Connect with us


Our favourite places to shop sustainably in Melbourne – Fashion Journal



Our favourite places to shop sustainably in Melbourne - Fashion Journal

A comprehensive guide to Melbourne’s sustainable stores.

Our collective appetite for fashion has changed for the better over the last few years. Looking good and dressing well now have a much more complicated criteria; we want to know where our clothes are made, who made them and in what conditions, and what they’re made with.

An increasing number of us are taking the time to read care labels, to know our silks from polyesters and to take pride in wearing a design with the disclaimer ‘ethically made’. But in a city full of fast fashion super-stores and with greenwashing rife amongst fashion labels, knowing what’s actually sustainable can be a difficult process.

Thankfully, there are a number of local Melbourne designers and destinations that are making sustainability easy to shop by being transparent with us, the customers. To help you out, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Melbourne’s best ethical and sustainable stores so that you can shop (relatively) guilt-free. Enjoy.

Sister Studios

Blood-related or not, these sisters know how to scratch our sustainable itch. Producing collections crafted from locally sourced, vintage fabrics – and lots of linen because who doesn’t love linen? – the duo behind Sister are all about making practical yet pretty things. Plus, everything is designed, developed and created in Melbourne. Shop their sweet, ’70s inspired threads here and be sure to check out their dreamy shopfront sometime.

105 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North


One of Melbourne’s pillars of sustainable fashion, Arnsdorf is respected across the city, the state, hell, the entire country, for its commitment to creating lasting, quality garments. The one-and-only Arnsdorf boutique, situated on Brunswick Street, reflects the brand’s minimalistic and carefully considered ethos and was designed by Jade (the label’s founder) herself by repurposing much of the store’s pre-existing structures. Arnsdorf also offers one on one appointments in-store or virtually via FaceTime.

229 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Limb the Label 

Limb the Label is a Melbourne-based label that’s committed to fashion with a social conscience. Ethical, local production is the foundation the label is built on, and its studio is attached to the back of its beautiful Melbourne store. Clothing wise, expect timeless silhouettes with a contemporary edge.

82 Johnston St, Fitzroy

Dot Comme

Owned and directed by Octavius La Rosa, Dot Comme rejects the idea of easy fashion and encourages experimenting with different colours, shapes and patterns. Dot Comme sources and sells an archive of Japanese and Belgian fashion from Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and others. 

Level 3 and 4 Curtin House, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne CBD

E Nolan

One gripe that we often have with the sustainable fashion industry is its tendency to exclude certain body types. No such complaint can be lobbied at E Nolan, whose made-to-measure, luxurious power suits are a game-changer for women at any size. The pieces are ‘designed to be worn to death’, a rejection of the throwaway mentality we’ve been accustomed to and a return to investing in forever pieces.

2 Cowper Street, Hawthorn, by appointment

Green Horse Northcote

There’s something about the words ‘green’ and ‘horse’ that conjure visions of natural beauty. Step inside this little Northcote nook and this is exactly what you’ll find. Boasting a collection of both international and Melbourne-based brands (keep your peepers peeled for Bahlo, Tara Whalley and Kiwi label Kowtow), Green Horse will have you trotting back down High Street looking good and feeling gratified.

255 High Street, Northcote

Saint Francis Place

Like Mecca, only locally-focused, Saint Francis Place sells a carefully-selected range of beauty and skincare products. The collection focuses on small-batch productions and on companies that are dedicated to simple, organic and non-toxic ingredients. You can shop the Saint Francis Place collection for outer beauty ranges, such as skincare, haircare and makeup, as well as inner wellness and home products. 

63 Smith Street, Fitzroy


Bruce is a Melbourne-based consignment store chain specialising in secondhand and high-end Artisanal Japanese and European designer clothing, footwear and accessories. Bruce’s collection can be shopped by appointment and is carefully curated with quality and sustainability in mind.  

157 Gertrude St Fitzroy and 284 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill

Nobody Denim

Nobody makes jeans like Nobody. Why? Because they’re made in Melbourne, they’re manufactured according to Ethical Clothing Australia standards, they last forever and they look really, really good. If you’ve seen a Nobody campaign (think: cute tooshes, toothy grins and the occasional midriff slip) you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

396-398 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

FME Apparel 

Camberwell market has produced a number of gems over the years, but FME Apparel might be our favourite. This slow fashion brand was launched in 2013 by Maddy Maeve following a successful run there, and now sells its range out of its boutique in Abbotsford and online. With sophisticated designs that adhere to the “quality over quantity” ethos, Maddy only uses high quality, sustainable materials and fabrics. We especially can’t get over these two toned cardigans.

340-342 Johnston St, Abbotsford

Vege Threads

Does wearing your veggies excuse you from having to eat them? While we’re still not clear on that one, there’s nothing more transparent than Vege Thread’s manufacturing process. Named Vege Threads because of its use of all-natural plant dyes, this brand’s main factory is Melbourne-based and all of its garments are made here in Aus. Vege Threads offers womenswear and menswear including denim, swimwear and intimates, all made from ethically sourced, durable and comfortable materials. 

246 High Street, Northcote


Despite its name, the unique, high-quality pieces this resale store has to offer will have you saying “Oh, hello,” more times than you’d care to admit. Goodbyes is like a carefully-curated op-shop – it only sells high-quality and durable pieces. By giving new homes to pre-loved clothes, Goodbyes is doing its bit to reduce the fashion industry’s alarming waste problem. Goodbyes also support a range of charities and causes throughout the year. 

