Thursday 18 July 2019

Home-grown designers in running for 'Oscars of the retail fashion world'

Yomiko wears one of their AW19 dresses
Yomiko wears one of their AW19 dresses
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

The high street has never been more competitive for Irish fashion brands, but two Dublin labels are celebrating this week after being nominated for the Oscars of the fashion retail scene, taking place in London in September.

Fee G, a label run by husband and wife team Don Gormley and Fiona Heaney, has been shortlisted for the coveted 'Womenswear Fashion Brand of the Year' category.

Organised by 'Drapers Record', the acknowledged bible of the fashion retail scene, the awards recognise the best independent fashion retailers and brands throughout the UK and Ireland.

Set up 15 years ago, fee G has been shortlisted in the category alongside international brands such as Barbour, Gianni and Essentiel Antwerp. They will be judged on their performance, margins, after-sales service, most improved line and most commercial direction.

The success of the Ballymount-based label means it has a loyal customer following and the designs are worn by Susanna Reid on ITV, Hannah Vaughan Jones on CNN, Nuala Carey on RTÉ and president's wife Sabina Higgins.

Fiona, the creative director and designer, said: "This is an exciting time for the fee G brand, which is evolving, and we are focused on international growth.

Fiona Heaney and her husband Don Gormley. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Fiona Heaney and her husband Don Gormley. Photo: Steve Humphreys

"The deliveries of our AW19 collection start this week and it is an exciting time for the company in a very challenging industry.

"Brexit has been going on for so long, timescale plans keep moving, but we have always focused on designing and delivering great collections and will continue to do this in the midst of Brexit."

Meanwhile, Cairenn Foy from Sandymount has been shortlisted for the 'Best New Brand' category for her range of luxury children's clothing, and she is fortunate to have her very own house model, her daughter Ava (5).

The growing childrenswear trend is heavily influenced by Princess Charlotte-style traditional dresses and cardigans, a style that has certainly helped sales of Cairenn's lace-embellished and smocked dresses.

Cairenn Foy and her daughter Ava Foy Smyth (5). Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Cairenn Foy and her daughter Ava Foy Smyth (5). Photo: Colin O'Riordan

"Being shortlisted means a lot. Psychologically, it is definitely important, because I work on my own and it's lovely to the get the recognition," said Cairenn.

Irish Independent

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