After successfully launching their online men's fashion and accessories business last year, Belance founders Theodore English and Oscar Perez have made the move into old-fashioned bricks and mortar retail by opening a boutique on Paddington's William Street.
The idea for the store came about after the two founders operated a pop-up shop a few doors down from the new shop in November of last year. “The response was amazing,” says Perez, who along with English, decided to venture out following many years in the fashion business. After their pop-up proved a hit, the duo acquired the narrow shopfront (next door to wine bar 10 William Street) and created their dream retail space.
“We fell in love with Paddington; William Street is perfect for what we are trying to do,” says Perez. Inside, the shop is carefully curated: homemade fixtures made of recycled industrial furniture hold displays of shoes, watches, sunglasses, hats and shirts. In the courtyard, QWSTION bags from Switzerland hang among pot plants. The back room displays watches and grooming products and also serves as a fitting room for bespoke suits. “We help the customer with the fabric and style of the suit, measure them and then send the details to tailors we work with,” says Perez.
Belance is committed to local labels. It stocks shoes from Sydney-based Eve & Kane, hats from Byron Bay label Fallen Broken Street and beautiful handmade wallets from Melbourne-based Chocolate Brownie. In addition to Australian labels, it offers accessories from New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Portugal and the USA. “We didn't want the same labels as everyone else. We are all about good quality – we're not interested in what the brand name is. We want to offer things that are timeless and things that will last,” says Perez. “And we want to support local designers,” says English.
Belance 8 William Street, Paddington (02) 8041 1592
Hours Mon noon–5pm Tue to Wed 10am–6pm Thu 10am–6pm Fri to Sat 10am–6pm Sun 11am–5pm