2 Johnston Street, Collingwood, 127 Sydney Road, Brunswick and 142 Commercial Road, Prahran

Brotherhood of Saint Lawrence

While this strand of second-hand stores has altruism at the core of its ethos, we figure ethical and altruistic intent go hand in hand. And, if purchasing boutique sustainable threads is stretching your budget, there’s nothing more satisfying than scoring a second-hand steal. The coolest thing about the Brotherhood stores? Many of them section their styles and curate little ‘trend-based’ corners. It’s not uncommon to find a vintage Country Road camisole, or faux-fur jacket lurking in their overstuffed racks.

For a full list of the Brotherhood’s Melbourne locations head here

The Clothing Exchange

The best thing about The Clothing Exchange is it doesn’t involve shopping at all. Why shop, when you can swap? The brainchild of RMIT Fashion graduate Kate Luckins, The Clothing Exchange believes looking good shouldn’t cost the earth – and heck, we coincide! It offers a platform to ‘swap’ your second-hand clothes for other pre-loved pieces online, or at physical ‘Swap Shop’ events across Australia. It’s a super fun (and free) way to be fashionable while making like-minded mates.

Head here to keep an eye out for upcoming Melbourne events

Elk The Label

Founded in Melbourne in 2004, Elk is a pioneer of independent Australian design. Elk partners with several charities and is committed to being a transparent, honest and ethical label. Elk’s bi-annual collections are centred on its commitment to combining simplicity, sustainability and innovation, and in 2019 Elk won the Australian Fashion Laureate Award for Sustainable Innovation presented by IMG. You can expect breathable and comfort-focused designs and product lines including all-occasion clothing, accessories and footwear. 

119 Dundas Place, Albert Park, 182 Little Collins St, Melbourne CBD and 395 Plenty Road, Preston

Vintage Sole

Buying second-hand pieces is one of the best ways to reduce the waste caused by the fashion industry, but it can be hard to give something a second life if you don’t have time to find it in the first place. Vintage Sole has taken the heavy lifting out of thrifting by curating lightly used, seasonally appropriate pieces ranging from the 1960s-90s. This is the place to go if you’re looking for high-quality vintage leather goods or denim, as it always has a good supply of overalls and cowboy boots.

153 Chapel Street Windsor, Cathedral Arcade, 6/37 Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD and 258 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy


HoMie, which stands for Homelessness Of Melbourne Incorporated Enterprise, is a Melbourne-based streetwear label with a mission to support young people affected by homelessness. All of HoMie’s garments are produced in Australia and the brand is committed to providing its workers with safe workplaces and fair pay. Shopping at HoMie supports the enterprise provide young people affected by homelessness a paid internship and retail training to help them with employment.  

296 Brunswick St, Fitzroy


Shag is your spot if you’re looking for a unique vintage piece with a story behind it, or if you’re just a huge fan of “leopard print and hot pink velvet” kind of aesthetic. While this absolute treasure is stocked with an abundance of costume jewellery and vintage furs, there are all sorts of wearable pieces for guys and girls, from corduroy trousers to 80s bomber jackets.

130 Chapel Street, Windsor, shop 20 259 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD and 84 Smith Street, Collingwood


Hey all you colour-lovers, did you know ethical fashion brand Obus makes high-quality, mostly local-made pieces in changing palettes and travel-inspired prints? Yep, and Obus prides itself on producing small-ranges and reducing waste by repurposing fabric off-cuts. They also have a Swap Shop initiative that aims to close the loop on the lifecycle of fashion by encouraging customers to trade-in pre-loved items for store credit. 

Level 1, 285 High Street, Northcote

The Lab Organics

The Lab Organics is a boutique organic skincare and lifestyle store with an online shop and physical store in Carlton. The Lab Organics takes the research out of shopping natural and organic beauty products and only sells products that don’t contain undesirable synthetic chemicals and are results-driven. It’s also committed to sourcing products with sustainable and environmentally-friendly ingredients. 

360 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North

The Drobe 

The Drobe sells cool-girl, high-qual vintage pieces via Instagram posts where, in the teeming comments section, prospective buyers bid in five-dollar increments. Purchases are fast-paced and, trust me, you’ve gotta have your push notifications on to score. The Drobe gals also hold occasional pop-up stores, which in the past have amassed block-spanning queues, but since COVID these have moved online giving access to international buyers (and more competition!)


Secondo is one of the city’s leading fashion resalers, the Chanel 2.55 of consignment stores. Gems from local independent designers are tucked between contemporary pieces by Celine, Gucci and Prada – you can’t lose. Make your way to South Yarra or hit up its online store for some designer bargains.

286 Toorak Road, South Yarra 


Hew is a designer label specialising in bold and colourful patterns. Founder and designer Emma Hewitt created Hew when she discovered a bright and colourful looking gap in the Aussie menswear market, and she has since filled it with her technical expertise in playful patterns and colour exploration. Hew also maintains a strong ethical and social code of conduct, uses Global Organic Textile Standard fabrics and is committed to creating garments that are circular and biodegradable. 

Level 1, 187-193 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD

Reina Melbourne

Reina is an archival designer boutique curated and run by Romy Theodore, a graduate of New York’s Parsons School of Design who’s passionate about rehoming old pieces to make fashion more circular. Reina can be likened to the wardrobe of an enviously-stylish older sister with a great eye for vintage threads, only this wardrobe is open, airy and, best of all, shoppable. With an emphasis on pieces from the late 80s to 2005, Reina’s collection is meticulously curated and includes labels like Prada, Miu Miu, Gucci and Dior.

