Thriving is not a word synonymous with local retail this year, but Melbourne loungewear brand Suku has come close. Offering a tactile antidote to the pressures of 2020, Suku really came into its own at a time when, for a lot of us, seeking controlled comfort has taken on new importance. There’s just something to be said about adorning yourself in buttery bamboo rayon that looks like an acid trip; you can’t help but feel a little bit brighter about the world.

Suku founder Chrissy Lafian credits the label’s tight-knit community and loyal customers with its pandemic survival. It makes sense that the next step would be an IRL flagship space. Lafian says completion is still a few weeks off, but she’s excited to take the Suku community along for the ride via the brand’s Instagram. “We want to show a real-time BTS of what it takes to create our store, which brands often hide,” says Lafian.

The Gertrude Street store will be built through a collaboration between designers, artists and the Suku team, offering an inclusive oasis for local creatives. Lafian looks forward to welcoming other grassroots communities and friends into the planned upstairs attic space – hosting Ladies of Leisure workshops and Club Ronny pilates classes, among others. Lafian says the intention is to support fellow creatives. “It will be a dream come true to open up our space to friends to share in the opportunity.

“This year has shown how Melbourne people are so supportive of each other.”

Suku’s latest collection, Memento, is out today. The first flagship will be at 128 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.