With a homepage of stark, monochrome stripes and a name that leaves, quite literally, everything to the imagination, accessories label Don’t Kill My Vibe, conjures up an air of allure from the get go. Having launched just two years ago you’ll be hard up finding much in-depth information on this web-based brand. Even when scrolling feverishly through the World Wide Web, as this writer did, will you not come across a whole load on the two designers behind it. Kendrick Lamar’s song of (almost) the same name will, depending on your preference, accost you, or greet you at every turn. But in terms of a bit of background on this neo-Irish brand, you will find next to nothing. No drawn out bio, no mission statement of schemes and dreams, and no excessive copy instructing you to buy now or regret later. Basically, there is no bullshit. There is, save for a short and whimsical spiel about Fleetwood Mac and Tupac, just the product. And for young, Irish designers, Niamh Mooney and Ciara Stewart, that seems to be more than enough.
Full-time designers by trade, the friends, and now business partners, established Don’t Kill My Vibe out of a need for creativity. “It’s hard when you’re working full-time for a company,” explains Ciara, “you’re working within someone else’s limits.” Needing an outlet for their own imaginings, the vibe, so to speak, started off more as a hobby than a business. “We wanted to do something that was a little bit of fun,” says Ciara. “We had been friends for years and we both shared a love of jewellery and fashion.” Turning that love into something legit, it was by chance, through a friend of Niamh’s, that the girls initially made a contact in the US, which led to their first buying trips in L.A and New York. From then on the trips continued and a vivacious vibe was brought back across the Atlantic.
A haul to revere, Don’t Kill My Vibe, presents an array of eclectic and ornate pieces. The jewellery, which boasts an individual style, is sometimes made with crystal and always inserted with the quirky taste of the two owners. Tastes which, according to Ciara, do not always coincide. “It sounds kind of strange but, even though we do like a lot of the same things, we have two completely different styles”. Something of help rather than of hindrance though, Ciara says that this mix a la Mode works for them on buying trips. “Of course there are things that we don’t agree on, but we’ve got a back and forth that works. It’s so great to do it [buying] with somebody else, to have that second opinion.”
So it’s together that Ciara and Niamh, infusing aspects of their individual palates, provide Ireland, and the rest of the world, with the handpicked pieces of Don’t Kill My Vibe. Pieces which, according to Ciara, are a portrayal of all things badass and beautiful. Quite a mix as it stands, the trinkets become even more endearing with their Fleetwood Mac/Tupac comparisons. The sound of this silver (crystal or vertex) is described as a duet of the music giants. When asked about the meaning of this hypothetical hymn, Ciara gives a giggle, but then promptly explains that, “each and every piece we choose has a uniqueness to it” and, indeed, so would that duet.
From music, back to mode, to the big C word, we ask Ciara, who the product is aimed at. “Everyone and anyone,” a wistfulness in her voice. And then, breaking it down simply she says, “Anyone who doesn’t give a shit.” A welcomed answer, particularly in today’s times of social media surplus and the constant succumbing to the Celebrity Who Wore What. What Ciara and Niamh claim to bring is something with a bit more individuality and, with that, attitude to boot. “Everything we buy, we buy with a confident customer in mind. Someone with attitude, who isn’t afraid to step away from the high street.”
A step so few manage to take because the world’s love of fast, affordable fashion. Don’t Kill My Vibe finds a way to help achieve this, mainly due to its cost. With prices ranging between €8 and €28, Don’t Kill My Vibe is one of the few Irish independent businesses to boast such budget fairs. “We keep prices low, because we think of ourselves and what we want and what we can afford to buy. So many brands are so over-priced, we want our stuff to be affordable, to be accessible to everyone.” Accessible attitude for less than 30 quid? We’ve had worse offers.
Don’t Kill My Vibe is available to shop online now at www.dontkillmyvibe.ie with free shipping all over Ireland.
Words: Sinead O’Reilly