Archive: September 2016


20 September 2016
One of Northern Ireland's longest-running fashion retailers has several reasons to celebrate this season. 
McCalls of Lisburn has not only been nominated for a prestigious national award, but it also happens to coincide with a very special anniversary of the landmark menswear store. 
Recognised widely as the industry's most highly-respected accolade, the Drapers’ Awards celebrate the best in fashion retailing and this year their roll-call includes McCalls of Lisburn for the coveted Independent Menswear Retailer UK & Ireland category. This is the third time that the three-generation, family-run business has been nominated for such an industry standard and the entire McCall family is hoping that this will be a case of “third time lucky” as 2016 has also marked their sixtieth anniversary of trading. 
Robert William McCall opened his gentleman's outfitters on Lisburn's Market Street way back in April 1956 and it became an instant favourite with the fashion-conscious men of County Down and beyond. When he retired, Robert's two sons Mervyn and Percy McCall took over the running of the store. Three generations later, it is still very much a family concern, continuing to go from strength to strength in the capable hands of Mark, Chris, Jill and Alastair. And now, even a fourth generation is getting involved as Kirsty works part time on the online side of the business and some of Robert’s younger great-grandchildren spend their school holidays working in the store.
Although McCalls boasts an extensive collection of global menswear labels which can rival any multi-national chain, the fact that it is a family business with World Host status means that a warm welcome and a personal, friendly service is absolutely assured when customers drop in. 
On trend designer labels include Gant, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Ted Baker, plus an exciting addition for this season, Farah Vintage, which is a heritage brand with a modern look and feel.    A huge collection of contemporary suits is available to buy and also to hire for weddings and special occasions. Suiting brands include Magee, Carl Gross, Tommy Hilfiger and Remus Uomo, among others.  
To celebrate the store's landmark sixtieth year, the team paired up with fashion photographer Khara Pringle and locally based models Cameron Kelly and Carlos Djalo to showcase a selection of looks for the new season. 
Director Alastair McCall said of the new collections: 
“This season we have a number of new trends starting to make an appearance. Although there are still plenty of popular blues and greys we have striking shades of Peacock, Bordeaux and Apple Red making their mark. In shirts, neat design details such as dots and prints are adding a point of difference and the Oxford shirt has returned for Autumn; while a new type of high-stretch jersey denim is coming through in our jeanswear ranges. Trousers continue to be more narrow and slim-fitting than in the past, while solid-colour two-pieces worn with contrasting waistcoats and the resurgence of checks are the way forward in suits this season”
Of course, to see the McCalls’ collection in its entirety, customers can call into the destination store at Market Street Lisburn, while a huge selection is also available to view online at  

TEDxStormont is Back!

14 September 2016
TEDxStormont is back, taking place on Saturday, 17 September from 11am to 3pm at the MAC in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter.
Organised along the theme of “Imagine” and supported by lead sponsor Ulster Bank, the event will feature 12 leading thinkers, innovators, artists, philosophers and entertainers from the UK, Ireland and the United States representing such diverse fields as technology, entertainment, visual and performance art, design, politics, music and education, among others. 
Speakers will look forward and “Imagine” the kind of future we could have together as a society, here in Northern Ireland and beyond. The event will be compered by broadcaster William Crawley.
This will be the third time that TEDxStormont has taken place and due to popular demand has been moved out of Parliament Buildings at Stormont and will now take place at The MAC in  Belfast city centre. Over 250 guests have signed up already with nearly 300 expected on the day. 
Some of the previous TEDxStormont speakers have included: Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol; Christina Lamb, Foreign Correspondent for the Sunday Times; former First Minister Peter Robinson; deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA; Kate Carroll widow of murdered Constable Stephen Carroll, Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA and Lord Alderdice.
Eva Grosman, Curator of TEDxStormont said: 
“We are really excited for our third TEDxStormont. Due to the demand for tickets we have had to move from Parliament Buildings at Stormont to The MAC in the Cathedral Quarter in Belfast which means we can give more people the opportunity to come and listen to some of the best speakers and ideas generators around.” 
“The main thrust of TEDx is to develop ideas worth spreading. Since we started we have had over 50 speakers travel to Belfast to tell us what they think and give us food for thought about the society we want to develop in Northern Ireland.” 
“This year we have some first rate speakers from as far as California and Boston, and also closer to home, so we will have a blend of experiences that will create a fantastic event.” 
“The event has been made possible with the support from our sponsors and we must give a particular thanks to our headline backer Ulster Bank who has had the vision to support TEDxStormont. We also have to send out a massive thanks to our other sponsors who include leading law firm Mills Selig, Politics Plus, Lagan Construction, Digital DNA and Uber.”
Richard Donnan, Head of Northern Ireland at Ulster Bank, the lead sponsor of TEDxStormont said: 
“Our ambition is to be the most trusted bank for customer service, trust and advocacy – and one of the ways we’ll seek to achieve that is by encouraging the development of new and creative thought leadership in our local communities. That’s exactly what TEDxStormont will promote and it’s why we’re really pleased to be playing our part. There is an exciting and diverse range of speakers who are positioned to give real insight and so it is a great fit.”
Speakers and Performers will include: 
1. Sinead McSweeney, Senior Director, Public Policy, Twitter 
2. Professor Patrick Johnston, Queen's University Belfast vice-chancellor
3. Sinead O’Sullivan, space engineer/Harvard Business School
4. Elyse Cherry, CEO Boston Community Capital (social innovation)
5. Angela McGowan, Chief Economist, Danske Bank an incoming CBI Chief Executive
6. Kim Constable, yoga teacher, entrepreneur, unschooling advocate
7. Niamh Hyland, singer/songwriter, Head of People, Culture and Operations at Purpose, NYC
8. Jennifer Rawlings, Comic/filmmaker
9. Alastair Ross MLA, Junior Minister, NI Executive/Assembly
10. Pádraig Ó Tuama, poet/theologian, Leader of Corrymeela
11. David Gavaghan, Chair CBI NI / Vice Chair Washington Ireland Programme 
12. Professor Mike Hardy, Founding Director, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University
13. Open House Festival Choir
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