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.