Level 1, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD

No Order Market

No Order Market is a collaborative retail space on Elizabeth Street that houses two sustainable brands: Suku Home, a brand whose values and workmanship are rooted in authenticity, sustainability and connecting to the global community under ethical fair trade practices, and Baserange, an underwear and “easywear” label that works with high quality, organic fabrics in innovative ways minimises environmental impact. It’s also home to luxury store Shifting Worlds which stocks labels like Issey Miyake, Shrimps, Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

Level 1, 187-193 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD


Circular fashion brand A.BCH is really into radical transparency when it comes to ethics and sustainability. All of its clothes are made in Melbourne from renewable, organic and recycled materials, and sustainability is baked into every part of the design process and supply chain. Its clothes prioritise clean shapes, thoughtful minimalism and timeless design functionality so the pieces will last you a long time, but are also compostable when you’re done with them. The FAQ page on its website has heaps of information about its values and business practices if you want to learn more about a brand doing it right.

Studio 2/25 Easey St, Collingwood, by appointment


With over two decades of denim expertise enriching every piece, Denimsmith takes locally-made clothing to a whole new level and is proudly accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia. Their pieces take strength and durability up a notch, with 10 stitches per inch instead of the industry standard of seven. Denimsmith’s ever-expanding range of styles and washes mean you’ll probably be able to find your perfect pair, and they even have a custom option if you don’t. 

73 Gertrude St, Fitzroy and 15-17 Kirkdale St, Brunswick East


Kalaurie creates modern heirlooms designed to be treasured for a lifetime. Working on a made-to-order manufacturing model, your garment is made especially for you and crafted from beautiful and renewable resources and that are also biodegradable.

By appointment, find out more here


More of a system than a shop, Swop focuses on reducing waste and creating a circular fashion economy by incentivising people to sell their unwanted clothes. Passionate about sustainability and durability, Swop only takes items they know they can give a new, long life to. You can shop Swop’s collection of unique pieces in-store or online. 

266 Smith Street, Collingwood

Vintage Garage

Vintage Garage is a boutique marketplace made up of 40 of the finest hand-picked specialist dealers. A hotbed of classic vintage, edgy streetwear and crazy festival gear, Vintage Garage has a well-established reputation for exclusive stand-out pieces. You will also find vinyl records, homewares, memorabilia, collectables and vintage fabrics (and plenty of inspiration for your next costume party).

318 Smith St, Collingwood 

Yesteryear Vintage

Vintage lovers, take note. Yesteryear’s two eclectic stores stock vintage & internationally sourced clothing & accessories. Walking into the store you’ll be confronted by an abundance of colour and retro patterns but fear not there’s something for the minimalists too (think Celine-esque camel coloured Italian two-piece suits).

331 Brunswick St, Fitzroy and 200 High St, Northcote


In it for the long haul, Kuwaii prides itself on design-focused pieces that are made to last. Each piece Kuwaii makes is designed locally, in its Brunswick studio and always with the customer in mind. Kuwaii is committed to environmental sustainability and strongly believes in empowering women. Kuwaii’s pieces range from solid-colours to funky prints and include everything from basics to footwear. 

291 Smith Street, Fitzroy, Shop 7-8 Cathedral Arcade, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD and 37-39 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick

Retrostar Vintage

Hidden upstairs in the heritage Nicholas Building, this eclectic secondhand store has been open for almost 20 years. Specialising in fashion from the 1940s to the 1990s, you are sure to find some fab flares, cowboy boots and fringed jackets. They even have a collection of over 5000 band tees and they hold massively discounted warehouse sales so keep your eyes peeled.

Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne CBD

Lost & Found Market

This place is a treasure trove full of vintage fashion, furniture, art, records, bric-a-brac and more. Located in the heart of Fitzroy, this collection of individual stalls is the perfect place to go when you don’t know what you need. Head up the stairs and you’ll find everything from couches to cooking pots, but make sure you have the whole day put aside cause boy, you’ll need it!

288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy 

Mutual Muse

Mutual Muse is a consignment store offering sustainable fashion lovers the chance to buy and sell gently-used secondhand clothing, shoes and accessories. While Mutual Muse specialises in familiar, contemporary brands it’s not shy of anything a little unusual and won’t say no to well-made basics and a bit of vintage. Not an op-shop or a traditional vintage store, Mutual Muse prides itself on its curated selection and particularly focuses on a femme aesthetic in its Thornbury store. 

687 High St, Thornbury and 171a Sydney Rd, Brunswick 


Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy



Fashion Briefing: Fashion’s emerging founder-investors are mega-influencers – Glossy

Fashion’s OG Instagrammers are building empires and, at the same time, growing their influence beyond the industry.

After being schooled for years on the workings of the fashion industry, mega-influencers including Danielle Bernstein (2.7 million Instagram followers) and Rocky Barnes (2.5 million Instagram followers) are graduating to careers less reliant on brands. To take it to the next level, they’re leveraging their prowess and communities, driving deals with effective business partners, and evolving their focus, based on the industry’s direction and their own passions. The emerging results, for both Bernstein and Barnes, are personally-backed brands and investment portfolios set to expand based on early successes.

