Great Scott


Pamela Scott opened 40 years ago and has stayed the course by watching trends and catering for all ages, writes DEIRDRE MCQUILLAN

‘We shop for three generations of women,” says Richard Barron, buying director of Pamela Scott, the Irish owned family business that opened its first store on Grafton Street nearly 40 years ago. It now has 24 stores nationwide, 10 of which opened in the past five years.

Barron and his small team buy in New York, London and Paris and reckon that they stock more than 150 labels, being particularly known for winter colour.

More recently they have been creating their own brands called Twist, (casual wear), Sophie B, (modern, layered) and Zapara, which is fashion and price driven.

“People want new things on a regular basis and big brands are too big to be flexible. Doing our own means we can control everything: colour, price, fabric,” says Barron.

New this season, for instance, are the coloured, inexpensive pu-leather look-alike jackets from Sophie B in mint, mustard or black, teamed with either print jeans by NYDJ (Not Your Daughter’s Jeans), Marc Cain’s cityscape crops or plain black trousers. A bird print parka in a black melange is typical of Twist, while the black and white shift dress is a Zapara special.

On the lower ground floor in the Grafton Street shop is Richard Alan, with labels more familiarly associated with the original store, such as Escada, Marella, Marc Cain and Jaeger.

All the spring trends – pastels, prints, florals and monochrome – have been well covered. One example is the ladylike two-tone dress with matching coat from Tara Jarmon and the neat mint knit dress from Zapara.

“We’re looking for new brands all the time,” says Barron. A big effort is being made to become more like a department store and expand shoes, which represent 20 per cent of turnover, along with other affordable accessories such as scarves and bags. “We want to have early price points for every age group,” says Barron. In March, the store will introduce a small homeware section. In the meantime, expect to see new collections every six to eight weeks, with “event dressing” clearly focused.

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