It’s the brand’s second standalone store outside its Melbourne flagship. “Paddington is the right fit. It’s a similar demographic to our Armadale store [in Melbourne], with like-minded brands,” says founder, Margie Woods. “Sydney is our largest market, so hopefully we can build a more intimate connection.”
The label’s timeless designs are at home in the old three-storey building. Silver hanging racks showcase luxurious basics: merino-wool knits, floral blue silks and white linen tees. Lacoste shoes sit on grey-washed timber plinths custom designed by timber craft woman, Jo Wilson. Wall-mounted lights near the change room are made from ostrich eggs.
“We didn’t want the space to overtake the simplicity of the clothes; the textures in the fabrics, the different weights of wool and cotton,” says Woods. This simplicity is echoed in the interior of the store; stock is kept downstairs and the upstairs level will be used as a showroom for viewings of new collections.
Launched in 2005, VIKTORIA & WOODS began with a “vision for merino knitwear with a very boutique, contemporary vibe,” says Woods. She met fellow designer Lisa Reynolds in 2009, and the pair went on to become partners in 2011.
“Predominately all of our clothes are Aussie-made – it’s part of our DNA, something that goes to the core of our business,” says Woods. The brand is one of a few certified by Ethical Clothing Australia, an organisation that supports local textile, clothing and footwear businesses to ensure Australian workers receive fair wages and decent conditions.
“They represent something the entire industry is taking a lot more seriously; from supply chains and raw products, to where the garments are made. It’s a growing group and we’re proud to be a part of it,” says Reynolds.