Brendan Courtney and Sonya Lennon in fashion deal with Dunnes Stores
Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney are today celebrating taking their fashion brand to a new destination - in house at Dunnes Stores.
The former 'Off The Rails' TV style commentators turned designers have inked an exclusive collaboration deal with the birth of the new 'Lennon Courtney at Dunnes Stores' brand.
Launching in September, the first season of the collaboration will feature over 20 pieces, including dresses, separates and the quick wardrobe fixers for which the pair have built up a loyal base of fans in a few years.
After five seasons as an independent label and with their own store, The Central Dairy on Dublin's Stephen Street, their designs will no longer be available in independent boutiques.
The new collaboration sees Brendan and Sonya joining respected Irish designers like Paul Costelloe, Carolyn Donnelly, Leigh Tucker and Helen James, who have signed up with Dunnes Stores.
Speaking to the Irish Independent from New York, where she has been promoting the pair's other fashion business project, FrockAdvisor, the social fashion commerce platform, Sonya said business was good and their order book was up 26pc this season.
"When this happened, it seemed a great way to remodel the business," she explained.
"This is an opportunity to expand the brand and to make it more accessible, bigger, and that was very hard to turn down. It just seemed like the clever thing to do."
With Brendan on holidays in Vietnam, Sonya explained how, due to their success, they had identified the need for a strategic partner to grow their company to its potential.
"Dunnes Stores was a natural fit for us, given their stable of prestige Irish designers, and with them as a partner, we feel that we can grow our visibility and accessibility as Irish designers. We love the idea that many more women will be able to afford to buy our clothes."
In a statement last night, Dunnes Stores said the collaboration marked "a significant development" and reinforced its position "as a designer-led" fashion store.
"The addition adds to the growing reputation of Dunnes Stores as the premium high street store group for Irish design.
"Paul Costelloe and Carolyn Donnelly have been trail blazers for Dunnes Stores, repositioning the group as a destination for interesting affordable fashion and bringing contemporary Irish design to the high street."
Dunnes added that Lennon Courtney "will add a seductive contemporary edge to fashion" in their stores.