Derry’s new pop-up shops: Bridgene Graham, Coalesce Wearable Art


When the pandemic hit in 2020, designer Bridgene Graham and her partner, tattoo artist Niall Lynch, had to shut down both of their businesses.

The couple, who also just welcomed a baby girl, started thinking about different ways to stay creative and generate income.

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Bridgene Graham’s Coalesce Wearable Art is one of six new pop-up shops at Foyleside Shopping Centre.

“Niall was drawing Japanese-inspired art prints, and I said, ‘That would look really good on kimonos and t-shirts,'” recalls Bridgene, who studied at Belfast Metropolitan Fashion College and turned specializing in couture pieces and pre-2020 clothing alterations.

“After months of sketching, digital designing, pattern cutting and sample making, Coalesce – meaning growing together and coming together as one – was born.”

Their product line includes streetwear and special occasion pieces, for people who want to stand out from the crowd. “When I have events like weddings, I never find anything really different, it’s a ‘little bit of me,'” Bridgeen says. “Now I can just put on one of our silk kimonos and a sash, and I’m good to go.”

Being part of RE:IMAGINE showed Bridgeen and Niall just how advanced their lockdown project is. Bridgeen admits, “We were stealing to begin with; we had no idea how serious it would get! The buzz with the pop up is just amazing; we all help each other. Opening in the city center would have been such a risk for us to do it alone.

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Dragon’s Den-style locations lead to six new pop-up shops in Derry and Strabane


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