It seems that many of our favourite labels are starting to come of age – opening stores, showing overseas and generally expanding their horizons. The latest is Susien Chong and Nic Briand's beloved Lover label, which in its 11th year has staked a site in none other than Sydney's lovely old Strand Arcade.
Having been one of Australian fashion's early adopters of social media, the duo were web savvy enough to set up shop online in 2008. Having scores of international stockists both online and in-store, it truly is a testament to Lover's strength as a brand that in 2012 they are able to expand into a physical store.
Briand and Chong definitely take as Australian fashion's most quiet achievers. First they created a perfect storm of romance and rock ‘n’ roll with their aesthetic. Briand and Chong have developed a community around Lover, especially via their passionate support and involvement with music and the arts. All of this has stealthily built up a devoted and loyal following, so it's no surprise that a shop with four walls was a hotly anticipated venture.
Lover has taken a minimal approach to their inaugural store. Black timber floors contrast with a soft pink feature wall, graced with Briand's imagery. The stage-like lights hanging from the ceiling and an impressive set of speakers are the only concession to the notion of furnishings, and even then, they are absolutely functional.
The current Autumn/Winter collection, dubbed Lydia, hangs from utilitarian racks reminiscent of studio equipment, with no mannequins in sight. No further bells or whistles are needed after all – the clothes speak for themselves.
Shop 69–71, Level 1, Strand Arcade
412–414 George Street, Sydney
(02) 9232 7289