australia's luxury boom is reaching ever-new heights and many foreign high-end brands have timely decided to enter the market or expand their existing footprint. the most dynamic place where retail activitiy of this kind is most evident is melbourne, and it's right in the heart of the city where hermès has recently opened a prestigious new store. situated on the ground floor of harley house, a 1920s landmark structure built in georgian revival style, hermès' new boutique measures 260 sqm. [2,799 sq.ft.] spread over two levels and is double the size of its previous downtown address. the store interior has been designed by rdai, a paris-based practice and longtime collaborator of the french luxury brand. known for its discreet chic, the store setting is very much a three-dimensional extrapolation.
it features a decor of walls clad in timber, matching shelving and displays, mosaic floors and sophisticated lighting. upon entering, shoppers encounter hermès' iconic ex-libris etched into the floor. the ground floor is dedicated to men's ready-to-wear, silk items, perfumes, jewellery and the brand's equestrian collections. a central staircase leads to a more intimate space on the second floor. a dedicated women's domain, it's here the women's ready-to-wear, watches, jewellery, homeware and tableware collections are presented. having a flexible configuration, this floor can easily be transformed into a private appointment showroom. location: harley house, 71 collins street [cbd].