Supermodel to attend exhibition of Irish design

Supermodel Yasmin Le Bon will turn heads today at a major international exhibition of Irish design.

Supermodel Yasmin Le Bon will turn heads today at a major international exhibition of Irish design.

The wife of 80s rock star Simon Le Bon will be promoting one of many stands at the Showcase Ireland event in Dublin.

The annual fair - now in its 31st year - is expected to generate €42m worth of orders for homegrown firms producing crafts, interiors, fashion and gifts.

The exhibition is being launched today by organisers Crafts Council of Ireland at the RDS.

Inspirational Irish rugby fly-half Ronan O'Gara will also be on hand to help the four-day event get off to a flying start.

A record number of international buyers is anticipated at this year's fair.

Enterprise Ireland has promoted the showcase to potential buyers worldwide including in America, Japan, UK, Germany, Canada, Austria and the Netherlands.

It expects a massive jump of 30% in orders from Nordic countries while buyers based in South Korea will be among this year's first-timers at the event.

Marie Rooney, Showcase Ireland's project manager, said the international interest was crucial to the success of businesses involved.

"Buyers' interest in Showcase is due to the numbers of companies offering new innovative and unique products each year," she said.

"With 90% of buyers confirming that they placed orders with exhibitors during Showcase 2006, it is evident how important Showcase is for both buyers and suppliers to develop successful business relationships."

More than €13m of the anticipated overall orders this year is expected to be exported to overseas markets.

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