“The plan is to grow, in a big way,” said Bernstein. “I’m a serial entrepreneur, so I’ll always want to introduce new businesses and categories to my brand. And I’m angel investing and joining the board of advisors for so many companies. That’s the future of the creator economy: harnessing and creating community around your existing followers and then figuring out how to monetize that.”

In 2019, upon inking a licensing deal with New York-based clothing company Onia, Bernstein launched the Shop We Wore What e-commerce site, populated with her expanding We Wore What fashion collection. The collection has been at the center of much recent controversy, due to allegedly including copycat designs. According to Bernstein, she turns to vintage pieces, editorials and travel for inspiration. Bernstein’s also become an investor and advisor for hair supplement company Wellbel and CBD brand Highline Wellness. In May, she became active on Patreon, offering exclusive video content to paying members of her community.

In addition, Bernstein heads up We Gave What, a charitable arm of her company. In 2019, she launched tech company Moe Assist with a project management tool for influencers, though its social accounts have been inactive for two-plus months. When asked for comment, a spokesperson said Moe Assist is in a new fundraising stage and “should have news to share shortly.”

Barnes, meanwhile, partnered with Reunited Clothing to come out with her apparel company, The Bright Side, in December. And she recently became a first-time investor-advisor, for 6-month-old SMS shopping platform Qatch. She announced the partnership in an Instagram post on Monday.

“I feel like a grown-up,” she told me, before confirming that she’s interested in investing in more companies. “Diversifying my business has been a really big [focus] for me. I interact with so many different brands and companies on a daily basis. Using my market knowledge in ways that can help other people is fulfilling and exciting for me. And I especially love when I can be involved with a company from the beginning.”

Building on their content creator role in fashion is a natural progression, both said. And it plays into many industry shifts: On its way out is fashion’s DTC era, largely fueled by Harvard Business School and Wharton graduates using a plug-and-play, marketing-heavy business model to launch brands. More consumers are prioritizing quality, differentiated products, making industry experience and style expertise greater virtues among insiders. At the same time, consumers are increasingly taking shopping cues from relatable, platform-native celebrities, moving on from authoritative editors and more closed-off celebrities.

The school of collaborations
The collaborator-to-founder shift isn’t the newest thing. Other longtime influencers that have made the pivot include Arielle Charnas, with Something Navy; Aimee Song, with Song of Style; Rumi Neely, with Are You Am I; the list goes on. Most often, the names behind these brands don’t have formal design and business training — for her part, Bernstein said she “went to FIT for two years, but didn’t study design and production.” But, for years, they’ve worked hand-in-hand with companies to bring their visions to life. And along the way, they’ve come to know what resonates best with their vast communities, from marketing to merchandising to product.

“My most successful collaborations have led to the largest share of my business,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein’s partnership with Onia came out of her swimwear collaboration with its Onia brand, in May 2019. On the collab’s launch day, it drove $2 million in sales, and an included style was the brand’s best-selling swimsuit of the summer. Also in 2019, Bernstein collaborated with Joe’s Jeans on multiple denim collections. The launch day of the first, in March 2019, marked Joe Jeans’ best sales day to date, said Jennifer Hawkins, the brand’s svp of marketing and innovation on a Glossy Podcast in October.

Both served as learning opportunities for Bernstein, who said — as with all of her collaborations — she took full advantage: “It was never just [uploading] a post, and then I went away,” she said. “I always wanted to know how the performance was, in terms of sales, and asked questions: ‘Can you share the analytics?’ ‘What did you see on your end?’ ‘What worked and what didn’t work?’”

She added, “They provided a ton of data, in terms of what I could sell and what the market was missing.”

Likewise, she said, she always followed and shared with partner brands the Instagram Insights and Google Analytics numbers around her corresponding posts. Doing so gave all parties a 360-degree view of a collaboration’s success.

“I’ve learned what works for brands so they get the largest return on their investment,” she said.

For example, she’s learned to lean on her audience’s tastes, versus rely on her own, by allowing them to offer feedback throughout the design process through Instagram. That’s included the selection of fabrics and colors and the fit sessions with models. She only spotlights her favorite styles and what she wears in her own social posts, as a play for authenticity.

According to Bernstein, the collaborations with brands allowing her to play an advisor role — by guiding them on influencer partnerships, marketing and messaging — are always more successful. And they often turn into longer-term investment or advising partnerships.

Bernstein chose to work with Onia on the We Wore What collection based on its prioritization of quality and fit, and ability to keep to affordable retail prices. Currently, prices on the We Wore What site range from $20, for a scrunchie, to $228, for a vegan leather jumpsuit.

Barnes was also ready to go out on her own after finding the right partners. Her Reunited Clothing partnership came after working with the company to create her Express product collaboration, in early 2019. On its first-quarter 2019 earnings call, interim CEO Matthew C. Moullering said the company had seen “a strong start to [the] collection both in-stores and online and [believed] it [was] helping to introduce the brand to a new audience.”

“Having your own brand is terrifying,” Barnes said. “But I like that I’m in control and not so dependent on doing the day-to-day posts promoting other companies.”

But, she added, “One of the huge benefits of working with all these different brands on all these different projects is that we’re constantly getting introduced to new people and seeing who we like working with.”

Barnes’ internal team consists of her husband, who’s the “business brains” of the company, she said, and an assistant.

