Founder of loungewear label REUBEN AVENUE, and creative director for a host of other luxury lifestyle brands, Dublin-born EOIN DILLON enjoys a mix of sport and FOODIE EXPERIENCES wherever he finds himself …
Free weekends have been a bit sporadic since launching my own business late last year, but a day off to recalibrate and check on what I call life admin is essential. Because many of my clients are in different time zones I often work until 10pm at night. So my weekend generally starts when I close my laptop.
I travel a lot; in fact I look forward to my time on a plane as a chance to sit still in one place for a while. In the past six months I’ve been to twelve countries for both business and pleasure. Memorable trips included campaign shoots at the Poseidon Temple in Greece, visiting friends in Taiwan, and going on a yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali.
There is a real synergy between my passion for travel and my work life, [Dillon has created identities and worlds for Steamline luggage and Linda Farrow sunglasses]. Travel also inspired my own brand. I found myself sitting uncomfortably in jeans on long-haul flights. On arrival I’d usually head straight out for a business dinner or meeting. As I needed to be both comfortable and look smart, Reuben Avenue was born. It will appeal to global nomads like myself. [The name reflects an area in Dublin as well as in Brooklyn]. The first unisex online collection features kimonos, casual tops and trousers in natural fibres such as silk and linen and we’ve had a great response from the Middle East – particularly Lebanon and Dubai. When I’m not wearing my own designs, I tend to buy Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren – all classic in style and colour palette.
Both a perk and pleasure of travelling is having Saturday breakfast served in bed when I’m in a hotel. Le Blanc on the Cancun Riviera in Mexico was incredible and I recently stayed in Hotel Torel Avantgarde in Porto. Each bedroom is themed around avantgarde artists such as Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Nina Simone.
If I’m at home [Dillon moved from London two years ago and lives in Dublin 8] I usually start the day at Meet Me in the Morning. It has great coffee, and a coffee may well stretch into brunch with friends. I’m enjoying the inclusivity and buzz of Dublin life as well as the luxury of meeting friends in person, rather than on FaceTime. It is great to be close to my mother, brother, sister and assorted nephews and nieces.
After studying Engineering in Dublin, I moved to New York before doing a further degree course in London in interior design. By accident, rather than design, I fell into working on set direction while helping out on films and at Nettle House, an artistic photographic community. In fact I am a huge advocate of going with the flow and my weekends tend to be fluid too, though bouldering at Gravity Climbing Centre (Inchicore) and yoga are non-
I’ve always been quite sporty but made a conscious decision to move away from high-impact exercise to focus instead on flexibility and healthy eating. I practice Ashtanga yoga and am a huge fan of Rocket Yoga at Little Bird on South Circular Road, which is a good place to clear the head. My recent trip to The Yoga Barn in Bali was akin to the Holy Grail of yoga and the resort I stayed in was incredibly beautiful. If I’m not in the gym, I take Mr T, my French bulldog, to Phoenix Park or along the canal.
Generally I am in London two weeks every month so if I’m there over a weekend I will catch up on something cultural as well as seeing a show. The Tate is a favourite haunt as is the South Bank in general. If I’m going out, Sushi Samba in Bishopsgate and The Roof Garden in the so-called Walkie Tower in Fenchurch Street are regular haunts. It’s all about the view and the celebrity spotting.
If I find myself back in New York, then the old-school Art Deco Gramercy Tavern on East 20th Street is where I meet friends. I love its farm-to-fork ethos, highlighting the farmer/supplier relationship.
Saturday night is date night, and I’ve found that there are so many new restaurants and bars to try since I moved back to Dublin. I have just discovered Sole on South William Street, and I’m hooked.
Sundays are all about sleep; lazy mornings can easily roll into languid Sunday afternoons, when you’ll find me in bed or on the couch watching a David Attenborough documentary. I’m also addicted to podcasts such as The Tim Ferriss Show, This is Love by Criminal and Grayson: The Baby Whale.
However, as I’m very spontaneous and my default answer is yes, especially when I’m asked to do something fun, it’s not unusual to have a spa day in Wexford, or meet up for a cycle with friends or go for a pint. Grogans and The Long Hall in Dublin city centre are regular rainy afternoon spots.
Sunday night is for scheduling the week’s meetings. I make a list and leave it on the laptop so I can hit the ground running on Monday.
As told to Penny McCormick.
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