Creamy leather bags rest in glass cages, while an exposed brick wall stretches into the alley behind. It would be easy to mistake the heritage storefront on Chapel Street for an art gallery. A-Esque highlights the resurgence of retail on Chapel Street, engendering the renaissance of Australian fashion with the return of Mimco's Amanda Briskin-Rettig to its fold. Briskin-Rettig's philosophy for A-Esque is anti-brand. The idea is that you should buy something - in this case, a bag - because you like it and you wish to enjoy it as a private luxury, not merely to show off a label.
The store's architecture reflects such an idea, celebrating luxury quietly via crisp lines and thoughtful embellishments. The pieces run in limited quantities, carefully crafted from Italian leather in her Richmond workshop and photographed in the store. This laconic production method ensures the dialogue remains on quality and design as opposed to branding - and it succeeds. Briskin-Rettig's designs are charismatic - slouchy totes in autumn leather, suede bangles punctuated in gold - eloquent and engaging.
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