I remember the big hoo-hah when the inter-web brought people the ‘online store’, that almost evil word in some parts of the world. To me, this was a really interesting game changer that picked out retailers who thought lightyears further than “put products on shelf and sell them”. These far thinkers are people who understood the concept of the store space as an experience rather than a physical place where transactions are made and pushed by bogus tag lines. The store experience builds an incredible force of potential in making an impactful impression, and same goes for when you buy schwagg while surfing on the net. To me, the same way of thinking applies to both methods of retail. The experience is always the acme part of the action.
I have a pretty terrible memory myself, but I will tell you that my most vivid memories, are experiences that I can re-live through the sensory echoes that float around my mind like smoke from joss sticks. This is how a storefront can be gently (or boldly) coloured by goodness. It’s why twin-brother-founders of Incu Clothing down under, once told me that they always enjoy walking into 45RPM stores anywhere around the world because it’s always the perfect temperature inside. It’s why I want to visit an Aesop store wherever I find myself on this planet, because I know every one is uniquely designed, apposite (or in some cases opposite) to its environment. It’s also why some people love hanging out at Abercrombie and Fitch, bar people like me who curl up in a ball and hide in dark corners when faced with bare chested male models, the smell of ‘man’ cologne, and loud pumping music. Just not my thing.
So, if I were the boss of the world, I would encourage all retailers to push themselves as far as they can go to reach out to their people by creating a special experience for them. Exceptional experiences are what keep my world memorable, and full of surprising goodness. It is how any trade can show generosity and much thought to those who are of most value to them. Vogue, all over the world does well to remind us of the power of physical and sensory contact. This is why I was so curious to see what they had in store down under, where most things are wild, unique, and catches the rest of the world unexpectedly at times. I will be sharing my favourite Australian makers of goodness in posts to follow. They are making their special mark all over the world and we can’t get enough of it.
Elizabeth Rose making noises really well with her vocal chords and music machine /
Tropical flora A game at David Jones Store /
Lanie Lane opening VFNO /
The gentlelady doing her best ‘cheese’ for an Olympus camera, robed in Vogue gear designed by Bassike. / Pants are by Beams Boy / Shoes are Oxfords by Church’s / Socks are Happysocks / Umbrella is by Benetton / Shirt is a Ralph Lauren Oxford / Jacket is Barbour / Carry-All is a PTJ x Yellow Stuff one /