Naomi Fitzgibbon is a Dublin-based entrepreneur who has recently launched Vintage Finds You, an online shop and styling service. Naomi is passionate about vintage clothing; she wears it every day. Vintage Finds You boasts a collection of bespoke and designer pieces and specializes in Irish designers from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. While it is well-established in the states, the Irish vintage movement is just beginning to really pick up momentum in Ireland, and it’s a great place to find pieces - both in store and online. Naomi has an impeccable eye for a good find, with Ib Jorgensen, Hermes and Gucci pieces, as well as Laura Biagiotti gracing her collection.
“It’s amazing to find a vintage gem. I have my own quality control. I won’t sell a damaged piece, I also try not to revamp pieces too much. They have to be intact. The quality has to be there,” says Naomi.
“My earliest memories are linked to clothes, my mother’s, mine and my dolls. My mother was my style icon, always looking impeccable and always following her own beat, making her own clothes and all of ours (there were seven kids in the family). My communion dress was an incredible feat, made by mum and I will never forget the embroidered Anglaise lace and the white velvet ribbon bow (which I dipped in my soup on the day).”
The Irish government is actively supporting female-led startups. Naomi works as nurse and manages the Cancer Nurseline for the Irish Cancer Society. This kind of ‘dual’ entrepreneur is becoming the norm in Ireland, women who have a passion and do what they love at every waking hour outside of their day job. Whether it’s a craft, tech, food, beauty or fashion business.
The launch took place in Drury Buildings in Dublin, a space that’s replete with its own brand of vintage furniture. It was in that fitting warehouse space that one of Ireland’s most famous stylists and big Vintage Finds You fan, Sonya Lennon, introduced Naomi and the brand, back in October.
Naomi has a collection that will also suit different shapes of sizes, not just a 1950s’ tiny waist. ‘Normal’ women are considered.
“I search with a few key characters in mind. The businesswoman who wants to make a subtle impression with classic pieces and mixes her vintage with her ‘normal’ wardrobe. The ‘style maverick’ who is in the fashion business. She needs to be super-stylish, leading the charge with her style. But she also needs to be individual with unique pieces that are quirky and challenge the mundane everyday look.”
“Then there is the lady who is attends multiple functions and red carpet events, in the paper on a regular basis and needs that stand-out couture gown that will grab attention. The Vintage aficionado is someone who is always after the next Vintage Find to add to her collection, clothes or accessories, the rarer the better, the hunt is always on! When I find a piece, I check the label for the designer and the story behind the dress. This helps confirm the era. If the piece is bespoke, I look at the seams, zips and material to date the era,” she commented.
Much like antiques, you have to know what you’re looking for to be a true vintage aficionado. True to form, Naomi was rummaging through a charity shop when she saw a sparkle out of the corner of her eye. She pulled out the dress and it just kept coming with yards of silk jersey floating around her. When she saw the Ib Jorgensen label her knees nearly gave way.
“I couldn’t believe it, the holy grail of Irish Couture in my hands. Ib Jorgensen was one of Ireland’s leading fashion designers from the 50’s to the 90’s His clientele were from the wealthiest and stylish women in the country.
A graduate of Dublin’s Grafton Academy of Dress Designing, Ib was only twenty-two years old when he set up his own salon and his name was to become synonymous with elegant, glamorous clothing. He had a relentless attention to detail in his work, and the hallmarks of his classic clothing were fine tailoring, perfect finishing and exquisite fabrics.
I bought it and we had to go for a coffee to sit down and take it all in. The following week I went back to the same store and lo and behold, there was another IB. It was like it was waiting to be found by me.
Naomi has only started, she plans to now establish herself as a stylist and consultant of all things Irish vintage. She also wants ladies of all shapes to approach her for advice Vintage Finds You is just the start of a vintage assault on the senses.
For more visit Vintagefindsyou.com.
Read more: Bono’s tech-y daughter Jordan heads up Brooklyn startup