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02nd May 2018

Why Sinéad Burke is the only influencer we should be talking about right now

Olivia Hayes

She’s had some week.

In fact, she’s had quite a year.

On Monday morning, Sinéad Burke featured on the front cover of one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world – Business of Fashion.

The issue is called the Age of Influence and no words ring truer than those for Sinéad. The fashion campaigner has been making waves in Ireland and now has begun to make waves around the world, by using her voice to spread important messages on TED talks and at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she chatted to the likes of RuPaul, Joe Biden to Oprah Winfrey; one on one.

Not many get opportunities like that, but it’s clear from Sinéad’s work that she was meant to have them.

A post shared by Sinéad Burke (@thesineadburke) on

Her work in making fashion accessible to everyone has been the driving force behind her, and with the images in BoF, she certainly proved it.

The shots that stood out to me – and I’m sure the rest of the world – were those where Sinéad is holding a scissors in one hand while altering a Burberry trench coat.

In her own description of the image, she wrote: “Staring down the lens of the camera, I am holding a scissors [sic] and wearing a @Burberry trench coat that has been deconstructed and lacerated into pieces to fit. I’m also wearing laced Adidas Stan Smiths runners, blue eye shadow and slicked back retro hair.”

She added: “#FashionMustIncludeEveryone,”

The images are stark, beautiful and send a message.

A post shared by Sinéad Burke (@thesineadburke) on

In the Age of Influence issue, there are two cover stars – Sinéad and Kim Kardashian. However, it’s Sinéad’s cover that means something. It’s Sinéad’s cover that’s going to make a change. And it’s Sinéad’s cover that will get a conversation about accessible fashion started.

The reason why it stood out to me so much (well, there were many, but this is one of them) is because of all the apparent controversy surrounding – you guessed it – Bloggers Unveiled.

I don’t even want to tarnish this article by mentioning them, but I think it needs to be said that we have an influencer that’s actually making a difference here. Sinéad is the one we should be talking about right now. We should not be talking about photoshop and who this person is, because in the end – what does it matter?

Obviously there is merit for calling out people who have lied in the industry, but when there’s someone making a real impact – around the globe – that name should be the one on our lips.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re all in the world of online influencers and follow many. They pop up daily on our Instagram feeds and they’re all lovely people. But we need to change our views around influencers and what they contribute.

We need to realise that it’s people like Sinead that’s making the change. It’s people like Sinéad we need young girls to look up to.

And it’s people like Sinéad we all need as a true influencer.