Like Bernstein, Barnes stressed the need for outside support in the production process: “I love such quirky, crazy things, but I also understand what is realistic for a buyer and a normal girl buying clothes,” she said. “The experience of taking ideas and making them work for a bigger group of people was my learning curve going into a business. It’s important to have a good, diverse team around you who can make your idea something that’s marketable.”

For its part, We Wore What has seen “200x growth in the last year,” as it’s expanded to new categories, Bernstein said. Its ready-to-wear, swimwear, resort wear, and activewear are now sold in “dozens and dozens of retailers around the world,” many of which offer style exclusives; they include Revolve, Bloomingdale’s and Intermix.

“Launching my own brand was putting the proof in the pudding for the power of influencers, when it comes to selling product,” she said.

As with her Joe’s and Onia collaborations, Bernstein sees a rush-to-buy with We Wore What product drops. “The first 10 minutes is when we see the biggest portion of our sales for the entire collection,” she said.

To build buzz, Shop We Wore What’s Instagram account (213,000 followers) features in its Stories the line sheets of the soon-to-launch styles, allowing customers to thoughtfully plan their buy. Doing so has led to lower return rates, Bernstein said. The company’s marketing mix also includes text messages and emails, VIP discounts and user-generated content.

Bernstein has a staff of four people, which include a chief operating officer and a brand coordinator. She said she prioritizes establishing partners with skills and expertise she doesn’t have, so she can learn from them along the way. Ideally, she’d have learned about tech packs, fittings and production logistics in school, but she’s training as she goes.

Moving forward, Bernstein said she plans to extend the size range of We What What styles, which are currently available in sizes XS-XXL, and launch collections with collaborators to sell exclusively on her brand’s DTC site. In addition, she aims to eventually open “experimental” physical retail, starting with pop-ups.

As for her investment-advisor portfolio, she’s currently in talks with companies centered on the concepts of “being able to sell your closet and even rent your closet.”

As for Barnes’ Bright Side, she said it will hit “a bunch of new retailers this year.”

Moving beyond fashion
Up next for Shop We Wore What is a new product category that will hit before the holiday season. Considering her passion for home furnishings and decor — based on her @homeworewhat Instagram account (7,500 followers) and recent press coverage of her new SoHo loft — it’s a safe bet that a home-related category is in the cards.

Likewise, Barnes hinted at a future Bright Side home collection, following her recent, two-year home remodel, which she’s getting set to debut on social media.

Lifestyle brands are the clear goal.

“I would love to be a combination of Rachel Zoe and Martha Stewart, just having my hands in everything and creating this really beautiful lifestyle where you can entertain and be fashionable,” Barnes said. “That’s kind of the dream.”

She added, “Fashion is where my heart has always been, but I’m growing as a person and there’s so much more in my life right now: my family, my home — and I’m getting older, so beauty [and skin care] makes sense now. Sharing all of that with everyone seems so natural; it would be weird if I only did fashion.”

As for future investments, though Quatch fits perfectly into Barnes’ world, with its fashion-tech focus, she said she’s open to investing in any company where she sees opportunity.

What’s more, she has no plans to retire from social media, though she has yet to tackle TikTok.

“People’s need for content has only increased, so I’m posting and creating content more than ever,” Barnes said. “But I’ve learned to become more of a hard-ass with brands. The companies that are willing to work with me and [facilitate] the most like authentic relationship possible are the ones I move forward with.” Reunited can attest.

Reading List

Inside our coverage

Mack Weldon’s first CMO, Talia Handler, breaks down her integrated marketing strategy.

Text messages are Rebecca Minkoff’s most successful marketing channel.

Not everyone is embracing “workleisure.”

What we’re reading

Is Richemont dropping Yoox Net-a-Porter?

NFT sales are catching on in fashion.

It’s official: Zendaya’s style is iconic.

Continue Reading


Marcelo Gaia on Mirror Palais’ First Pop-Up and Beyond



Marcelo Gaia on Mirror Palais' First Pop-Up and Beyond

In an age where fast fashion is king and our feeds are constantly over-saturated with a rapidly-changing array of trends, Marcelo Gaia, the owner and lead designer of Mirror Palais, is forging a new path. Since founding the brand in 2019, the New York-based designer has taken social media by storm. After accumulating a large and devoted fanbase that includes the likes of Kendall Jenner, Ariana Grande, Bella Hadid, and Dua Lipa, Gaia has established Mirror Palais as one of the most-coveted labels on the internet.

marcelo gaia

Mirror Palais founder and designer Marcelo Gaia

Heido Stanton

However, more than just being a popular social media brand, Mirror Palais stands for something greater than a revolving door of trends and has quickly solidified its own unique position in the fashion world. Made in New York City with deadstock fabrics and fair trade cottons and silks, the label is humanizing the design and construction processes. Operating on a made to order system for its RTW collections, it strives to minimize waste and excess supply at every step.

mirror palais

Mirror Palais Collection II campaign

Heidi Stanton

mirror palais

Mirror Palais Collection II campaign

Heidi Stanton

Mirror Palais has also proven to be just as thoughtful and distinct in its designs. Inspired by the most influential women in Gaia’s life, the brand celebrates the female form in novel, fun, and enchanting ways, with sizes ranging from XXS to 2X. Some of the label’s most unique and beloved designs include the famed underwire polo tops, sultry lingerie-inspired mini dresses, and Brazilian bikinis embellished with eccentric florals and ‘90s patterns.

