The heritage of our family-run business was born out of humble beginnings in 1956 by Tom ‘Dock’ Fitzgerald. Having worked in the industry for a period, Dock, as he was more widely known, established the business on a vibrant street in Waterford city and although it was just a small shop and he a modest men’s retailer, Dock was known as a man of the community.
After his passing in the late 1960s, Tony, Dock’s son took over the business. Over several years of working and building up the trade, Tony’s passion and foresight assessed that the city footfall, dynamics and activity was moving up closer to the city centre. With little money and against advice, he took the small reputable retail business and relocated it to its current location and flagship Fitzgerald Menswear shop on Barronstrand Street.
The principle business was built on formal attire, namely suits, shirts and ties. Quality tailored garments and casual wear were then introduced to the collection to compliment the needs of the modern man.
Having established a love for the industry, Tony then set about providing for a wider demographic and subsequently opened two additional Fitzgerald Menswear shops, one in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary in 1972 followed by another in Wexford town in 1977.
Building on the success of the Menswear business, Tony saw that there was a need for a quality shop for a younger market and so began in Waterford in1986 the first of four ‘Heroes’ shops to open. The introduction of ‘Heroes’ also brought about the advent of the 3rd generation of the Fitzgerald family to work in the business, Brian, Aoife and Heather, Tony’s children.
The initial ‘Heroes’ Flagship store was ran by Brian and assisted by Aoife. Following in their father’s footsteps and, with the guidance and support from Tony, they later introduced and merged the ‘Heroes’ brand into the Fitzgerald Menswear Clonmel shop and the Fitzgerald Menswear Wexford shop which proved a successful move.
‘Heroes’ concentrates on collections from boyswear to menswear. Aoifes influence on communion and confirmation wear along with Brians experience of branded, menswear and particular emphasis on denim gave rise to it’s success. Footwear was later introduced which further strengthened the Heroes brand offering. 2012 saw the opening of our ‘Heroes’ shop in Dungarvan, Co Waterford. This was a great milestone as it allowed us to offer our collections and service to all of the southeast region.
As the wants and needs of the customer grew, so did the progression of the Fitzgerald group with a new shop brand called ‘Evolution’ in 2006. Aoife had seen that the young men’s casual wear market had evolved which developed an opening for a stronger casual focus. Despite the recession of 2008, our customer geographic and support had expanded which gave rise to the opening of ‘Evolution’ in Wexford in 2010. The introduction of womenswear into our Waterford store in 2020 has also added a fresh dimension to the shop coupled with a new customer base.
October 2007 saw the opening on the quay in Waterford city of the fourth shop brand in the Fitzgerald group, Fitz U. Tony’s focus has always been on aligning the customer needs with the company’s offering. Here, Fitz U’s emphasis is on the customer market between the ‘Heroes’ and the ‘Fitzgerald Menswear’ clothing range with a collection that offers a blend of casual wear and tailoring alongside niche high fashion pieces.
Everything we do is focused on the people we get to serve. From our dedicated kid’s lifestyle and tailoring collections to our vast suit attire and Wedding showroom, it’s our passion to meet the needs of all ages
Our business is not just about selling clothes and providing a talented, engaged service, our dedicated team are about building relationships with the generations of families we have served over the last 60 years and on into the future.