Every day, the trio behind Lessons carefully curates an outfit, scouts a location and styles a fashion shoot worthy of a high-end centrefold.

Often, one of them models for it, too. It’s a lot of effort for an Instagram photo the size of a matchbox, but for owners Conor Burson and Dani and Jake Polce, it’s well worth it.

After all, street traffic isn’t rife when you set up shop through a barred door, down an alleyway, and in a dim basement that’s lain dormant for 200 years. It may seem counterintuitive to choose a spot so secluded, but Lessons bucks conventional wisdom.

Instead of using advertising or aggressive marketing, Lessons lets people come to it. It helps that the store stocks hard-to-find labels including gender-bending logo tees from Hood By Air, graphic hoodies from KTZ, and a range of sleek watches from Phantom Project 1.0.

At night the outside alley sporadically turns into a speakeasy bar, with killer sangria and vintage Playboys for perusal. Other times, it’s used as an events space for everything from engagement parties to runway shows.

Oh, and if you want to actually find this joint? Look for the glowing hourglass on Pakenham Street.

Updated: March 13th, 2018

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