Rockin' the high street: how Irish stalwart Carraig Donn is thriving in a challenging retail environment
Irish stalwart Carraig Donn continues to thrive in a challenging retail landscape by balancing heritage with exclusive new labels, writes Bairbre Power
It's hard not to be struck by the fashion journey that the Carraig Donn brand has been on for over half a century.
Starting out in business in 1965 with a store on the Aran Islands, initially the brand was all about knits and servicing the tourist trade on the westerly edge of Europe. The year the Hughes family opened for business, Mary Quant was taking London by storm with her mini skirts and hotpants and Paris was agog at André Courrèges' modern, futuristic designs.
In the intervening years, the family has innovated its fashion offer. Heritage is important to Carraig Donn and it has introduced a number of in-house exclusive brands such as the youthful Rowen Avenue and J'Aime la vie, which is full of Parisienne nuances.
Its big showstopper this season is undoubtedly its exclusive Italian label, Pala D'oro. This season's collection was photographed to show off its rich blend of autumnal colours, flattering shapes and luxurious layering at affordable prices. Each piece in this collection is sourced from Milan with the Irish customer in mind.
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This autumn has proved exceedingly busy for Carraig Donn, which last month opened a new 30,000 sq ft logistics and warehousing centre in Co Mayo. While last week, it opened a new store in Castlebar and on November 8, it its 42nd store will open at The Square in Tallaght.
Pala D’oro clothing and Soul and Joularie jewellery from Carraig Donn stores nationwide and online from carraigdonn.com
Stylist: Clementine MacNeice
Photographer: Magda Horodecka, carraigdonn.com
Model: Aoife Ruttledge, 1st Option, 1stoption.ie
Make-Up: Tara O’Farrell, tara-makeup.com
Hair: Lisa Smyth, lisasmythmakeup.com
Location: Bellinter House, bellinterhouse.com