My name is Kate Nowak and I’m delighted to welcome you to FiftyFive65!
We’re an online store based in Dublin, Ireland, offering a range of “new vintage” clothing for ladies. The name? It’s simple: our retro styles are strictly rooted in the magic ten year span from 1955 to 1965.
Moving to Ireland nearly ten years ago from Poland, I had no real conception of what it meant to have or even follow a dream. When my husband and I first had the basic idea that would become FiftyFive65 back in 2010 we were preparing our wedding and thinking about the kind of clothes we wanted to wear on our big day and how we would make them. It was then that the idea of manufacturing and selling mid-century garments came to us--the dream staring us in the face all the time. Travelling around the world over 2011 and 2012 we were lucky enough to see many beautiful places and had the time to slowly create a more detailed vision of that elusive dream. We came back to Ireland with notebooks and random sheets of paper scribbled with endless lists, scraps of fabric and details we believed could come in handy for something. Our notebooks evolved and started filling with sketches of skirts, dresses and ideas that got us truly excited.
When we came back from our global gallivanting the best possible start we could get was in Sligo. There we participated in an Enterprise Ireland supported programme called New Frontiers. Every dreamer needs to be brought back on the ground at some point--and that's exactly what happened to us. You know, it's not all design and playing with colours! This programme opened our eyes to the many different and challenging aspects of starting and maintaining a small business of any kind.
Fashion came to me quite late. In my early 20s I started paying attention to form and colour, to what I and other people were wearing and what it means to wear clothes as a picture of your self-expression. This realisation was marked by my joyful acquisition of a few wonderful vintage pieces--jewellery, and accessories that became little treasures to me. Right then it felt like the whole vintage world opened before me. These small things were soon embellished by vintage clothes and furniture and an ever-increasing curiosity about fashion history and the great designers who made it happen. The mid-century period became my firm favourite: the ultra-feminine design; the simple yet striking shapes; the vibrant colours; they all lured me into this enduring love affair with the 50s and 60s. I would spend whole lunch hours and weekends in vintage shops, chatting to the ladies behind the counters, getting my fix each and every time.
As any vintage fan will tell you, it’s difficult to get the right size--pot luck in fact. Being a size 14 I was finding it harder and harder to let go of things because it simply didn't fit. Let's face it, back in the 50s women were...well, smaller. The notion of “new vintage” clothing then came to mind: multiple sizes; new, unused clothing with less wear and tear; fine modern fabrics. That notion has now become FiftyFive65 and I hope you like our store.
Thanks for visiting and please say hello or ask any questions you might have via our contact page.