I first came across ARCHIVE through Instagram many many months ago, and it was love at first sight – the crew at ARCHIVE love all the same designers I do! They’re based in Melbourne, but I was so happy to learn about their online store. I was very excited to visit their physical space when I was in Melbourne last. I met up with ARCHIVE’s Adeline – she is one of the loveliest people and is so interesting to talk to. We spoke about our favourite designers, ARCHIVE, this blog and more…
> Please tell us a bit about ARCHIVE…
ARCHIVE is a consignment concept which fuses together fashion and art, our space is an almost gallery like space where we house the garments. We try to reject the fashion-paced mass consumption nature of fashion these days and focus more on timeless pieces. The Japanese consignment culture inspired the store and we’ve tried to bring that same approach to pre-loved designer clothing here in Melbourne.
> ARCHIVE has such a focused aesthetic. Please tell us about the key designers you always look out for, and what it is about them that you love?
Since the beginning of ARCHIVE, we’ve always been quite focused on the Japanese labels; Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake – who is sometimes overlooked when referring to the great Japanese designers. We like to mix those labels in with more contemporary European labels; Prada, Céline and others.
We’re always on the lookout for pieces from Issey Miyake. Especially the more playful printed and colourful pieces which are often hard to find! Miyake is one of those labels which are so great because they are so approachable in a casual way however, when you wear any of their pieces, they’re so refined and elevated that they give you an edge without having to put in too much effort. Miyake’s Pleats Please range really give you structure without sacrificing movement.
> Travelling the world and sourcing pieces for the store sounds like such an amazing experience; what are some highlights from your sourcing trips?
Buying is professional ‘shopping’ and as sick as it sounds shopping for 12 hours a day does have it’s upsides. Naturally, the greatest thing is bringing the pieces back to our shop in Melbourne and showing all of our wonderful customers.
Often when we buy pieces, we have certain customers in mind – they don’t necessarily know this – however we get to know them and their differing styles over time so sometimes we are personal shoppers without them knowing it! It’s a really pleasurable thing to do and quite special as well. We really get to know our customers and we’ve even built up this little community or family!
We’ve had blisters from carrying so many shopping bags, pulling suitcases around suburbs of Tokyo, sweating in the sun… it’s all very glamorous. And the Japanese always think “Oh dear, those traic gaijin girls are back… to SHOP!”.
One of our main suppliers is an incredible man. He’s quite monk like and wears a chairman Mao style uniform, chain smokes intense cigarettes – almost like the Japanese version of Gauloise and he has an old IBM computer where he sits and plays a Mahjong game. His whole warehouse is a shrine to Yohji and Comme – WE LOVE HIM!
> And I hear you’re moving! What’s next in the pipeline for ARCHIVE?
Yes we are moving! We are moving to a much bigger space (Bernard’s Magic Shop) on Elizabeth St. The new space will feature our new store Shifting Worlds and ARCHIVE in one space together.
We are so excited to be launching a new store, Shifting Worlds!! Shifting World will be stocking three lines of Issey Miyake; Pleats Please, Bao Bao, Cauliflower/Me alongside Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Nomia NYC, Martiano and NEHERA – an amazing knitwear label from Prague that has been recently revived by the co-founder of Encens magazine, Samuel Drira.
Make sure you follow us on Instagram @archivemelbourne and @shiftingworlds for regular updates!!