First encounters


In conversation with UNA MULLALLY

GARRETT PITCHERowns the Indigo Cloth shop and agency on South William Street in Dublin 2 and is from Malahide, Dublin

‘I FIRST MET JAMES within the first few weeks of the store being open. He came in and was obsessing over a jacket. He became a regular customer and it evolved into going for a pint. We had similar interests and it went from the store to pints to hanging out.

“We’re kind of what you’d call the best of friends. We talk about all the work stuff but that translates into real everyday life. We’re there for each other through the pressures and strains of work, relationships, and real life.

“We’ve both gone through loads of stuff the last few years and we’ve been a support for each other. Whether that’s a pint of Guinness in Grogan’s or drinking whiskey in each other’s gaffs, that’s what we do.

“I was in his house at the weekend for a barbecue; he throws the best barbecues. He’s a great chef, so is his missus. An invite to his house is always a winner. He’s a very generous guy, generous with his time and generous in general.

“When I came out of college, I went to work for Irish Distillers and I suppose I have always been in marketing brand management. In terms of fashion, my first job was Pepe Jeans brand manager. At Talmarck I managed a portfolio of brands. Then I went travelling, knowing I was going to step up a store and an agency when I got back. I worked in a place called Edwards Imports in Australia, then I came back to Dublin to open the store. There’s always been that agency side to the business. I would have been brand manager with Lee jeans, we built the dublintown.iewebsite and manage Thread mag as well.

“When [James and I] talk, it’s kind of a funny one. Generally we plot to take over the world. If I’m honest, that’s what we do! We discuss the latest goings on, give each other advice on different projects we’re working on and come up with some pet projects of our own. We have very similar lifestyles. We’re both very into fashion; we’re Tumblr mates. We have similar interests in design, architecture, fashion, and we would have similar ideas on how agencies design themselves for the future.

“It’s about approaching the right brands, having a belief in the brands we work with, so we’d talk a lot about that, so it’s kind of all encompassing. I guess we talk about everything from what barbecue sauce to use, to how Twitter is changing stuff.

“He’s quite an inspiration to me too, because if you bounce an idea off him he’ll say ‘why don’t you make it the best you can?’

“One of his favourite sayings is ‘for every Friday night, there’s a Monday morning’, and that’s a motto we live by. You have to be there for your mates. If I picked up the phone, he’d be there in an instant. He and Róisín are one of those couples where you look at them and say ‘how cool are they?’

“He’s a pleasure to be around. He’s my go-to guy.”

JAMES DUNNEis planning director at Target McConnells advertising agency and is from Templeogue, Dublin

‘I WORK FOR AD agency Target McConnells. I’m a planning director there. I live in Harold’s Cross with my wife Róisín, a dog called Aggie and a cat called Midori. I’ve been working in advertising for about 10 years and, as Garret would say, I care far too much about small things.

“I used to work in retail years ago. I think it was the first weekend Indigo Cloth opened up that myself and Róisín walked into it. It was a weird experience because it stood out from anything in Dublin. A few years back I lived in Stockholm, and it reminded me of my time there. It was very unique in Dublin, not so much a shop as curation of ideas. The approach was really fresh. I got chatting to Garrett and it became obvious that we were really pedantic about small stuff like turn-ups on jeans. It’s hard to nerd out on denim in Dublin. The shop became a hang-out spot for guys who obsess about Monocle magazine, or Japanese denim. Luckily enough, we did buy stuff as well, otherwise Garrett would be on the street.

“Soon it became impossible to go into town without going to Indigo Cloth. With my background in advertising, it became a barter thing; he’d give me discount on jeans, I’d occasionally give him an alright idea.

“When you’re a bloke in your 30s you think you’ve got a cap on your mates, but it’s amazing what denim can do. He’s saved my ass on a couple of birthdays and anniversaries as well, so he’s earned his keep as a mate. It’s funny – you go through your 20s with an inflexible group mentality and it’s really weird when you get married and your career kicks in because you tend to gravitate towards people who might not share the same history with you, but you share the same mindset. Gar is a guy you can sit down with and talk to. Other things Gar has brought to me is a completely new way that people see brands, and by hanging out with a curator, you see how people work.

“I come from a big rag trade family – my brother works in Louis Copeland and my dad worked in the rag trade too. It’s interesting to see all the rules Gar has broken – it’s staggering.

“A lot of people who go into the shop have maybe heard about it, but when you go in there, you stay there. He’s a smart guy.”

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