COS opens its 140th store, in Sydney, today at precisely 12pm. There won’t be one crease in any piece of clothing in the mammoth store, the furniture will be adjusted just so and every surface will gleam. COS is an operation in timeless, functional style and the experience in every COS in the world is pleasant and considered.
Pleasant doesn’t quite do it justice, though. Awe-inducing is a better fit – it's housed in a 48-square-metre, former Commonwealth Bank building in Martin Place, with ornamental plaster panels on the ceiling and giant Art Deco pendant lights. The shop is split into sections (menswear, party, casual) by cleverly arranged racks. “Built in 1916, it was considered the first skyscraper in Sydney,” says Karin Gustaffson, head of womenswear design. “The original features of the building act like a blank canvas to our collection; the beautiful high ceilings and the windows, even the flooring. One small detail I love is that our storeroom is in the old vault.”
COS releases two collections per year; in-store is the SS collection (meaning we are a season behind the Northern Hemisphere). There are splashes of bright colour among the neutral palette – sky blue, orange-red, mint green and bright pink. It will receive clothes drops every week. “We think of our customers as style conscious, confident, with a big-city mindset, and as up-to-date with what is happening in the world with everything from art and music to culture,” says Gustaffson. She’s wearing a semi-fitted black dress, her blonde hair neatly curled, perfectly poised. “We are pleased to announce we will open a second COS in Sydney next year. The Bondi Junction location is ideal.”
Does she have a favourite piece? “We always enjoy readapting and updating the white shirt. Each season we challenge ourselves to rethink this timeless wardrobe essential, and to update it with subtle details or through the fabrics we use,” says Gustaffson. “I believe timeless and functional design can be incorporated into everyone's wardrobe.”
5 Martin Place, Sydney
Mon to Wed 9.30am–6:30pm
Fri & Sat 9.30am–6.30pm