We’re on the ground in Brisbane to explore four fashion retail experiences encapsulating the city’s unique urban style.
The term ‘retail therapy’ takes on new meaning with Brisbane’s calming, subtropical-inspired fashion boutiques that inform the casual chic style adopted by locals. A stroll around Fortitude Valley, one of Brisbane’s most recognisable shopping hubs, brings us to four distinct spaces that pay tribute to their Australian fashion labels‘ ethos and individuality.
Multidisciplinary design firm We Are Triibe channels a coastal aesthetic to accentuate St Agni’s ‘less is more’ design philosophy. Drawing on the brand’s Byron Bay roots in Brisbane’s James Street precinct, a crisp white exterior, crazy paving flooring and lime-painted display steps cultivate co-founders Christina Symes and Jessica D’Abadie’s vision for organic materials and delicate lines.
For the centre of the space, furniture designer Olivia Bossy created a custom-made timber point of sale. Hemp display plinths by Berlin-based artist Yasmin Bawa house the brand’s timeless collection. Next to the footwear and accessory display, a bespoke ceramic lamp by Coe Studio enhances the boutique’s earthen feel. “As St. Agni has predominantly been an online brand destination we hope people feel like they have stepped into the physical manifestation of this when they enter the James Street boutique,” Jessica says.
Bespoke and iconic pieces come together to underpin Lee Mathews’ Brisbane boutique. Enlisting Melbourne-based studio Fiona Lynch Office, the designer and her team have referenced the skilful craft of makers and artists to bring the brand’s design ethos to life.
As visitors enter the wide entrance, they’re greeted with an industrial aesthetic that juxtaposes the clothing on display. In the centre, a robust plaster sculpture by Alana Wilson Studio anchors the space.
Pieces are showcased on white steel rails, enhanced by rendered pieces on the walls. Accessories find a home on a custom oak display unit, or on floating stainless steel shelves made from honey resin. Fiona Lynch asked artist Michael Gittings to create a robust patinated metal counter, alongside a custom metal table, and bold window frames. The boutique is complete with an iconic Lampe de Marseilles by Le Corbusier and Officina chairs from Magis.
A blend of homegrown and European influences characterise Melbourne brand Elka Collective’s Brisbane post. Here, Sydney-based design firm Aplin Creative have designed a cohesive space indicative of the brand’s distinctive and timeless apparel and accessories.
Soft, sandy hues welcome visitors, who are then greeted by a feature wall of reclaimed terracotta tiles. The fresh, well-lit interior establishes a sense of both comfort and luxury with organic sisal, natural marble and rich timber. Past an impressive marble bench, the seating area features Ross Gardam’s Nebulae chandelier.The fitting rooms are a continuation of the space, with grounding elements of timber veneer and soft leather seating. Above, elegant pendant lights from local industrial designer Coco Reynold cast a soft glow.
Wolfe and Ordnance is described as Brisbane’s one-stop stockist of esteemed fashion brands. Behind its crazy paved facade, the store’s atmosphere is both relaxed and distinguished. Experts in retail design, We Are Triibe use a retrained palette with subtle surprises to honour the retailer’s philosophy that ‘minimal effort should yield maximum style.’
Upon entering the space, eyes are drawn to the tiled curvaceous counter in the centre which sets a tactile precedent. Accompanying tiled plinths and custom shelving showcase accessories while the entrance to the fitting rooms is also framed with white kit kat tiles.