Dymphna Killeen and her stepdaughter, Emily, who is modelling one of the many formal dresses available at Déjà Vu.
Luxury labels for all (sssh…)
Swap shops have been a well-kept secret by stylish fashionistas in Dublin for years. After almost a year of searching for a swap shop in the West, I wondered if the secret had yet to be whispered into the ear of the style-conscious this side of the Shannon. Until last week that is, when I came across Déjà Vu in Claremorris, owned by Dymphna Killeen. I was over the moon, as this is truly my favourite kind of shop.
Now for those among you who don’t fully understand the meaning of swap shops, let me explain. Strictly speaking there is no swapping involved, you don’t have to bring anything to the shop, just yourself and your purse. And be warned – the latter will be opened: There are amazing bargains to be had, as top-quality pre-owned clothes are on sale. I know what your thinking – this is just a second-hand clothes shop, right? Wrong! This is much, much more.
Dymphna has clients all over Ireland, and she travels the length and breadth of the country sourcing fabulous clothes, some still with tags on, some worn once or twice, but all in tip-top condition. Best of all ladies, they come at a fraction of their original cost.
Since we’re all more money conscious these days, swap shops offer a fantastic way to update your wardrobe, or perhaps buy a real special-occasion outfit, without having to sacrifice quality for price. It really is designer labels but without the designer prices.
From the outside, Déjà Vu oozes class, and once you step inside, you won’t be disappointed: You’ll be met with the most wonderful array of clothes in all sizes up to 24.
It’s a treasure trove of style, everything from dresses, two-pieces and knitwear to headpieces, handbags and shoes, all displayed beautifully. There are bargains everywhere you look. I spotted lots of Linea Raffaelli outfits and they were priced from €299 to €350. Now given that these were worn once only this is a real bargain. This label would cost from €750 to over €1,000 new.
Déjà Vu is stocked with labels you only ever dreamed about but never thought you could afford. You could pick up Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Karen Millen, Michel Amber, Sonia, Pena, Joseph Ribkoff, Coast, Avoca, Sandwich and loads more… the list goes on! I spotted dresses from as little as €20. An Edina Ronay bag was on sale for €25 and a Julien McDonald black dress cost €18. Remember, though you are not in a regular boutique, so you won’t find what you like in all sizes, and if you spot something you may need to make a quick decision – it might be gone by the time you’ve made your mind up.
Whether you fancy a ‘new’ summer wardrobe, an outfit for a wedding or first communion, or just something to give you that ‘feel good’ factor, then this is the shop for you. I just love the thrill of getting a bargain, but you know what ladies – looking a million dollars for a lot less is priceless.
The mind behind Déjà Vu
Dymphna Killeen is a powerhouse of energy. As well as looking after her young family, she spends ages sourcing, pressing, and tagging all the clothes and accessories for her swap shop in Claremorris. Naturally, this takes up a lot of time, but she’s passionate about what she delivers and believes in quality.
Recognising that a shop unit on main street that was lying empty was a prime position, Dymphna decided to take it on.
Her eye for style is not just for clothes, apparently, as the classic black and white she chose for the façade is perfectly pitched.
Dymphna had wanted to open a swap shop for some time, but she realised the timing needed to be absolutely right.
She believes strongly that it just wouldn’t have worked three years earlier. We ladies still love our labels, but money’s tighter for a lot of us now. Like a glamourous fairy godmother, she decided we shouldn’t do without, and went out to find us the finest bargains.
Déjà Vu opened its doors for the first time last year, and as the word continues to spread, more and more women are finding that a little bit of luxury is still in reach, and all down to Dypmhna… a woman with a keen eye for style – and an opportunity.
Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.