A Landmark Vintage Store in Galway celebrates 15 years open

A Landmark Vintage Store in Galway celebrates 15 years open

It’s been an icon in the fashion scene here in Galway for 15 years, and now in celebration of their upcoming birthday, Public Romance are entering this new age with a vibrant, and refreshed look! Discover it all here…

When Galwegians think of cool and one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, Public Romance is the first place that comes to mind and for good reason! Since opening in 2009, it grew from being a niche destination store to one of the most talked about and loved vintage stores in all Galway. Every visit to Public Romance is a joy, as the welcoming two floor shop acts as an oasis of fantastic finds. With rails lined with items such as gorgeous two pieces, Harley Davidson tees, Levis jeans, dungarees, maxi dresses, and denim mini skirts, when you shop at Public Romance your wardrobe thanks you.

Public Romance’s stellar reputation is the result of owner Sinead and her team’s passion to offer new and old styles to their customer base. In the middle of one of her work days, we were fortunate to grab a quiet moment with Sinead to catch up and learn more about the story of Public Romance.

Sinead’s love for fashion and vintage clothes has been with her all her life, she tells us; “The thing about fashion is that it is forever evolving and changing. I was in love with vintage when I was younger. I was obsessed with ‘the find,’ and the rummaging, and finding those unique pieces, so I lived for that. You’d get an absolute hit when you found it, a really amazing piece. It was the most satisfying feeling ever.”

As Sinead spoke, the love she has for her craft could be felt in everything she said. Before opening Public Romance, Sinead worked as a fashion stylist in London, styling for everything from magazines to music videos. It was during one visit home that she noticed there weren't any vintage shops in Galway, this gap in the industry was the pull that Sinead needed to fulfil the desire she had had in college - to open her own vintage store. Thanks to her time in London she was familiar with independent brands in London that weren’t available in Galway and decided to bring them to Galway and open Public Romance. At that time the shop sold vintage upstairs and independent new labels on the ground floor, unfortunately during the recession when those labels closed down Sinead adapted to an all over vintage store.

Using the expertise and skills that she developed working as a stylist, Sinead started upcycling and redesigning items that weren’t selling, giving the fabrics a new lease of life in new styles and shapes. As the business grew over the years, Sinead hired a local seamstress to help out creating these projects, and if you are interested in seeing the result products of these alterations, all of their new stunning reworked items can be purchased in store at Public Romance.

Like fashion itself, Public Romance has weathered the many trends that have appeared and disappeared over the years by staying true to their three core ethos of Individuality, Sustainability, and Inclusivity, which are incorporated into the shopping experience at Public Romance. Irrespective of your age, gender or size, Public Romance will introduce you to your perfect ‘fit and style.

This September, Public Romance is celebrating its 15th birthday with new branding to reflect the massive changes they’ve seen in vintage style since they opened and to respond to the interests of their current customer base. As part of the celebrations, they have just launched a new website at www.publicromance.com, and will have competitions and promotions in stores over the months ahead. Of course, they will also have a birthday party to mark the occasion as well. Stay tuned for updates on that!

Reflecting on the 15 years of Public Romance and the new changes to the store, Sinead adds; “I would firstly like to say a huge thank you to all of my incredible employees who have been such a part of Public Romance throughout the years. I’d also like to thank all of our customers. We have really really loyal customers, and I still see the same people coming in that have been coming in since day one. Galway is such a wonderful city, it’s so lovely to be able to have a business here and be surrounded by other really fantastic businesses and to have such great customers.” 15 years on, it’s evident the people of Galway return the sentiment, because whenever we hear responses to the request for recommendations for vintage in Galway, Public Romance is always number one.

To stay updated on all the latest news from Public Romance follow them on Instagram or Facebook, and then head on over to their website here to check out their new stock and treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind steal.

All photos by Ado Lyons.

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