Drapers takes you inside three of the best independents the Irish capital has to offer.
27 Drury Street, Dublin 2
Owned by Ruth Ní Loinsigh, womenswear independent Om Diva started life in 1999 as a market stall in Blackrock, Dublin, then moved to George’s Street Arcade in the city centre in 2005, before setting up shop in a bigger unit in its current location on Drury Street in 2010. The bright and colourful three-floor store is an eclectic mix of quirky contemporary pieces, vintage finds and a selection of up-and-coming Irish designers including Colin Horgan and Zoe Carol.
Ní Loinsigh buys directly from small manufacturers and suppliers in Korea, Japan and Bangkok, allowing her to cherry-pick her favourite items in small quantities. Atelier 27, located on the top floor, is a destination retail space, also run by Ní Loinsigh, which showcases the best in new, cutting-edge Irish design, featuring 25 designers on the floor at any given time.
The style of the boutique has evolved with Ní Loinsigh’s tastes over the last 18 years, moving from boho pieces sourced from India, to retro-inspired occasionwear, to a more contemporary offering of daywear that is commercial but maintains its individuality on the Dublin shopping scene.
10 Castle Market, Dublin Southside
Now celebrating its 20th year in business, Costume boutique was founded in 1997 by Tucker sisters Tracy, Leigh and Anne, along with their mother, Billie. The bright, light and airy boutique stocks a selection of premium to luxury womenswear brands including Isabel Marant, Roland Mouret and Irish designer Don O’Neill. The boutique varies its brand list season to season based on the strength of collections – its customers will, as Anne Tucker says, “buy a dress because they like it, not for the label” – and adds one or two new brands to freshen up the mix.
Costume caters for women in their mid-thirties upwards, and has built up a loyal customer base over the years. It launched its first transactional website last year and, while sales are increasing month-on-month, it acts primarily as a shop window to encourage customers into the boutique.
Having weathered the recession, the business has grown every year since 2008 and prides itself on its exclusives on brands and products, which ensure Costume is offering its shoppers something different.
65 Aungier Street, Dublin 2
Since opening in November 2014, Nowhere has made waves on the Dublin independent scene. Co-founded by Swedish-born entrepreneur David Erixon, the pared-back, minimalist store is known for its selection of exclusive streetwear brands and products. The unisex shop is one of only two stockists in the UK and Ireland for cult Japanese label Cav Empt, which sells out immediately when stock arrives in store and online. Nike and Y3 are also bestsellers.
For autumn 17, the shop is bringing a further fresh tranche of brands into the store, including Wood Wood and Soulland. Nowhere started life as a menswear boutique, but demand from female shoppers, and a greater emphasis on footwear and sneakers over the last 12 months, led to some women’s styles being introduced.
The store itself is versatile, as all rails, fixtures and fittings can be moved easily and often to give the shop a fresh feel. Meanwhile online sales are a driving force behind the store, and around half of all sales now come through Nowhere’s own website and Farfetch.