A DEVASTATED fashion designer has appealed to the public for help after thieves stole €7,000 worth of goods from her van.
Sophie Rieu of Unicorn Design said 25 dresses, culotte trousers, tops, jackets and skirts were taken from her van sometime between 6pm and 8pm last Saturday evening in Dublin.
The French designer had spent the day trading at the Dublin Food Co-op.
At about 6pm she parked the Nissan delivery van on Fishamble Street near Dublin City Council and went for dinner.
When she returned, she discovered her back door had been forcefully opened and her designs were missing.
Ms Rieu said the incident is a huge loss to her.
“I am devastated. These were pieces from my winter collection. I had cut them myself from beautiful clothes and they were made locally.”
The designer makes her garments from natural materials at The Garden of Unicorn boutique in Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
She described her designs as very distinctive, and said that all bear a navy Unicorn label.
“In total there is over €7,000 worth of goods stolen there at full retail value. This is a huge loss, and they represent far more than just money to me. I really hope some honest people will see them and contact me.”
This is the second time Ms. Rieu has had goods stolen. She told the Irish Independent that after she started her business in 2003, her car was broken into and she lost around €1,000 worth of clothing.
The designer told her Facebook followers about Saturday's incident, and posted pictures of some of the stolen items.
Commenters responded with reports of a number of similar recent incidents, including one designer who said she had wedding hats stolen from her van at the RDS in Dublin.
Ms. Rieu is now urging her clients and other members of the public to contact her at 01 201 0510 or Pearse Street Garda Station at 01 666 9000 if someone attempts to sell them the items.
Earlier this month the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME) warned that half of all retailers would be victims of shoplifting over the Christmas period, with most being targeted multiple times.