In 1936, Nora and Joady Fogarty founded Brendella Skirts Ltd and started making skirts from a small factory at 10, Cumberland Street, Dún Laoghaire. The company soon garnered a reputation for manufacturing a high-quality garment at a fair price. Brendella Skirts became an international hit, prompting the Fogartys to coin the slogan, “We Skirt The Globe”.
The writing has been on the wall for the building for some time. In 2018, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council granted planning permission to abolish the old factory and salesroom and construct fourteen apartments. The good news is that Brendella have not gone out of business and recently moved their operations to Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. However, Dún Laoghaire has lost another piece of its past. I found the distinctive Brendella logo a comforting landmark on my way into town.
It’s a sign of the times that Brendella are now selling scalloped face masks, a side line that many manufacturers, both large and small, have started as a response to the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Brendella currently have stockists all over Ireland, England, Scotland, Denmark, France, Germany and Canada. This short documentary tells the story of how a small company based in Dún Laoghaire became known throughout the world.
Number 10, Cumberland Street has been demolished, as the feature image above and these pictures of the street and site show.
Tales from the East Pier would like to wish Brendella Skirts Ltd. all the best for the future in Kilcoole. They may be gone from Dún Laoghaire, but they won’t be forgotten.
Thank you for writing this article. While it wasn’t a pair of sisters, but a husband and wife who started the business. My great-grandparents Joady and Nora were able to create a business that lasted four generations, including myself. I’m their great granddaughter and I’ve been working in the factory making PPE for the HSE, masks, and a variety of our regular business. Hard to see the building I’ve known so well my entire life reduced to rubble, but it is a relief that we are still able to do what we do, albeit in a different location.
Thank you for this wonderful information Míona. Also, error corrected! thanks again, E
I remember there was a Rolls Royce in the yard beside the factory for years