An Armada of international retailers are storming into Australia, with H&M and Uniqlo preparing to open flagships within the next fortnight, but top-shelf local boutiques are continuing to inspire with cut-above retailing that is an antidote to fast fashion.
In Australia’s world-class boutiques, shopping is more than a rudimentary grab-and-go experience, and breathtaking décor, architecture and carefully curated product from exclusive brands combines to exquisite effect.
A wonderful example of the lengths local retailers are going to is the home of French fashion chain A.P.C. that opened yesterday in Melbourne.
The elegant retailer, known for its subtlety, classicism and absence of trends, has been brought to Australia by Sydney brothers Brian and Vincent Wu, from multi-brand boutiques Incu.
Bright and airy store, with expansive glass and blonde wood, the store is pure luxe and defines the beautiful visual merchandising that creates masterful retail experiences – and makes some stores stand above the rest.
While Sydney and Melbourne have a plethora of high quality retailers, the rest of Australia is certainly not struggling either.
Here is The New Daily’s list of the most beautiful retailers in Australia:
More like a museum than a fashion store, with rich wood paneling, antiquities, curiosities and taxidermy, Fallow (stocking left-of-centre labels with raw aesthetics like Silent by Damir Doma, Song For The Mute and Lentrian for men, and gothic-esque jewellery only for women) is without peer for eerie impact.
The pretty ivy trim above the door speaks to the wonderland of feminine yet functional fashion inside. The selection of stylish coffee table books to sunglasses, day dresses, cashmere and leather includes coquettishly beautiful brands like Anna Sui, Tucker, Au Jour Le Jour and MSGM.
Generations of discerning gents have shopped at this Melbourne institution, and recently in the staggering Sydney outpost, known for its masculine and stately glossy black street frontage and its inventory of handsome labels—Tom Ford, Pal Zileri, Kiton, Thom Browne and more.
The title of Australia’s hippest retailer has to go to Incu, whose low-key but cool and men’s and women’s boutiques deliver on fuss-free yet stylish streetwear from the likes of Libertine-Libertine, T by Alexander Wang, Nike, Acne Studios, Karen Walker and more.
Consistently voted Australia’s best boutique, this 90 year-old retailer is a global benchmark for luxury, across both interior design (its new home is in a converted tram depot) and the exalted collections it carries (names like Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Celine, Balmain, Moncler, Isabel Marant and Victoria Beckham).
For an edit of highest-end designs plucked from the catwalks of Paris, Milan and New York, Land’s End Store—itself a stunning piece of interior design—has long been a go to for discerning Sydney shoppers and fly-in fashionistas from around the world.
In the heart of the Salamanca Markets precinct in Hobart is the indie-chic The Maker. Specialising in Tasmanian labels, this is a homeland for warm and natural sophistication.
The respected designer’s store is a nook of tranquillity on one of Melbourne’s busiest shopping strips, showcasing Park’s beaded silk dresses, signature blouses, cushions and jewellery. Designed by Park’s husband, architect Anthony Cox, the gorgeous store a true labour of love.
This unassuming little shop carries Australian exclusive labels, Thu Thu from Vienam and an excellent selection of Repetto ballet flats. The black and white wall art speaks its playfulness and tongue-in-cheek curating by ambitious young owner Laura Williamson.
Perth’s leading independent boutique for the past 16 years is sparkling with stunning vintage glass and homewares, and pieces by M Missoni, New Zealand’s Kate Sylvester and Nom*D, Denmark’s Designer Remix, and hometown labels The Butcher and The Crow and Anna Excell.
Emily Power is an established Melbourne fashion editor who wrote and edited Fashionista’s Guide to Shopping in Melbourne and Fashion & Flemington, both published by The Slattery Media Group.