although sydney has the global rep of being the leading shopping destination down under, melbourne quietly made leaps and bounds, and to such an extent that it may soon snatch away the coveted title. melbourne's retail landscape has not only expanded but also diversified with a string of interesting new shops in various parts of town, and indicative of this trend is the recent opening of the archive store. founded by maya webb and lauren urquhart, the store is tucked away on the fifth floor of mitchell house, a landmark art deco building in the heart of the city. the duo enlisted local architecture practice sibling to create the shop interior, and it has beautifully done so by creating a modular and versatile display system - captured in steel and rope and marble islands - that not only does justice to the space but also heightens the sense of modernity. pristine whitewashed walls and a bare concrete floor frame the setting. and as quirky as archive's interior is, so is its retail concept.
the owners have a keen eye for fashion but at the same time they wanted to distance themselves from brands and focus on the quality and timelessness of the garments instead. as a consequence archive has been set up as a consignment store, aiming for a clientele with a similar discerning focus by stocking a tightly curated selection of barely worn or brand new men's and women's pieces from a wide range of relevant brands such as comme des garçons, prada, jil sander, dries van noten and issey miyake. added to the range are various items of local and emerging australian brands. experimental and open-minded, the archive store is very much in touch with melbourne's creative scene and also functions as a cool platform for events such as artist installations, preview shows and pop-up sales. location: mitchell house, 358 lonsdale street, 5th floor [cbd].