In New York there are cafes run by Melbourne and Sydney folk opening on every second block, stores selling Vegemite and Tim Tams and Antipodean fashion labels popping up all over the city. Broad Meadows on Mott Street in Nolita is continuing this trend, selling smaller, lesser-known Australian designers yet to appear in the States.
The daughter of Melbourne denim fashion royalty, Bettina Liano and Roy Christou (of Honour Among Thieves), Hali Christou is a stylist with eclectic taste who has previously worked for PAM. She opened her boutique in the bustling shopping hub of Nolita in downtown New York in June, launching with the first collection by Skodia. Since then, Christou has been gathering pieces by a small stock of independent Australian designers such as Pageant and Pelvis, jewellery by POMS and Building Two, books by photographer June Canedo, and pieces from her mother’s new label, By Bettina Liano.
Currently filled with a very select bunch of designers, Christou says she won’t limit herself to Australians at Broad Meadows, and is keen to find some exciting and unusual American designers to stock too. “I want it to be like [retailer] Opening Ceremony in a way,” says Christou, “very curated.”
The concept is to keep the focus on the designers. Taking from Christou’s assorted aesthetic, the way looks are put together in the store is the most important point of difference for Broad Meadows, she says. “We’re bringing out some fresh Australian designers who haven’t been exposed to the American market yet. They’re designers we think will really appeal here.”
Tucked into a tiny New York space, the name Broad Meadows ironically references greener pastures of the suburbs in Christou’s home city.
“In New York City you’re engulfed by concrete all the time; in that environment Broad Meadows seems like an ideal place to be,” Christou says with a smile.
246 Mott Street, New York
Mon to Sat 11.30am–7pm
Hali Christou’s rundown on the brands in store:
The Pelvis team is a fun group from Sydney whose printed T-shirt line was the result of a popular monthly party. After posting a Pelvis “coming soon” image on the Broad Meadows Instagram, we had a guy come in and pre-order every single top from the range. He wanted to be the first person in New York to have them. pelv.is
Adventurous Melbourne designers Kate Reynolds and Amanda Cummings are behind Pageant. It is fun and conceptual, but still clean and wearable. You can pair the label’s unique pieces with a more basic wardrobe for subtle points of difference or add it to something more outspoken.
Skodia is an ingenious concept by New York-based Australian designer Jess McKie. It is an amalgamation of various styles you might see on the street every day. It hits the right notes of comfort, fit, wearability, colour and modernity.
POMS jewellery is so strong. Girls in New York walk around wearing fluffy earrings, rings and wrist cuffs, and you can just tell they're Australian. I suspect it will become a signature ingredient in the Broad Meadows aesthetic for girls.
Building Two is another jewellery label by Melbourne designers Bella Clark and Kieran Jackson. Their unusual use of pearls has been really well received over here. Along with POMS, I think their range has the potential to become a benchmark for the Broad Meadows girl.
By Bettina Liano
The Bettina Liano brand has always been a huge part of my life. It's the family business that mum and dad started up together the year I was born. Mum has recently moved on from the old company and started a new line that focuses on denim: clean, contemporary, well-fitting jeans called By Bettina Liano. bybettinaliano.com
June is a Brazilian photographer from South Carolina. We have her book, Brazilian Girls in store, which is a documentary-style photo project that explores the laid-back nature of women on the beach in Brazil.