Worth pop­ping in

Bloss, a new pop- up in Dun­drum, runs un­til Jan­uary 7th and fea­tures prod­ucts from new and es­tab­lished de­sign­ers, writes Deirdre McQuil­lan

The Irish Times Magazine - - FASHION -

When de­sign­ers Emma Manley and Jenny Hus­ton in tan­dem with their ac­coun­tant Paul Hay­cock de­cided to join forces for a re­tail ad­ven­ture in Oc­to­ber, it was the re­al­i­sa­tion of an am­bi­tious but well re­searched dream.

That is, to sell top Ir­ish de­sign in a lux­ury space start­ing with Dun­drum, one of Ire­land’s top re­tail des­ti­na­tions. They called it Bloss af­ter the pho­netic spell­ing of “blas”, the Ir­ish word for taste and launch­ing with 30 care­fully se­lected brands from can­dles to fash­ion, it of­fered a new des­ti­na­tion, a one- stop shop for shop­pers open­ing their eyes to home prod­ucts of the high­est stan­dard, in­tro­duc­ing new names along­side more fa­mil­iar ones. The pop- up con­tin­ues in Dun­drum in the Pem­broke Quar­ter un­til Jan­uary 7th and now has a wait­ing list of more than 30 de­sign­ers want­ing to come on board.

“We have learnt that you can­not pre­dict any­thing when it comes to how peo­ple shop,” says Manley now months into the ex­pe­ri­ence. Smaller items like Jane Darcy’s can­dles are some of their top sell­ers and that mix of home­ware items, fash­ion and ac­ces­sories for men, women and chil­dren all stylishly dis­played has cap­tured cus­tomer in­ter­est and im­pressed vis­i­tors.

“Cus­tomer ser­vice has been a huge part of our ex­pe­ri­ence and telling the story be­hind the brands,” says Manley. Though Bloss will close in Jan­uary, Dublin has been their test model for more des­ti­na­tions. “We have put graph­ics and sys­tems in place for sales re­ports and de­liv­er­ies and so on. Ir­ish de­sign is not sus­tain­able sell­ing in Ire­land alone – our aim is to push ex­ports and we should be able to pop up any­where as ev­ery­thing can be re­moved and put into a new sit­u­a­tion. We will never com­pete with the big guys, but are try­ing to of­fer some­thing dif­fer­ent. We have in­cred­i­ble de­sign tal­ent on our is­land and each brand we sell we be­lieve can com­pete with Euro­pean, Amer­i­can and la­bels from around the globe.”

Here is a se­lec­tion of Christ­mas buys from Bloss. Mag­a­zine De­cem­ber 8, 2018

■ Above: Jenny Hus­ton and Emma Manley in their Bloss Ir­ish de­sign pop- up in Dun­drum Town Cen­tre; left: Laser cut bomber jacket, ¤ 620, by Cleo Prick­ett

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