The Sydney designer opens his first flagship store in Sydney’s Strand Arcade
It’s been a good year for Dion Lee. Since last speaking to Time Out Sydney for our ‘30 Under 30’ feature in October 2012, the Sydney designer has debuted collections at London and New York Fashion Weeks; his clothes are now stocked at the famous Bergdorf Goodman store in New York City; his label is continuing its partnership with Cue Clothing Company; and the brand recently launched its own online store. And now Dion Lee has his first standalone store in the Strand Arcade.
“As any designer you think about your first retail space for a really long time,” says Lee. “It’s a heritage space, which is not necessarily where I had imagined the first retail space to be – but it’s such a beautiful building, and it has a reputation for representing Australian brands and Australian design all in one place.”
The boutique store – which they’re calling Site 01 – will carry Dion Lee Mainline, Line II and the newly launched swimwear collection Oil and Water. “It was interesting to [develop] quite an obvious, almost expected, category for an Australian designer, but to do it in a way that felt right for me,” he says.
Lee’s clothing lines will be hanging in the location of the former Lisa Ho store (more recently the site of Búl’s pop-up store). As the 28-year-old designer begins work on his next collection, which will be shown at New York Fashion Week in February, how does he feel about the competitive overseas market and the recent demise of fellow Aussie designers like Ho and Collette Dinnigan?
“I think that what's important for any designer, especially in this climate, is to ensure that you’re in touch with your customer and you’re continuing to evolve in a way that remains relevant.
“Fashion is fundamentally about change,” he adds. “I think that previously designers may not have had to be as conscious of how competitive the landscape is – and it is part of the job, part of the design process, to consider all of those influences.”
|Venue name:||Dion Lee|
Shop 62-66, Lvl 1
Strand Arcade, 412-414 George St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Wed 9am-5.30pm; Thu 9am-8pm; Fri 9am-5.30pm; Sat 9am-4pm; Sun 11am-4pm|