As we move into summer, the fashion world moves into another season too. Soon, autumn/winter lookbooks will be circulating fashion blogs, and we’ll start to consider autumn jackets before we’ve even had our fun in the sun. In a culture where we’re always looking ahead to the next new thing, it comes as a nice surprise when individual pieces are treated with real appreciation and care.

Archive is a consignment store of luxury proportions. Having just opened in Mitchell House in the CBD, the studio-like store, designed by SIBLING architects, houses a collection of pre-owned quality designer clothes, irrespective of season or trend.

The brainchild of Lauren Urquhart and Maya Webb, Archive is a rejection of the culture of disposable fashion, inspired by the experience of shopping in consignment stores in the US and Japan. Instead of sourcing garments based on trends and season, the girls acquire pieces that embody a sense of artistry and aesthetic timelessness. “It’s all about encouraging people to appreciate the qualities of each garment,” says Webb.

Look through the racks and you might notice labels such as Margiela and Dries Van Noten, as well as a notable collection of Japanese designers such as Comme des Garçons, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. All items are pre-loved and affordable.

Acting more like a gallery than retail space, Archive will also host ongoing exhibitions and artist residencies. Coinciding with the store’s launch is Back to Japan, an exhibition curated by John Ibrahim, which gives individual pieces by some of Japan’s most recognisable designers space to breathe.

“So much has gone into creating some of these garments, says Webb. “Just because they are no longer ‘current’ doesn't mean they are any less valuable.”

In the frenetic world of disposable fashion, Archive slows things down and encourages you to take a look at what we already have. Fusing fashion with art gives style lovers and consumers the time to appreciate the craft and artistry of each garment and the tales it has the potential to hold.

Room 5, Level 5, Mitchell House
358 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

(03) 9600 0459

Tues to Fri 10am – 6pm
Sat 10am – 3pm