Concept stores are still somewhat of an unknown realm within the Australian shopping experience. We’re talking curated collections of global brands all in one place, a la Colette in Paris, Corso Como 10 in Milan and Dover Street Market in London.
Cara&Co is Sydney’s first concept store. Originally from Russia, Cara&Co opened its doors midway through 2012 in Sydney’s Westfield complex, up on level 4.
Tucked between other designer boutiques, Cara&Co shines out from the corner like a beacon with its bright, bulb-lit signage, which looks more like a grand window display than the entrance to a store. But poke your head around the corner to find a large expanse unfold before you, showcasing an array of fashion, luxury objects and accessories and a restaurant (Flemish fine dining) right down the back too.
The store itself is like a museum, where each zone appears as a different exhibit. Gold studded watches sit next to mobile phone attachments, charm bracelets, Goti perfume bottles and framed taxidermy beetles. A large proportion of the store is devoted to designer clothes – think Hussein Chalayan, Zambesi, Akira, Norwegian Rain and Antonio Marras. And if those brands seem as foreign to you as their names sound, then shopper beware, the high-end brands only get more obscure.
This is discreet luxury where labels aren’t to be flaunted, despite their high price tag and the fact that many of these brands aren’t available anywhere else in the country. It’s worth a look.