This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Now, Gaia is bringing the Mirror Palais experience into the real world with the brand’s first pop-up in New York City. Launching on October 22, just in-time for the label’s second anniversary, the brick and mortar will be located at 27 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side and will give shoppers the opportunity to experience the brand’s second collection in-person.

Ahead of the opening, CR spoke with Gaia to reflect on the past, present, and future of Mirror Palais.

mirror palais

Mirror Palais Collection II campaign

Heidi Stanton

mirror palais

Mirror Palais Collection II campaign

Heidi Stanton

CR: Mirror Palais is arguably the most in-demand small designer brand right now, with a quickly-growing following. With such a high level of popularity, how are you managing producing new garments and designs under such pressure, while still staying true to a small-scale, environmentally conscious image?

MG: I think the biggest thing is that I’m super transparent with my clientele and with my following about everything that’s going on. So, I never feel that I have to promise something that I can’t deliver and even if I do fall short, there’s this understanding that the business is growing during such an unprecedented time. … I have an amazing communications manager who has been with me since I started the company, and she’s taken over communicating with our customers, which is pretty much the most important part of our business because we’re made to order. We make sure that, whoever they are, they know that their order is very important to us and that we’re going to do everything in our power to accommodate them. So, it’s basically that everything I do comes with the client, the Mirror Palais girl in mind and then everything else trickles down from there.

CR: Along the same lines, Mirror Palais has been seen all over Instagram and TikTok, as well as on numerous celebrities including, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and Kylie Jenner. How has this widespread exposure via social media helped the brand, and in what ways, if any, has it harmed it?

MG: I think that some people get it wrong, in that, there’s this idea that celebrities are necessary for implementing a brand into a higher status. With my own experience, I’ve found that not to be the case because, before I had any celebrity wearing my clothes, I was already amassing a strong community and following just based off of the story that we were sharing online. So, with the first celebrity moment, which was Dua Lipa in one of her music videos, it was one of those moments when, anyone who maybe needed that affirmation that we were legitimate because the business was founded on Instagram, was like, “okay, maybe this is someone to take more seriously.” I think it ultimately helped with that sort of endorsement. … Perhaps one of the ways that it might harm our business is that people have a perception of the business being bigger than it is. It’s like “oh, if so-and-so is wearing their clothes, they must be this big corporation,” when, really, when we started it was just me in this little tiny room with a garment rack. We’ve grown, but we’re still a really small team and we have four full-time employees. So, I guess that’s where we are harmed a little bit, with putting unrealistic expectations on us even though we’re still so young.

CR: Wow, only four full time employees? Well, you are clearly making it work.

MG: We are, we are. I’m a really conservative person and I don’t want to make any promises that I can’t keep. So, the idea of bringing people on is like a ship, right? I don’t want to bring on more people that I can feed, or more than the boat can actually handle. So, I’m just trying to find that balance as a business owner, and it is definitely difficult to do creative and business at the same time. But, I have an amazing team that are supporting me in all of those ways.

CR: Considering the saturation of specific trends in the fashion world as a result of social media, how do you go about keeping the Mirror Palais image unique? More specifically, where do you look for inspiration in order to ensure that the brand continues to stand out and have an identity of its own?

MG: I love old films, they’re a huge inspiration for the brand. I think that the Mirror Palais story, the feed, can kind of roll out like a movie story might and I try to capture moments that may not have been used in terms of the imagery. I just trying to capture something that might resonate with someone in a different, less commercial or contrived way; maybe catching those little moments in between the shots. I don’t retouch my images, so I was really careful to not go a traditional route with my imagery. I was really just shooting people who were helping me, my friends in my clothes and we would just go out onto the street and we’d go get a coffee and then I’d take a video that would go viral. And it wasn’t as if I’d set up this big-budget shoot or anything, I was just being in the moment with a friend. I think just trying to deliver more, I know people hate the word “authenticity,” but I guess just trying to show something that you don’t exactly see anymore. Even that has become more popular. I feel like I just try to capture those little in-between moments and that’s what really resonates with our following.

CR: When you’re designing new looks, what sort of individual do you envision? Essentially, what kind of person is the “Mirror Palais” muse?

MG: Initially, I envision my mom and who she is, and especially who she was in her younger years. She grew up in Brazil and moved to the states, and she kept this insane archive of all of her clothes wherever we moved. It was a big source of inspiration and exploration for me as a young gay man. I would go into her closet and secretly try her clothes on. I got this intimate sense of what it felt like to be a woman. I’ve just been surrounded by women by whole life: I was raised by my mom and older sister and in grade, middle, and high school I only had female friends. I also only really have close female friends now. So, I think that I exist in the world as a cis-man, but my point of view is very much female. In a way, I think I am just trying to create what I think the women in my life would like to find in a thrift or vintage store. I did a lot of thrifting when I was younger because we didn’t have a lot of money. So, that was how I created my fashion identity: through my mom’s stuff and going to thrift stores. The idea of finding that one thing that stands out and getting super excited about it is the moment that I’m trying to recreate with my store and with my designs.

CR: This week, you are opening your first pop-up for the brand in New York. What does this mean to you as a New Yorker to be able to open a brick and mortar in your home city?

