From hand-painted trainers to ethical handbags, here are the buzziest new Irish labels you need to know
Designer Barbara Bennett’s hand-painted sneakers were a viral sensation last summer — and for good reason. The past year has seen sneakers become an integral part to pretty much everybody’s wardrobe, and her customised footwear is a welcome change to your regular black-and-white stripes. The artist paints original designs onto popular sneaker styles, from the likes of Nike and Veja, and takes commissions via Instagram, with plans for an e-commerce platform in the coming months. BUY: Adult trainers from €199, @babsttenneb
Shades of Éadaí is a new addition to the burgeoning Irish streetwear scene. The edgy pieces, many of which are unisex, are a mash-up of streetwear and tailoring — think deconstructed blazers, patchwork shirts, and chunky hardware. The androgynous pieces are curated by designer William Shannon-Doyle, who returned to Ireland during Covid after working in fashion in London for four years, and launched the first collection in December 2020.
BUY: Suspended waist jeans, €80, shadesofeadai.com
aoife® is a luxury lifestyle brand founded by designer Aoife Rooney. The chic, classic bags and accessories are the perfect example of form meeting function, with an added commitment to sustainability. The exterior fabrics and linings used in their bags are 100pc technical regenerated nylon, produced from ghost fishing nets and fabrics destined for landfills.
BUY: Classic tote to backpack, €395, aoifelifestyle.com
Clé is an Irish jewellery brand making bold and vibrant statement earrings from polymer clay and sterling silver. Every piece is handmade by designer Aoife Stapleton in her home studio in the west of Ireland. The designer works with a punchy colour palette and bold shapes, creating miniature works of art to adorn your ears.
BUY: Earrings, €40, clestudio.com
Faye Anna Rochford is the founder and director of FéRí, a whimsical womenswear label that employs hand-painted prints and retro silhouettes in its feminine pieces. Each piece is made using natural, certified organic fabrics and vintage or repurposed textiles. The garments are handmade in small quantities, both locally in Ireland and with a small family-run factory in India which is ethically-
BUY: Dress, €314, feri.ie
Irish-owned label Basic Juju is a contemporary loungewear label featuring hand-dyed and embroidered separates. Founded during the pandemic by Irish creative Shona McEvaddy, the casual pieces inject some much-needed joy into lockdown wardrobes with their uplifting slogans and motifs.
BUY: Sweatshirt, €98 (available in April), pants, €78, basicjuju.com
CULTRSVN was founded by Dublin-based Nina Aigbe in October 2020. The edgy womenswear label has a focus on minimalist pieces in classic colours and figure-hugging silhouettes. Ideal for building a capsule wardrobe, the first collection featured hero pieces like black leather trousers and a simple white vest. The debut summer collection is due to drop in early June.
BUY: Ribbed dress, €80, cultrsvn.com
Niamh Gillespie worked in London for 15 years with fashion heavy-hitters such as Paul Smith, Liberty, Alexander McQueen, House of Hackney and Topshop before returning to Ireland and founding luxury silk scarf label Tidings. Each print is hand-painted by Niamh and the scarves are manufactured by a family-owned business in Italy that prints and handrolls each piece.
BUY: Silk scarf, €279, tidings.ie
MÁLA is a textile studio based in Brooklyn, founded in 2019 by Irish textile designer Hannah Whelan. With a childhood spent between Ireland and the US, the ritual of packing one’s bag was a huge inspiration for the designer, who aims to ethically challenge the conventional bag. You won’t find any typical clutches here; the rainbow-brite bags come in unexpected shapes, like spirals and sunbursts, and areconstructed using hand-stitched and hand-dyed techniques.
BUY: Lil Meanie bag, €120, studiomala.com
Inclusivity is at the core of Dubliner Ciara Allen’s eponymous label, a mostly unisex, made-to-order brand that looks beyond gender when it comes to clothing design. The sculptural garments are reminiscent of both street and sportswear, with utilitarian details like chunky plastic buckles and exposed zips.
BUY: Jacket, and skirt, €170 each, ciaraallendesigns.com