Sorry Thanks I Love You, the immersive concept store dedicated to the cutting edge, the unique and the expertly handcrafted, has taken over the basement of Westfield Sydney – permanently.
The 300-square-metre empire is the “culmination of years of reckless experimentation” for owners Caroline Ball and Ant White. Since launching Sorry Thanks I Love You online in 2013, the duo has run several pop-ups, including one on Westfield’s fourth floor and another in the GPO building in Martin Place, before landing here.
Like all things STILY, the space is extraordinary. Step out of the chaos of the CBD and into a world of beautiful objects, where time seems to slow down. The organic shapes, clean lines and tranquil palette are the vision of designer Han Lim of StudioMKZ, who drew inspiration from Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. The concept was transformed into reality by Scott Sun of Archiway Corp, who spent four months building the space by hand – mostly at night. The “walls” are more like works of art, made of thousands of pieces of wood nailed together.
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“We wanted it to feel enclosed, but open – a public space,” Ball tells Broadsheet. “It’s more a sculpture than a store.”
In fact, the space is multidimensional: one end is dedicated to a cafe, designed to provide an “oasis of calm”, where people can “hang out and relax”. The amphitheatre-shaped space is bordered by a stunning marble-topped bar, and the tight menu comprises Single O coffee, Botanical Signature tea, and Loco Love’s vegan, spice-infused chocolates.
Beyond the cafe is a wonderland of fashion, accessories, jewellery, gourmet food and boutique drops from the world’s cleverest creators – including some new additions to the STILY stable.
Look out for bold prints and luxurious fabrics by Italian designer Marni, elegant and lightweight garments by Japan’s Issey Miyake, and the experimental cuts and unexpected details of Comme des Garcons. Then there are candles by Astier de Villatte, which, Ball explains, are “handmade in a warehouse on the fringes of Paris”; new jewellery by Momoko Hatano, made from recycled silver and vintage pearls; and cheese knives shaped from recycled tools by Dog Boy, who also works as a vet.
“We plan to change the display every week,” says Ball. “So there’ll always be new things to see.”
What’s more, there’ll be events aplenty. These include the comeback of STILY’s free yoga classes led by Mischa Gomez, as well as regular tastings with P&V Wine & Liquor, cuppings with Single O, cheese tastings with Tasmania’s Bruny Island Cheese Company, and even public theatre.
“We don’t think of ourselves as retailers,” says Ball. “But as a place for community, where people can experience something new, or meet someone interesting.”
Sorry Thanks I Love You
Level 1, Westfield Sydney, Corner Pitt Street and Market Street, Sydney
0418 428 486
Mon to Sat 9.30am–6pm