Irish fashion entrepreneurs to shine in Christmas gifts market
Arnotts department store is showcasing Ireland's fashion entrepreneurs in an iconic new area dedicated to Christmas gifts.
The shop has brought together a number of figures from the industry including designer Ali Delaney, Hamilton Bear creator Caroline Barron and jewellery designer Tory Long to launch its retail space titled Gifted.
Delaney's vintage denim shorts were modelled at a student fashion show in 2012 by Jess Redden - a 23-year-old pharmacy student with celebrity model status and a famous boyfriend, Ireland and Leinster rugby player Rob Kearney.
The designer and the model could not have imagined how their careers would collide again four years later, but that is exactly what happened as they both attended the unveiling of the dedicated Christmas presents area on the lower ground floor of the store in Henry Street, Dublin.
Gifted is focused on personalisation, and shoppers can have initials put on to presents including jewellery, phone covers and accessories.
Delaney (25), from Dalkey, unveiled her latest product, the Custom Vintage Dublin cashmere and wool scarf (€89.95), at the opening of Gifted. Initials can be added to the creations, which come in eight colours.
The launch of the Gifted area was a double celebration for Delaney - it was the first time she experienced bricks 'n' mortar retailing, as she has been selling online to date.
She said: "I was so lucky to have couturier Peter O'Brien as my mentor at the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
"And in recent years, I've learned to stop comparing myself to other companies, to stay in my own lane, and to just get better at what I do.
"The Make It Personal campaign is going really well. I have hats to match and I'm working with the Crafts Council of Ireland on projects for next year."
Barron's Hamilton Bears are handmade from tweed and wool woven by Cushendale Woollen Mills and trimmed with faux furs. The range is a first for Hamilton Bear, which started out in business by creating bears from people's cherished items of clothing.
The bears come in four sizes, ranging from Junior Bear up to the Grandmama Bear. They are exclusive to Arnotts until Christmas Eve, and all bears can be personalised.
For Long, the build-up to Christmas is particularly rewarding. Her full-time job is with Arnotts' beauty buying team, but her jewellery range was chosen to be stocked in Gifted.
Sunday Indo Business