Irish Designer Week: Kathy de Stafford

Fashion & Jewellery

Already a noted occasion wear designer, Kathy de Stafford began designing bridal wear when some of her loyal clients got engaged and asked her if she would design their wedding dresses. She opened her bridal store in Dublin City Centre in 1990, four years after working from small attic rooms on South William Street, and set about bringing her classic and instantly recognisable dresses to the Irish wedding market. 

A design house where quality is consistent and customer service is paramount is one that will thrive and prosper and that is just what de Stafford did. In 1999, Kathy opened another store in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, stocking Novia D’art and Cymbeline as well as Kathy’s own designs. Then in 2006 Kathy took on another daring project when she brought designers such as Christian Lacroix and Valentino to Howth, North Dublin. She also became the exclusive stockist of Spanish design house Pepe Botella. It was with this exclusivity in mind that Kathy launched the brand new de Stafford Couture collection.

“I opened de Stafford Couture as a result of talking to the managers of both my Nenagh and Dublin salons,” says Kathy. “We identified a requirement in the bridal market for an exclusive one-to-one couture experience.”

Kathy’s international reputation is a testament to her eclectic collections, which year after year comprise of gowns that epitomize diverse personalities, styles, desires and shapes. Her current collection, she says, is inspired by listening carefully to what her brides wanted to wear and her love of "vintage gowns jewellery and architecture, especially the beautiful lines of the Art Deco period.” Each dress is tenderly created and handcrafted with the highest quality luxury fabrics such as pure silk and organza. Her gowns are finished to a couture standard, with Kathy and her team reshaping and resizing to the bride’s individual specifications.

When it comes to struggling Irish designers starting out in the market, Kathy’s advice is to keep with it. “Never give up your dream, no matter how hard and how long it takes,” she says. "Seeing your clients delight and happiness in your creations is the most amazing reward.”

Kathy’s gowns range in price from €900 to €3,000.

Phone: +353 1 679 8817
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kathy de stafford
Rose | Layla

irish bridal designer
Diva | George V

kathy de stafford bridal
Romanza | Sandy Lane

one shoulder fishtail dress
Firenzi | Fleur

kathy de stafford couture
Naomi | Sara

kathy de staffor dresses

kathy de stafford 2012
Camilla | Sophie

kathy de stafford dress
Ravello | Aphrodite

By Karen Birney