Images: Fendi Opens Swish New Sydney Flagship Boutique

Go back just fifteen months, and the luxury shopping conversation was basically about how well brick & mortar retail could survive against the rapid growth of digital sales. Now, following one year+ of COVID-forced lockdowns and quarantines, one can’t help but wonder where high-end fashion itself will fit into the, um, new world order, once this is (mostly) all behind us.

For one thing, after such a protracted period of dressing down, are there in fact a lot of people desperate for a prolonged sartorial splash-out, a sort of Roaring ’20s run of shameless style extravagance? Or will dedicated followers of fashion more likely be easing gently back into their previous purchasing and wearing habits? Fendi, for their part, are betting on the former, with a swish new flagship boutique having just opened its doors in Sydney – Australia’s capital of luxury retail.

Fitted into the heritage Queen’s Club building, dating to 1912 (when it was a private members club) and facing right on to Hyde Park, it announces its intentions before one even has the chance to enter, with its exquisite façade of gold-lacquered glass and champagne metal. A cantilevered awning is meant to specifically reflect the particular habits of Sydney sunshine, while linear LED lights provide the dazzle by night.

Just inside is a Magic Cube display, hosting Fendi’s iconic #Peekaboo bags, for which the exalted Italian fashion house recently recruited Aussie/British actress Naomi Watts to star in a special short campaign film. Elsewhere, Italian Arabescato Vagli marble, ivory stucco motifs and Art Nouveau detailing make for a uniquely refined atmosphere throughout. All in all, it’s 255 square meters of Women’s and Men’s Ready-to-Wear collections, accessories, and leather goods that all appear to be begging to be taken for a glamorous night out, the sort we haven’t experienced in more than a year now.

Of course, travel to and from Australia is still a tricky proposition at the moment. But it’s encouraging to know that once we can return, the fashion shopping will be better than ever.

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