Hunter Gatherer on Brunswick Street in Melbourne's Fitzroy has long been a must-visit retail destination for devotees of vintage, ethical and upcycled fashion.
Now, the renowned Hunter Gatherer name comes to Melbourne's CBD, with a new store having just opened its doors in the famous Royal Arcade, off Bourke Street Mall.
When it comes to all things vintage, Hunter Gatherer stands out from the pack. Every frock, blouse, handbag, skirt, coat, trouser, hat and shoe at Hunter Gatherer is specially handpicked from the hundreds of thousands of wardrobe items donated each year to the Brotherhood of St Laurence's 27 community stores or "op shops" across Victoria.
'We have a huge array of pieces to choose from', says Andrea Philippou, Manager of Hunter Gatherer 's Royal Arcade store. 'The sorters at our warehouse have a keen eye, and know just what to look for. What you see at Hunter Gatherer is the absolute cream of the crop.'
'People are often prepared to give away beautiful, classic fashions they no longer have a use for, if it helps a good cause, and shoppers at Hunter Gatherer are the lucky ones to benefit from this generosity!'
Hunter Gatherer is a Brotherhood business, 'so shopping with us makes for guilt-free retail therapy', says Andrea with a smile. By making a purchase at either of the two stores, you'll be helping the Brotherhood of St Laurence to deliver its many programs and services, which prevent and alleviate poverty in Australia and help disadvantaged and marginalised people.
Hunter Gatherer in the Royal Arcade specialises in vintage frocks and pre-loved, European-style leather shoes, including authentic Swedish clogs. It also boasts a men's range that spans everything from velvet blazers to Lacoste cardigans to braces, bow ties and hats.
'We also carry boutique jewellery from Melbourne artisans including Greg Mann, who crafts using antique cutlery, Run Wild Horses
, who turn vintage clock parts into steampunk-inspired pieces, Gabriella Hirst, who works with fimo to make necklaces and bangles with a coral look, and the sweet designs from Scrumptious Productions
'. Fans of upcycling will also adore the hats made of vintage fabrics from The Cat's Pyjamas and Lydra's
clutch purses fashioned from pre-loved fabrics.
So what's hot in vintage right now? Andrea says the television series Mad Men has inspired a resurgence in demand for 1950's and 1960's women's fashion. 'Many people want figure-hugging garments with cinched waistlines and full skirts, to recreate the look of Joan, Peggy or Betty. It's a wonderful style - garments from this era are flattering to many different body shapes and sizes'.
The Melbourne city store was launched in January this year and given its gorgeous wares have a long history, it's fitting that the shop's new home does, too. 'There's been a lack of vintage shopping options in the Melbourne CBD, so we hope city shoppers will like what they find'.
Hunter Gatherer Store Locations:
274 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy (Ph: 03 9415 7371)
Street level, Shop 51, Royal Arcade, 335 Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne CBD (Ph: 03 9650 1843)