Saturday 22 July 2017

Cutting edge

Jumper, €110, Irelands Eye. Dress, made to order, €1,250, Delphine Grandjouan. Photo: Kip Carroll
Jumper, €110, Irelands Eye. Dress, made to order, €1,250, Delphine Grandjouan. Photo: Kip Carroll

From the ages of 11 and 13 respectively, brothers Paul and Ian Davey knew that they wanted to be hairdressers. "We just got a set of clippers off our mum and dad, and started cutting all our friends' hair," recalls Ian. "We could never get our hair cut the way we wanted," adds Paul. "None of the hairdressers in the area were brave enough. Undercuts, tramlines - we wanted all the things that were fashionable back then." Smiling, Ian adds, "All the hipster looks are back in now, but we were totally into that the first time."

Originally from Wales, the pair have worked in Dublin for almost two decades. As you can see on our pages today, the brothers' creative vision pairs perfectly with the diverse work of the new Irish fashion design heavyweights like Helen Steele and Claire O'Connor.

Setting up their own salon was always part of Paul and Ian's plan, and, seven years ago, they opened their first salon, Davey Davey, on Drury Street - the heart of Dublin's Creative Quarter, as the area between South William St, George's St, Stephen St Lower and Exchequer St, is known. It's an area that celebrates eclectic small businesses, run by people for whom style - in hair as well as clothes - is a form of personal expression. This ethos suits the Davey brothers' creative aesthetic perfectly. So wholeheartedly have they captured the loyalty of the hipster crowd working nearby that they were able to open another salon, four years ago, on their own doorstep, on Stephen St Lower.

Originally, that salon was men-only; now they are relaunching it as unisex. "There was an influx of men looking for the hipster styles. And we were right on it. Roles are reversed now, and we needed to facilitate more women," Ian explains. It was an easy transition to make, as they had originally hired fully trained hairdressers with barbering skills, as opposed to barbers.

"Everybody we took on could specialise in weddings, balayage, Great Lengths hair extensions . . . " Ian adds.

Like the original salon, the relaunched premises is all calm greens and dark tones, more akin to a spa experience than a busy city-centre hairdressers. "We're committed to creativity, to high fashion, and customer service," explains Paul. "We slow things down in the salon. Take more time with each client."

Over the years, the brothers have developed a comprehensive education syllabus through training up staff. Next month, they will launch this programme as an educational book for professional hairdressers. It will be available through daveydavey.com, their new retail website, which launched last month and which sells the Davey Davey line of hair accessories, as well as products by Moroccan Oil, Kerastase, and Sachajuan. That's it for now; they're happy to continue to let the business grow organically. As Ian puts it, to be "that perfect little find, rather than that mainstream, in-your-face kind of thing."

Photography by Kip Carroll

Styling and words by Liadan Hynes

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

Sunday Independent

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