Ireland’s first runner cleaning company wants your dirty sneakers
Stylefile: Sharp suits, clean runners and boutique birthdays
Ireland’s first professional sneaker care company is called Kultur.
Grubby sneakers can let you down, but it’s a chore trying to clean them. Now two Dubliners have set up Ireland’s first professional sneaker care company called Kultr doing away with that tedious and messy task. Tony O Brien and Ben Mulligan have between them clocked up more than a decade working with global brands including Vodafone and Jameson and have a sharp understanding of customer service. While shoe diversity and street style have made sneakers more popular than conventional leather shoes, cleaning them has become more of a challenge.
Kultr offers two services; one a “Sneaker Laundry” which includes delivery and collection and the other a “pop-up shop” offering on-the-spot cleaning on client’s foot which takes about 10 minutes – a version of the shoe shine service. Its technicians are specialists at cleaning all shoe types and materials, and rates are €15 for a once-over clean; €20 for exterior surfaces, laces, tongues and inset stain removal; €35 for the “Pristine Clean”, for all of the above plus under sole, internal lining, insole and deodorising. It also offers shoe trees €5, personal sneaker care kits for €25 and protect spray €5. See www.kultr.xyz and Instagram @kultrsneakercare
HAVAN A BIRTHDAY
Havana boutique in Donnybrook marks 25 years in business this year and remains still the only place in Ireland stocking Simone Rocha, Comme des Garcons and Junya Watanabe. New labels introduced this season include Ulla Johnson known for her bohemian craftsmanship, Kalita for modern beachwear, and Three Graces; the latter’s resort wear is the brainchild of an Irish woman originally from a Goresbridge farm who is now based in Switzerland.
Catherine Johnson founded Three Graces in 2015 originally as a lingerie line, but found that women were buying her easygoing shapes for glamorous holiday wear. In pure cotton, sandwashed silk and linen, Johnson trials each piece in the collection which she says is about the connection between fashion and escapism; she lives an enviable life in the Swiss alps with her husband and family. She wants Three Graces “to be the go-to brand for chic vacation dressing”. Visit havanaboutique.ie
Nicky Wallace is a name synonymous with sharp suiting. Growing up in Wexford surrounded by old school tailoring, the designer developed a deep understanding of the craft. His first collection launched in 1982 and a shop in Dublin was opened in 2000. A regular at menswear trade fairs in New York and Florence (while also pursuing an interest in deep sea diving), he eventually left Ireland and settled in the historic port of Saint Malo in Brittany where his spacious seaside boutique attracts wealthy customers mostly from Paris. He has recently returned home to his family in Ireland but continues to sell his ready-to-wear line from his website where shirts are €150-€160, tailored denims €180 and dress jeans €200 while also maintaining his made-to-measure service – suits have noticeable details such as coloured buttonholes, velvet collars or channel stitched lapels. Everything is made by small Italian artisan families using traditional techniques and the finest Italian fabrics – extra fine wool, kid mohair, linen, cotton and silk. He also tailors for women. Visit his website nickywallace.com