Úna Burke is a luxury leather accessories designer who employs traditional leather-working skills to create intricate forms from vegetable tanned cow hide.
Born and brought up in North County Roscommon, in the west of Ireland, Úna now works from her studio in Earlsfield, South London. She completed a BA in Fashion Design at Limerick School of Art and Design in 2003, and then worked in several Irish and UK design studios including those of Philip Treacy and Burberry. Returning to study in 2007, Úna received a distinction in her MA in Fashion Artefact and her graduate collection, ‘RE.TREAT’, won the London College of Fashion “Off Catwalk Award for Design 2009”. In the following months, Úna was shortlisted for ITS #EIGHT, featured in Vogue Italia and invited by Vogue's fashion editor Sara Maino, to present her work during Milan Fashion Week. Úna has since has won eight Design and Craft Awards, including Irish Designer of the Year 2011, and has been shortlisted for several other prizes both nationally and internationally. Her sculptural leather pieces have featured in exhibitions, catwalk shows, films, music festivals and trend forecasting events throughout the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Singapore, Hungary, the US, China, Austria, Greece and Hong Kong.
Most recently, Úna was nominated for the 2012 Golden Fleece awards, and for the Breakthrough Designer Category in WGSN’s ‘Global Fashion Awards’. Her AW11 film ‘META.MORPH’ was selected by Diane Pernet and her panel of industry experts, for ‘A Shaded View On Fashion Film’ Festival 4, and her work was showcased in Singapore's 'World Runway Premiere' for Fox Network, helping to raise £25,000.00 for Japan Quake Aid.
Since graduating, Úna’s work has been photographed by legends like Nick Knight, David Bailey, Francois Nars, styled by Patti Wilson, Nicola Formichetti, Charlotte Stockdale and worn by style icons like Rihanna, Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga, among others. It has featured in top magazines including Vogue Italia, Harpers Bazaar, i-D, Grazia, Collezioni, Numéro, Arena, Dazed and Confused and now in her forth season, Úna Burke accessories are stocked in some of the best stores in New York, LA, Miami, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Milan, Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Zurich, Copenhagen, Dallas and London.
Currently, Úna is very excited to be working on an exclusive collection for the e-store of Joyce Hong Kong, which will launch in April 2012. She is one of just 10 international designers to be invited to be involved in this project, which is called, “New Generation Cultivation”.