It’s been four years since Deborah Symond O'Neil launched her online boutique, Mode Sportif, with a simple goal: “to create a destination for the 24/7 wardrobe”.
The idea was to offer a curated edit of local and international designers that could straddle “street to studio, work to weekend, day to night”, she says, and a small Surry Hills showroom offering private styling services was the single real-life point of contact for shoppers, and only by appointment.
Since then Mode Sportif – which stocks a range that spans designers such as Adidas Originals, Calvin Klein, Chloe, Valentino and Alexander Wang – has grown to include a Paddington Concept Store, which opened in 2016. And this year a Double Bay flagship will open to present its hand-picked selection of luxury ready-to-wear pieces, everyday sportswear essentials, shoes and accessories. Both offer a “pick-up” option for online shoppers.
The product offering at each Mode Sportif store is slightly different; here you’ll find a dedicated section for activewear, and the latest from designers including Ganni, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Samsoe & Samsoe, Just Female, LoveShackFancy, Monreal London, Vaara and LNDR, with more to come.
“The Double Bay boutique brings the Mode Sportif lifestyle to life,” says Symond O'Neil of the new store that’s designed by Poco Designs to be “luxurious yet comfortable” – a bit like the brand itself.
“The boutique wraps around a living-room setting, which provides a place for clients to sit and relax in-store,” she says. “Our retro-inspired sofa and custom terrazzo coffee table, designed by Studio Mignone, create a warm and welcoming space.” The soft colour palette involves mossy greens and blush pinks. There are decadent marble finishes, and the fitting rooms combine brass panelling and lush velvets.
The in-store team can help with styling – and still offers private appointments – and is trained to talk you through your sartorial options, whatever the occasion.
The clothes hang on chrome racks under the “vintage clamshell lights” that Symond O'Neil says are her favourite feature, apart from the “lovely community feel” of the neighbourhood.
“Double Bay has a fabulous combination of cafes, boutiques and services that makes it a one-stop destination,” she says.
Mode Sportif Double Bay
8 Cross Street, Double Bay
(02) 8590 1299
Mon to Fri 9.30am–5.30pm