Until recently, Hunt Leather may have actually been one of Sydney’s best-kept retail secrets. But with the opening of their new flagship store in the stylish Strand Arcade, the cat is out of the bag.
Launched in 1975, Hunt Leather began when founders John and Elizabeth Hunt returned to Australia after living in the US and discovered a gap in the local market for luxury goods, particularly luggage and handbags. Upon its opening at the MLC Centre, Hunt Leather became one of the first companies to introduce high-end luxury luggage to Australian consumers and soon they were stocking some of the world’s most exquisite brands, such as French label Longchamp and Il Bisonte and Boldrini from Italy.
Since then, the company has opened up stores in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Balmain in Sydney and released their own range of leather goods and luggage under their eponymous label.
The decision to move their flagship store to the Strand was something that managing director Sophie Hunt (daughter of John and Elizabeth) says the family did not make lightly. “After so many years in our previous home, the Strand Arcade just seemed the perfect new fit for us in terms of style, fashion and heritage.”
Brisbane-based architect Richard Spence oversaw the renovations to the heritage-listed space, which – in keeping with the company’s impeccable eye for detail – include railings lined with hand-stitched fine-grain leather, leading down to a lower level where elite brands such as Rimowa and Tumi line the walls.
The opening of the new store has also revealed a selection of new products, such as the handmade silk scarves and cushions designed by London label Silken Favours and bespoke leather sculptures in the shape of animals. Although we should warn you – there is already a short waiting list for the lion.