MG: I never thought that it would ever be something that was possible for me. It’s amazing that I’m getting to do what I love the most, which is getting to go shopping with my friends. I feel like all of my customers and all of my followers are like my friends and they are going to be coming by and we’re going to be playing dress-up! And I hope that people are going to be able to find something that they really love. I feel really hopeful that the experience in-person will be even greater than the experience online and I’m really excited. It still hasn’t really hit me yet. I was having a meeting with Susan Alexander right before this, who is also opening her first store. I’m 27 Orchard St and she’s 33 Orchard St. And then across the street is Sandy Lee Yang. So, I feel like there this is the new wave in New York fashion and I’m hoping that I can connect with as many people as possible to determine how we can do things differently than the people who came before us.

CR: What can shoppers expect from the Mirror Palais pop-up with regard to its aesthetic, design, and overall vibe?

MG: It’s a very clean layout. It’s a white box gallery space at the Larrie gallery, so, it’s just going to be super clean and there are going to be little Mirror Palais touches here and there. There’s just going to be a lot of playing and the clothes themselves are really going to contrast with that stark white, which I think will be really fun. I feel like you’re going to get the chance to experience the brand in-person, which is basically us, my team, us girls hyping each other up. Basically, that’s what happens in our office every day when we get new samples and everyone in the office tries everything on. And we’re going to be debuting our new campaign by Heidi [Stanton] on Thursday [October 22nd]. We did this really cool images that I have been kind of hoarding, just waiting for the right moment to release. So, we’re going to do those in-conjunction with some wheatpastes around the city. We’re going to be all over downtown for a little bit, which I’m excited to do.

CR: Considering this pop-up is a huge milestone in the brand’s trajectory, what’s your next goal or milestone for Mirror Palais after opening a physical space?

MG: My long-term goal would be to create a space where people can come to create a customized wardrobe with our shapes. At the turn of the century, when designers started opening their ateliers, especially in Paris, the made-to-measure movement with high-end designers was something that seemed really cool and is something that I don’t think most of us have access to. So, I would love to create a space where people can come by, see the shapes, and try-on the different sizes that we have. We carry XXS to 2XL, so we would have someone to measure you and create a really intentional experience with your wardrobe acquisition, so everything that you’re putting into your closet is made for you and has a really special memory attached to it. Hopefully, that will make you want to hold on to it forever and ultimately, create less waste, which is something that is important to me and should be important to every designer right now. It’s about how we can be more conscious about what we’re putting out into the world and I think that, if you’re really in-love with your clothes, then you treat them better and they won’t end up in a landfill.

Continue Reading


The Best Street Style at Paris Fashion Week



The Best Street Style at Paris Fashion Week

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

At Paris Fashion Week, photographer Christina Fragkou captured street styles during the nine days of shows and events.

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @louispisano

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Hera is wearing Daily Paper pants and jacket with Goossens jewelry and an Off White bag.
Instagram: @herapradel

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“I just wanted to be comfy. I like earth colors — nothing too vivid!”
Instagram: @ogqueen

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: amyyaa_

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Cõvco: “I’m inspired by my mama.” Tshegue: “I’m inspired by chaos.”
Instagram: @_covco and @tshegue_official

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“Different influencers inspire my style … Oh, and TikTok.”
Instagram: @elviedesu

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Jessica is wearing an Ottolinger top and shorts, Doc Martens, and a Dior bag.
Instagram: @jessicaaidi

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Sofia is wearing all vintage. “I’m inspired by party life.”
Instagram: @sofsanfe__

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Aleali is wearing an Ottolinger shirt and pants, a Mowalola purse, and Miista boots.
Instagram: @alealimay

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“I’m a walking disco ball; I need dance!”
Instagram: @yumasui

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“I love corsets, and I’m very into ’60s vibes, especially when it comes to shoes!”
Instagram: @aim_.d

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Courtney is wearing an Ottolinger outfit and Gucci shoes.
Instagram: @alwaysjudging

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Maria is wearing Ottolinger.
Instagram: @maria_bernad

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Kiddy is wearing a Prada top, jacket, and gloves; Mugler pants; and Ann Demeulemeester shoes.
Instagram: @areyoukitty

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Cindy is wearing Ottolinger and Rick Owens shoes.
Instagram: @cindybruna

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @susiebubble

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @sachaquenby

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @parlonsstyle

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Courtney is wearing a Courrèges leather set.
Instagram: @alwaysjudging

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Ellie is wearing a Coperni top and bag.
Instagram: @slipintostyle

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Scottie is wearing a vintage look that’s “a little Audrey Hepburn.”
Instagram: @scottielarsonn

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Devon is wearing a vintage outfit with a Maison Margiela bag. “I believe in being sustainable and don’t want to add to my footprint, so I dress mostly vintage. I styled this outfit entirely around this perfect jacket. I wish I had this when I was a kid.”
Instagram: @devonkaylor

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Kristen is wearing a Loewe dress and a Munthe coat with an Ottolinger bag.
“Today is vacation style: Miami and retirement homes and White Lotus!”
Instagram: @kristenvbateman

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @louloudesaison

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Jamie-Maree is wearing a Balenciaga outfit.
Instagram: @airtomyearth

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Selma is wearing pants and a jacket by Patou with a vintage vest, a JW Anderson bag, Gucci necklaces, Nanushka sunglasses, and Yeezy shoes.
Instagram: @selmakacisebbagh

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“My friend who owns a vintage boutique dresses me. He wanted me to be out of my comfort zone because normally I dress very femme, and this is all men’s clothing!”
Instagram: @la_dingue

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Petra is wearing a Résumé dress with ASOS shoes and a Cala Jade bag.
Instagram: @petrahenriette

