Nokia went bling on Tuesday night with a catwalk display of new Irish fashion talent to complement the phone company's latest product line launch in Ireland.
Inspired by contemporary vintage glamour, the Finnish mobile manufacturer is attempting to reach a niche market interested in phones as accessories with its new L'Amour collection. The L'Amour range includes the Nokia 7360, Nokia 7370 and Nokia 7380.
"These are aspirant products but at the same time high tier products," Nokia Ireland's general manager Conor Pierce told ElectricNews.Net at the show in Dublin.
"The youth market is where it's at, and the fashion mobile sector is a developing market. Nokia designers attend all the fashion shows every season to see what's going on. Well designed handsets that can play music are going to be driving that market soon," Pierce said.
Around 560 people attended the fashion show at the new CHQ exhibition space in Dublin's Irish Financial Services Centre.
Top fashion designers, John Rocha, Joanne Hynes and John McCormack, unveiled three unique one-off accessories to coincide with the launch of the new Nokia collection.
John Rocha created a black-jet beaded pouch for the Nokia 7360. Joanne Hynes incorporated a Nokia 7380 into one of her signature hand-painted wooden bead necklaces. While John McCormack, last year's winner of the Nokia Young Fashion Designer of the Year Award, tailored a bandolier-style taupe sash designed to hold a Nokia 7360.
Guests at the event heard that Nokia's design team used amber, ceramics, turquoise, silk and enamel for inspiration. Craft techniques, such as enamelling and etching, are supposed to add a creative spark to the graphics, materials, finishes and colours selected for each mobile phone model in the collection.
The Nokia Young Fashion Designer Award 2006 was the biggest fashion show in Dublin since the Supermodels Show at the Point Depot in 2003. The catwalk was over 100 feet in length - the longest ever seen in Ireland.
The finalists at the awards included nine students from the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD), and one student each from the Grafton Academy, Limerick Senior College and Bray Institute of Education.
Rebecca Garcia from LSAD won the top prize of EUR5,000, a Nokia handset, and a shop window display opportunity at the BT2 fashion store.
This year is the 150th anniversary for Nokia and Pierce said the firm was originally established to supply wood pulp and rubber products. "I think you can still get rubber wellies made by Nokia but I don't think they're very fashionable any more," he said.
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