Many Irish people have been wowed by the stylish designs of Portuguese fashion brand Lanidor on holidays and have been stunned by the quality and colours — but are you aware that in Ireland, the brand is available exclusively in Galway.
Owner Caroline McCarthy is enjoying the journey at having brought this international brand exclusively to Ireland, and in particular to Galway, where fashionistas are flocking to her Lanidor store in Eyre Street to sample the new season's stylish fashions from one of Europe's top fashion houses.
"This is the only place in Ireland where you can get the brand. You cannot buy it in a multi-brand department store. People who have been on holidays in Portugal will have seen the brand and been wowed by the quality and sheer beauty of our designs, now know that they can get that in Ireland. We have a lot of returning customers from Cork and Dublin who travel to Galway because they know that this is the sole outlet for Lanidor in the country."
It is no wonder they are flocking west as Caroline's exclusive contract to bring Lanidor into Ireland means the most on-trend designs are available straight from the top fashion houses of Europe — and into Galway, from where Caroline has plans to expand across the country, to bring these wonderful styles to an increasing number of chic Irish customers.
"I buy small quantities of each style, so it is relatively exclusive. When you go into a shop and you see 40 of the one style of dress, you are hesitant about buying that because you are afraid that you will meet 10 people down town wearing the same dress. Ladies like to be different, and Lanidor can offer that opportunity of relative exclusivity by virtue of the fact that we are so selective about the styles and quantities of our fantastic dresses."
Caroline and her team at Lanidor are kept up to date with the latest designs as she works closely with the buyers and designers based in Portugal who are often ahead of the trends emanating from the catwalks of the major fashion capitals like Paris and Milan.
"They are bang up to date with the latest fashion, and indeed are often ahead of the game in the latest style. Lanidor is very progressive and well ahead of the trends," she said.
Caroline travels to Lisbon periodically to select the most stunning designs that she thinks will be popular in Ireland with the focus on dressy casuals.
Founded in 1966, Lanidor created the 'LA LIFE STYLE' with its vision of 'making people happier' as its continual inspiration, and at the store on Eyre Street, Caroline guarantees that there is something for everyone for every occasion.
"I think people, unless they are going to an occasion, they want something that they can wear again. People who in the past may have bought an expensive outfit for an occasion and never worn it again, they can come to us and get one for a fraction of that cost and wear it again and again. We also sell jewellery and bags, hats, scarves, accessories. We are a one-stop shop for smart casual and fashionable style."
Lanidor also offers a personal shopper service through which they will advise the customer on the most impressive, comfortable, and beautiful outfit for a variety of different occasions, such as wedding, christening, or even job interview.
Caroline's enthusiasm for the brand is positively infectious and her knowledge of the business belies the fact that this venture is her first foray into retail. Working as an executive assistant to various CEOs in London, New York, and Ireland, including 14 years in Creganna Medical, Caroline reveals that running her own business was always a path that she wished to travel.
"This has been in my mind forever, and to do it with such a quality brand is a dream come true. The timing was right and everything fell into place at the tight time.
"We have been thrilled but not surprised by the Irish reaction to the Lanidor range that we carry. When I first saw the brand, I was so impressed by it, by the style and the quality of the clothes, and when I looked at the price, I found it hard to believe that you could buy this quality of clothing at that price. It is very well made, and a lot of it is made in Portugal.
"When I came upon Lanidor first, I knew this would be a fabulous brand for Ireland, and was surprised that nobody else had brought the brand here before that and assumed that somebody would have. When I came back and checked it out, I was delighted to find that it was available.
"I have loved every minute of the journey and I look forward to putting more smiles on the faces of our customers by dressing them in beautiful, stylish outfits and to letting more people know about what is available from Lanidor," she said.