelery choices for the everyday person, not just celebrities. She sported looks from designers such as Orla Kiely, Jennifer Rothwell, Don O’Neill, Dunnes Stores and others.
She knew her #WearingIrish 2016 movement was catching when she attended the Mayor De Blassio’s breakfast in New York City on March 17 and met countless people who were indeed wearing Irish. The outfits included designer dresses, traditional sweaters, and contemporary jewelry. Her most gratifying story came from an Irish-born man living in New York who had just returned from a visit to Ireland. “He told me that his wife had heard about the #WearingIrish initiative via social media and urged him to bring back a few pieces for them to wear to the March festivities,” she said. “The thought of wearing Irish in March had never crossed their minds and now they were advocates.”
After the success of the last year’s campaign, Molloy has laid 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 organizers of these groups photos ‘Sartorial Ambassadors,’ because they are using fashion as a way to represent Irish culture, creativity, and collective goodwill.”
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. See @MargaretMolloy on Twitter.
This March, don some Irish clothing and proudly use the #WearingIrish hashtag to aid the promotion of the exceptional fashion that talented Irish designers have to offer. ♦