Style blogger Susie Bubble poses at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. Photo: Marianna Massey
H&M, you’ve taken your sweet, sweet time and we harbour no resentment for that, but now will you please, please come to Australia? We deserve well-priced, seasonal items by Isabel Marant and the like as much as the next shopper. And with the announcement that you’ve just launched your long-awaited, e-commerce store in America, we’re holding out hope that we will be next. ‘Cause if you can’t come here physically, then at least pay us a visit virtually. And while we’re at it, pray to the fashion deities that these stores will get their wriggle on, too.
When we seek order from the chaos and the clutter, we find solace in Muji. The Japanese lifestyle brand has over 300 stores worldwide, with over 5,000 products to its name – from luggage and cleaning supplies to chic clothing designed for people happy not to stand out too much. Their Asian stores also stock food products, including cherry-blossom-scented marshmallows and peach oolong tea. We’ll work on an Australian outpost first, then a lolly aisle …
When it comes to high street shopping, London has got it going on. & Other Stories launched this year and sits somewhere in between its more serious older sister COS and its trendier lil sister H&M. As well as clothes and accessories, every store has a fully kitted beauty department with dreamy nail polish collections that give Chanel a run for its money. They’ve teased us with a hyped-up online store, crammed full of gorgeous editorials, but no international shipping. A bit cruel, ain’t it?
One of the great joys of travel is stocking up on the things you can’t buy at home and making your friends jealous upon your return. Our first point of call? Sephora. Their in-store brand, positively ubiquitous across Asia, America and Europe, takes the hard work out of painting our pouts and blushing our cheeks. When abroad, we step into the beauty behemoth only to emerge a few hours later, a bit dazed and with our wallets still quivering. Wouldn’t it be easier if their goods were available on the interwebs? Online, each product is tagged with 25 descriptors, enabling users to search for exactly what they need and shop in a slightly less frenzied manner.
Glasses shopping requires a lot of thought. As George Costanza puts it, you’re basically picking out a new face. Warby Parker takes the stress out of this harrowing task by offering stylish, affordable specs in a range of classic hues and shapes. They’re also do-gooders, donating a pair for every one it sells. What’s unique about Warby Parker is how they’ve managed to intersect e-commerce with bricks-and-mortar, opening physical stores in New York and Boston. They’ve spawned many imitators with their business model, but few of these copycats allow you to touch, feel and try-on their products like Warby Parker do.
Have grand, Design Sponge-worthy visions for your pad, but a budget that’s dashing your Danish modern dreams? Well, it looks like you’ll have to settle for IKEA and your local flea market for now ‘cause Zara Home, almost a decade old and already available in over 40 countries, is yet to hit Australia. The Spanish mega chain does for your home what Zara has already done for your wardrobe, with an aesthetic that’s understated, yet trendy. Add a lucite table here, metallic cushion there, and you’ve got the perfect, cost-effective way to spruce up your nest.