Winner of the Brown Thomas ‘Designer to Watch’ announced

This year’s winner of the Brown Thomas ‘Designer to Watch’ bursary is NCAD's Una Curran, who was chosen for her collection, ‘Entangled Traces’.

This year’s winner of the Brown Thomas ‘Designer to Watch’ bursary is Una Curran, who was chosen for her collection, ‘Entangled Traces’. The prizes includes a paid internship with designer, JW Anderson in London, living expenses and a showcase of her winning designs as part of CREATE at Brown Thomas.

According to her artist statement, Ms Curran’s work is inspired by the word ‘traces’ and its different contexts. This includes the traces left by birds flying, as captured in time lapse by artist, Xavi Bou, which inspired the fabric and embroidery textures of her collection. It also refers to the traceability of human lives in an age of increasing surveillance, and the impact this may have on creativity and individuality. 

Commenting, Head of Department of Design for Body and Environment (Fashion, Textile & Surface Design, Jewellery & Objects) at NCAD, Angela O’Kelly said: “NCAD is especially pleased this year to collaborate with Brown Thomas in promoting and showcasing the talent of the College’s fashion department.  The decision by Brown Thomas to establish a paid internship with JW Anderson for the winner, during a time of uncertainty, is a demonstration of the company’s values and the importance it attaches to investing in new and emerging talent in the fashion industry."

“With Covid, there has been a renewed conversation about fashion, about sustainable fashion and fast-fashion.  Fashion as a creative expression, as an art form, as a deep talent and skill can get a bit lost in this conversation.  The Brown Thomas award helps to elevate and recognise fashion, and the deep meaning it has for the creators and wearers.

“At NCAD, we very much see the value and opportunities that the Brown Thomas bursary presents to our students.  We hope that it can continue to be a champion as we navigate new and unchartered waters.

“On behalf of my department, I would like to commend all our students for working boldly and with curiosity amidst such challenging circumstances this year, and to congratulate Una on her win. I would encourage everyone to see Una’s work in person at CREATE in Brown Thomas, and to browse the work of all our graduating students at”

The NCAD online catalogue, and full details of the NCAD Graduate 2020 Programme, can be found at