INTERESTING TO see the name of Lisa Duffy pop up in relation to an online row with the mysterious Instagram account Bloggers Unveiled. This has resulted in all manner of legal threats. Meanwhile, it turns out that Lisa’s fashion business has a significant offshore element.
Duffy is the driving force behind the Cari’s Closet brand, having set up her first boutique in 2012 in Malahide, north Co Dublin, before going on to open another four in relatively quick succession, including outlets in Cork, Galway and Belfast. Having started out as a purely dress-hire operation (proving particularly popular in the lucrative debs market), Duffy quickly upped the gears and began stocking a line of clothes for retail, including her own Cari’s Closet line.
Since then, the focus has been on the cariscloset.com website that is “buzzing with Irish fashionistas”. Assorted C-list celebrities pop up among the, er, fashionistas featured by the company, including the likes of Una Healy, Holly Carpenter and Sarah Godfrey.
Unfortunately for Lisa, her brand featured on social media in recent weeks courtesy of Bloggers Unveiled. Not surprisingly this elicited an immediate legal response from Duffy based on what she described as “false and malicious material”.
The Cari’s Closet owner told the Mail on Sunday that “we now only sell our own label” and her website notes, “if you like to buy dresses online, then you and other Irish fashionistas will be able to keep up with all the latest trends”. Also very fashionable are the profits generated by Lisa’s business, with accumulated profits at Cari’s Closet Ltd standing at €645,000 at the end of April last year. The company is shown to be 50:50 owned by Duffy and her hubby, Christopher Kavanagh, although he resigned as a director last year and from the boards of the other profitable sister companies (Cari’s Closet Malahide Ltd, Cari’s Closet Galway Ltd and Cari’s Closet Cork Ltd).
Of more interest maybe is the fact that the shares in assorted Duffy companies are now held by a Maltese registered entity called CJ Clothing Ltd set up in March 2016 with a registered office in Naxxar. Kavanagh is listed on Maltese companies registration documents as a director of CJ Clothing, with an address in Malta, while the other director is Maltese citizen Anton Magro. The shares in the company are shown as being held by something called Noraliza Trading Ltd, with an address in Larnaca in Cyprus. CJ Clothing is profitable and paid out a dividend of €150,000 in 2016.
Meanwhile, another two Maltese companies have also been registered – Cari’s Closet Online UK Ltd and CJ Cari Services Ltd, with the Cypriot company, Noraliza, again shown to be a shareholder in the latter. With such an evolved offshore structure in place, it is surely only a matter of time before Lisa Duffy joins the big international players in the lucrative fashion business.