The concept behind, well, concept stores, is that there is much more to them than meets the eye. Take, for example, The Stables D.S. Co-Op, the latest addition to Bondi’s Gould Street. It is ostensibly a clothing and accessories boutique for men and women, run by the close-knit team behind fashion distribution company We Are The Stables.
You will find some of their brands onsite, including Australian label Whillas & Gunn, opticals by Garrett Leight and Toby Jones jewellery, but you’ll also find an intelligent edit of international cult-favourite labels, including Danish brand Wood Wood, environmentally sustainable separates by Base Range and breton-stripe aficionado Edith Miller. Steven Alan, A.L.C. and Reece Hudson will soon be joining the ranks, alongside a curated mix of hard-to-find independent magazines such as Cereal and Man About Town.
“We want customers to walk out knowing something that they didn’t necessarily know when they walked in,” says retail buyer Dee Adam, “whether that be something about our designers, our collaborations or our business. It’s all about time well invested.”
To that end, the store will be fitted out with furniture by young Australian designer Henry Wilson and the front of the space is dominated by a coffee bar run by Bondi’s own Brooklands Coffee Co. They get their beans from Reuben Hills and their pastries from Penny Fours in Leichhardt, but the cups are all theirs. Trading for the past few days, their customers seem to be both browsers pausing for a break and curious passersby searching for a caffeine hit.
In July, We Are The Stables will open its next concept store in Surry Hills, a four-level retail and hospitality behemoth comprising everything from espresso bar and rooftop cocktail lounge to a casting agency and a traditional boutique space. If their Bondi test run is anything to go by, it seems they have stumbled upon the perfect recipe for retail success: local and international brands with back stories, an unstudied, minimalistic fit-out and great coffee.
We Are The Stables
88 Gould Street, Bondi Beach
Mon to Wed 10am–6pm
Fri & Sat 10am–6pm
(coffee service from 6.30am-3pm daily)