Seven standout Sydney boutiques showcase how fashion and design continually overlap and enhance the other.

Fighting with Melbourne for the title of ‘Shopping Capital,’ the inner Sydney suburbs have unveiled a swathe of captivating new retail stores. In this Best of est, we waltz down Oxford Street, browse Bondi and venture across the harbour to Manly for the best-designed retail experiences that effortlessly translate fashion to interiors.

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SIR the Label by Tamsin Johnson

Bondi, Sydney

Interior designer Tamsin Johnson’s recent revival of the SIR the Label flagship store, a highlight among Bondi Beach’s Gould St boutiques, pays homage to the brand’s evolution. Vintage pieces fuse with contemporary details that speak to the refined coastal aesthetic SIR the Label founders Nikki Campbell and Sophie Coote have established.

From the outside, steel windows conceal an interior that reflects the location’s relaxed lifestyle. Rippled glass blocks create different zones in the store, designed to gleam like the ocean under the Bondi sun. Curvaceous features create a softness that mimics the clothing, as seen in the teal ovals dotted across the floor, sculptural furniture and doorways. Complete with stone sculptures, silver accents, and a deep leather De Sede sofa – Tamsin has envisioned a memorable retail experience that reflects a synergy between brand and designer.

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Coco and Lola by Esoteriko

Manly, Sydney

With a focus on how materials and textures tell a story, Esoteriko spearhead a ‘fresh perspective’ for fashion brand Coco and Lola. The concept store, situated in the coastal locale of Manly, brings focus to a customer journey. Here, Esoteriko transformed the shell of an industrial building, seeking to maximise and highlight the space. The design studio established a raw textural palette that fuses with shades of pink and Quartz to emulate a sense of ‘feminine strength’. The ceiling has been left exposed, referencing the site’s history with a renewed purpose.

The space is brought to life by an array of bespoke details such as paper mache hanging mirrors, Pearl pink stone benches and cabinetry. A wide storefront welcomes natural light and the beachside setting, which Esoteriko strengthens with the use of pink sand in the windows.

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Calibre by SJB Interiors

Bondi, Sydney

Iconic menswear brand Calibre enlisted SJB Interiors to transform their Bondi Junction store to express a changing landscape. SJB Interiors set out to create a gallery-like space that draws the eye to Calibre’s pieces while emulating the brand’s sharp, contemporary clothing style.

SJB uses light as a function, rather than a feature, as a device to highlight the garments – much like a piece of art. Railings are subtle and unobtrusive, and concrete walls create a soft backdrop to the minimalist design. Glass, stone and laminate display units showcase leather goods while rich tribal patterning and colours are explored in the dressing area.

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“The introduction of some of the masculine furnishings including eclectic handwoven tribal rugs added a layer of texture and richness over the monochromatic design approach…”

 

– Andrew Parr, SJB

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Autore Moda by Alex Morrison

Double Bay, Sydney

Interior designer Alex Morrison was tasked with designing a unique take on the typical jewellery store design for Autore Moda. The jewellery brand embodies the lustre and elegance of the South Sea Pearl, a signature of their pieces that’s captured in the store’s velvet smooth textures. Going one step further, the boutique’s soft pink tones and curved details aim to change the traditional narrative of pearl jewellery.

Autore Moda’s focal point is the alcove that mimics the inside of a pearl’s shell. Taking inspiration from the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica designed by Kelly Wearstler, the custom velvet banquette invites visitors to take the time to browse and lounge. Similar to those in her own home, Alex Morrison’s design influence is felt through the antique Murano glass sconces that act as jewels in and of themselves in the space.

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Camilla + Marc by Akin Atelier

Bondi, Sydney

Akin Atelier celebrated Camilla + Marc’s 15th year with a fresh-look flagship store. The Bondi Junction store expresses founders Camilla Freeman Topper and Marc Freeman’s love for architecture and design, calling on residential design inspiration in how the store layout unfolds from public to more private spaces.

The boutique’s captivating material palette pays homage to the fashion label’s defining aesthetic, from the classic herringbone flooring to the European-inspired Palladiana flooring, textural green walls, leather seating and cutting-edge sculptural silver accents.

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Lucy Folk by Tamsin Johnson

Paddington

Tamsin Johnson’s interiors for Lucy Folk celebrate the fashion and accessories brand’s eclectic, antipodean aesthetic inspired by the Medina of Marrakech. Venetian plaster walls meet patterned flooring that carries through the lower level to the upstairs salon. A considered courtyard space extends out of the boutique, creating an exotic escape with terracotta walls and Moroccan-inspired details.

A long-time friend of namesake founder Lucy Folk, Tamsin Johnson facilitated a design resolution shaped by the label’s own conceptual team. Head of brand and ceramicist Ben Mazey designed the custom funnel lights, while bronze hardware reflects the work of lead jewellery designer Craig Spark. At the same time, the changing rooms feature fabric from Lucy Folk’s collection of signature textiles.

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Above the Clouds by Pattern Studio

Surry Hills

Known for their portfolio of unique retail spaces, Pattern Studio is fascinated with the exchanges between people and place. This passion shines through the design of Above the Clouds, on a prominent corner site in Surry Hills. The high-end streetwear brand exhibits a range of different clothing genres. As a result, it was important for the design studio to establish a space that’s both celebratory of the brand’s growth and inclusive of the different styles found within.

The firm describes the space’s material palette as a “juxtaposition of the hyper-industrial with the playful” with polished concrete floors and scaffolding meeting butter yellow and soft blue hues. Downstairs, iconic KAWS sculptures and a FLOS Gatto lamp creates subtle allusions to culture, while the clothes and accessories remain a crucial part of the store’s design. An eight-meter sneaker wall resides upstairs; a blank canvas for Above the Clouds’ impressive footwear collection.

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