Do you remember a time when minimalist dressing wasn’t a wardrobe mainstay? From our pursuit of the ultimate capsule wardrobe to the rise of “quiet luxury”, there are no signs of our obsession with well-made, easy-wearing essentials abating. And it makes sense. If you eschew the mounting list of trends (both micro and macro) and the world of ultra-fast fashion in the hope of building a more conscious closet, of course you’re left wanting to buy really wearable clothes.
Elka Collective is a brand that’s never far from the minds of people who want to dress well, every day. Founded in Melbourne in 2014 by creative director Courtney Price, the label is best known for its range of understated essentials. From denim to coats and day-to-night dresses, it has all corners of your wardrobe covered.
“It’s a brand that you can really wear head-to-toe,” says Clare Hurley, general manager at Elka Collective and Review . And she isn’t being hyperbolic; the brand has recently launched a small range of footwear with more styles to come for summer. Handbags are on the horizon, too.
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“We’ve always stocked other brands to round out our customers’ wardrobes. But it’s been exciting to develop our own product to fill the gaps in their lives,” Price says.
But it’s not just the brand’s product and categories that are expanding. Bricks-and-mortar stores are a focus for Elka Collective as it continues to grow. Last year the brand was acquired by LK Group, which also owns Review, Black Pepper and Hommey. And in the months since, Sydney has seen doors open in Mosman, Bondi (originally conceived as a pop-up but looking to go permanent) and most recently, at the Queen Victoria Building in the CBD. Earlier this month, the team unveiled a new boutique in Melbourne’s Albert Park and there’s a soon-to-open store in Claremont, Perth.
“The boutiques allow us to curate the collection exactly how we want the customer to experience it,” Price says; the team has followed a minimalist aesthetic footprint to ensure shoppers focus on the clothes. “There’s lots of neutral tones and really clean, polished elements like chrome fixtures and marble countertops.”
This pared-back approach echoes the clothes hanging on the rails. The Zoe collection, a basics program that’s built on 100 per cent organic cotton tees, tanks and dresses, is a fan favourite. Soft tailoring is another go-to for regular wearers of the brand. And new season dresses like the Watson, Mariana and Fernanda designs are easy choices.
“Our stores have really helped us shape the collection for our customers. We can get feedback on what they’re wearing and where. We’ve seen more people wanting to purchase what were once seasonal styles, all year – like trench coats, jackets and pants – and these have now become core pieces for us,” Price says.