Indie Fashion Boutiques to Visit in Cork, Ireland

Miss Daisy Blue boutique in Cork
Miss Daisy Blue boutique in Cork | © Miki Barlok / Courtesy of Miss Daisy Blue
Kate Phelan

Cork’s thriving style scene goes far beyond the high street chain stores that line St Patrick’s Street and Opera Lane. In its narrow side streets and market arcades, you’ll find a host of flourishing independent fashion retailers that cater to Cork’s sartorially minded citizens.
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Samui

Samui, Drawbridge Street

Voted Ireland’s best fashion store in the Irish Times’ annual Best Shops Competition 2016, Samui is a supremely stylish space with a sterling reputation. Just off Cork’s main shopping avenue, Samui is owned and stocked by savvy fashion buyer Clodagh Shorten, and her choice selections of garments have been featured in the country’s leading fashion magazines, such as The Gloss. Shorten has created a destination store for forward-looking fashion – browsing here in the Spring/Summer season will reveal items by designers like Acne Studios, Alexander Wang, Osman, Dries Van Noten and Golden Goose Deluxe Brand.

Olori

Another finalist in last year’s Irish Times Best Shops Competition, Olori can be found on Oliver Plunkett Street (one of the city’s primary retail areas and winner of a Great Street Award from London’s Academy of Urbanism). Run by two sisters, Olori has earned its place among Ireland’s foremost independent fashion boutiques by relentlessly focusing on quality. The collections here blend Irish designers like Roisin Linnane with global brands such as Cacharel, as well as international up-and-comers like 88&Half. Look out for pieces by Hungarian brand Nanushka – founder Sandra Sandor is finally getting the recognition she deserves.

The Retro Workshop

Opened in 2016, The Retro Workshop vintage clothing store was co-founded by a highly experienced master tailor, so the in-house personal tailoring studio is guaranteed to be good. This store specialises in heavenly vintage menswear (especially suits that date from the 1940s onwards) and accessories, but there are also plenty of one-of-a-kind items for ladies to swoon over – in particular clothes by Italian vintage brand Buandiva, set up by Irish expat Niamh Dwyer.

Fran & Jane

Having opened their original Cork boutique in 2002, the owners of Fran & Jane now have sister stores in Dublin and Tipperary. Until relatively recently, the business had its own brand, but now it concentrates exclusively on retail, bringing chic labels from across the world to the women of Cork. It’s one of a select few Cork fashion stores to stock Freddy Jeans – the Italian brand’s stretchy jeans and sportswear with a patented ‘bum shaping technology’ frequently sells out across the country – and the brand portfolio also includes Parisian line Tara Jarmon plus Ireland’s own Caroline Kilkenny.

Miss Daisy Blue

Miss Daisy Blue

Vintage treasure trove Miss Daisy Blue boasts a prime location in the Market Parade area of Cork’s famed English Market, but its loyal customers love it for more than just that. A visit to this genuinely charming shop could result in the discovery of anything from a 1970s shamrock-covered Irish dancing costume to a soft suede Christian Dior fringed skirt, even an original 1930s silk satin wedding gown (bridal wear can be viewed only by appointment, so book ahead for that). Miss Daisy Blue also does vintage menswear. A selection of their stock can be browsed online at Open For Vintage.

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