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Louis is wearing Coperni.
Instagram: @louispisano

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Nina is wearing a Hyein SEO outfit with a Coperni bag and Celine boots.
Instagram: @ninauc

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Gala is wearing a Coperni outfit with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and Valentino sunglasses.
Instagram: @galagonzalez

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Tiffany is wearing an outfit from the Attico with a Chanel bag.
Instagram: @handinfire

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Linda is wearing an Ivy Park x Adidas jumpsuit and Zara shoes.
Instagram: @letscooktonite

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“I don’t really have an inspiration today. I just wanted to wear my Crocs and highlight them, so I wore all black!”
Instagram: @17xpk_

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“My inspiration is retro, ’70s, ’80s. It’s a little bit of a mix!”
Instagram: @missgeburtz

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Hillary is wearing Collina Strada.
Instagram: @_collina

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“I couldn’t decide what shoes to wear so I wore one of each.”
Instagram: @selenaforrest

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“To be honest, I just wanted to match my hair!”
Instagram: @hannahparent

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @clementine.bal

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“I just came from Geneva and wanted to get some new clothes. I went to my friend’s vintage shop and gave him the freedom to dress me. I was his doll.”
Instagram: @spiceandcurls

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @angel__emoji

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Symone is wearing Vivienne Westwood.
Instagram: @the_symone

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Michelle is wearing a vintage dress, a Balenciaga jacket, and Louis Vuitton boots with a Loewe bag.
Instagram: @laffmichelle

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Miss Fame is wearing Vivienne Westwood with Earnest shoes.
Instagram: @missfamenyc

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Linda, left, is wearing a vintage Yves Saint-Laurent top, a Raey jacket, Róhe pants, and Prada shoes with an Hermès bag. Erika is wearing a Celine top, a By Malene Birger coat, and Christopher Esber shoes with an Hermès bag.
Instagram: @lindatol_ and @erika_boldrin

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Alex is wearing Loewe.
Instagram: @alexgoyaa

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Taqwa is wearing Fendi.
Instagram: @taqwabintali

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Tiana is wearing a vintage top and skirt, Pretty Brain Vomit tights, and tabi shoes with a Telfar bag.
Instagram: @ sade.stan

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Caro is wearing Loewe.
Instagram: @carodaur

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Yilan is wearing a Maisonprin sweater, a vintage cardigan, Zara pants, and Alexander McQueen shoes.
Instagram: @yilun_hua

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Sarah is wearing a Vivienne Westwood shirt, a Samsøe & Samsøe skirt, Doc Martens, and Ray-Ban glasses with a Coperni bag.
Instagram: @sarahloufalk

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Emma is wearing an Aureliane outfit with Zara shoes and a Lancel bag.
Instagram: @ emma.siaut

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

“Lately I’ve been loving monotoned outfits. I also love some faux fur.”
Instagram: @pilarmadimin

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Lisa is wearing a Victoria Beckham blouse and Studio Sut trousers with Bottega Veneta shoes and bag.
Instagram: @lisa.aiken

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Caro is wearing an Hermès jumper, the Attico shorts, a Giambattista Valli jacket, and Miu Miu shoes.
Instagram: @carodaur

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Emili is wearing Lanvin with a JW PEI bag.
Instagram: @emilisindlev

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @reishito

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Chloé is wearing a Loulou Studio top and Rotate shoes with a Chanel bag.
Instagram: @louloudesaison

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Eugénie is wearing Prada.
Instagram: @eugenietrochu

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @jaimetoutcheztoi

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Emna is wearing a Ludovic crop, a Rouge cardigan, Louis Vuitton pants, and Ghazal shoes with a By Far bag.
Instagram: @emnitta

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Tiffany is wearing a Rick Owens skirt and a shirt by the Money shirt with Balenciaga shoes and an Hermès bag.
Instagram: @handinfire

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Johanna is wearing a Zaza Design dress, an Escada coat, a Be Goldish necklace, Hugo Boss shoes, and Stella McCartney leggings.
Instagram: @johannakeimeyer

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Devon is wearing Jojo jeans with a vintage hat, dress, and gloves.
Instagram: @devonkaylor

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @ st.einberg

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Chiara is wearing a vintage blazer, a Jacquemus top, and Alanui pants with a Tory Burch bag and Bottega Veneta shoes.
Instagram: @chiaratotire

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Jenny is wearing a Miu Miu dress over a Prada top.
Instagram: @jennymwalton

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Monica is wearing a vintage coat, Falke socks, Miu Miu shoes, and Rendel sunglasses.
Instagram: @monicaainleydlv

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Alaa is wearing a vintage skirt, Chloé shoes, and an AKA coat with a Paco Rabanne bag.
Instagram: alaa

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Thássia is wearing Miu Miu.
Instagram: @thassianaves

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Kay is wearing Lacoste.
Instagram: kaaymbl

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Lena is wearing a Miu Miu look with Alexander McQueen boots.
Instagram: @lenamahfouf

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Courtney is wearing Miu Miu.
Instagram: @alwaysjudging

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Blanca is wearing a Lacoste outfit with Nike shoes and a Y/Project scarf.
Instagram: @blancamiro

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Snehal and Jyoti are wearing Chanel with custom pants.
Instagram: snejyo

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Lauren is wearing Lacoste.
Instagram: @theimpossiblemuse

Photo: Christina Fragkou / Cris Fragkou

Instagram: @annarvitiello

Continue Reading