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The Collective Ensemble (CLOSED)

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Time Out says

Dress like you’re going to Disneyland, circa 1999

Greg Harris took over the vintage store on South King Street a year ago, but it’s been part of the Newtown vintage community for around five years. They stock predominantly '80s and '90s fashion with tongue-in-cheek nostalgia, from an ironic Backstreet Boys T-shirt to a Mickey Mouse sweater like the ones you bought at Disneyland.

It’s a colourful store. You’ll find bright turquoise sports sweatshirts from brands like Adidas, mosaic-patterned turtlenecks from labels like Versace, and well-worn boots from Australian brands like RM Williams. And you can pick up a Ralph Lauren bucket hat or an Eminem tour tee for less than $30.

“I grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, and I really enjoyed the fashion from those eras so I keep the stock within those decades – things that last a lifetime – made in Australia or the USA,” says Harris. “We’ve had some amazing, genuine varsity jackets in stock from the States; once we found a Boston parole sentence paper from 1983, tucked into the pocket. We love the history of each garment and we try to keep the story going with each piece.”

The Collective Ensemble appeals as much to those who lived through the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s to teenagers who like a good plaid shirt and retro sneakers combo. They consistently buy men’s and women’s denim and leather jackets, shoes and boots from brands like Baxter and RM Williams, and American basics like US army jackets and college sports shirts.

“I think people should buy more vintage or secondhand clothing,” says Harris. “The materials last, unlike in the fast-fashion industry today where garments last three or four washes, and it’s more sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

Emma Joyce
Written by
Emma Joyce


King St
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Opening hours:
Tue-Sun noon-7pm
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