A client recently walked into Studio 10 and said - oh my, this was my Grand Aunt's building! Turns out she was none other than Mai 'Fifi' Geldof.
Mai Geldof was a force of nature by all accounts, and ran a dressmaking salon here in this premises on Wicklow St.
With her elder sister Cléo she roared into the capital city along with the 1920s, working in the family’s Patisserie Belge on Leinster Street and selling Sweepstake Tickets to fund their wild road trips across Europe. They quickly became the notable trendsetters of the time, and Mai set up a business on Wicklow St. Her dress-designing skills were highly regarded, and among her admiring clientele were Maud Gonne, Constance Markiewicz, Lady Longford and Dr Maeve Hillery.
Mai Geldof also knew many figures from the theatre from her work in the family's café (Patisserie Belge on Leinster Street), and she did some costume design for Mac Liammóir and Edwards at the Gate Theatre.
Mai was a remarkable woman and had so many adventures. She was a champion fisherwoman, saw the Nazis march into Austria during WWII, learnt how to drive when she was in her 70s, and referred to her magnifying glass as her ‘MI5’.
Mai became one of Dublin's oldest residents and died at the age of 106 on 2nd January 2015.