Northern Ireland Fashion Designers Association

Offers design, prototype and business advice

The Northern Ireland Fashion Designers’ Association was formed in the early 1980s by a group of fashion designers including Maggie Jackson, Carole Cairns, Colleen Tilson, Margaret Lismore, Geraldine Connon, Margaret Annett and Kathryn Morrison. It acted as a pressure group to gain recognition and financial support for Northern Irish fashion businesses, and aimed to develop common resources.

NIFDA established themselves at McAvoy House on Ormeau Avenue, Belfast. The offices provided business facilities, a research and marketing service, computerised pattern cutting and grading, a start-up studio and workshop space. It also offered training programmes in marketing skills, trend forecasting, and the use of an online designer database.

The centre closed down in 1994 when funding expired, but several of the original members of the FDA continue to offer design, prototype and business advice at the centre’s former premises.