The Irish have contributed to the cultural and literary landscape of New York City for generations. Our heritage and culture are deeply woven into the city’s identity and our impact on the architecture, music and in hospitality has been well-documented.
For generations, we have been found on construction sites, in political circles and behind the bar in the city’s favorite pubs. Beyond the stereotype, there’s a new stream of creative immigrants arriving today and making their mark on the city’s aesthetic at open-mics, on catwalks and across Brooklyn art galleries and walls.
Although getting a visa to work in the U.S. has become significantly tougher for young Irish people, there is, still, a wave of trail-blazers making their way to the cultural capital of the world, to write, create and get inspiration. The well-documented exodus of artists from Manhattan to the boroughs has carried the latest Irish incumbents along with it. Brooklyn, particularly Bushwick, has become a hub for Irish talent.
Gemma Sherlock aka the Scarlet Bob
Gemma Sherlock, aka The Scarlet Bob, arrived in New York to “save the world from boring fashion.”
Her fearless style has garnered the Cavan native a loyal Instagram following and her ethos is “fundamentally about self-acceptance.”
From styling high-fashion editorial shoots to blogging about life in Bushwick, the Scarlet Bob says her alter ego is all about “letting people know it’s OK to be different.”
Gemma moved to the city in 2015, leaving behind an advertising career in Dublin, and that’s when her personal style really evolved, she says. She became tired of seeing the same minimal images on fashion sites and Instagram pages and The Scarlet Bob was born.
Is it easier to express yourself creatively in NYC? “People are very supportive of it (fashion) as an art, the nurturing of art. That sounds so New York,” she roars laughing…
The Scarlet Bob settled in Bushwick because “it’s where all the creative people are” and where the you are exposed to new “people who are willing to collaborate and try out new things.”