When designer Vicki Taylor travels abroad, her initial shopping destinations are always the same. In London, she heads to Dover Street Market; in Paris, it’s straight to Merci; and when in Milan, where else but 10 Corso Como?
So what draws the taylor designer to these shopping complexes, other than exceptional fashion? They’re all destinations where you can dine, buy homeware and shop for clothes, under one tasteful roof.
Inspired by these concept stores, Taylor wanted to be able to give her customers the whole lifestyle package, too.
“I wanted to give people a place that they just wanted to come to, where they can sit in the café and enjoy what goes on around them. They don’t have to feel they have to buy, they can just participate in the environment.”
And so the idea was born for The Shelter, a new concept space in Ponsonby housing food, homeware, clothing and jewellery.
Converted from a laundromat, the new store boasts some big fashion names from here and abroad, while at the same time nurturing up-and-coming designers.
“To set up your own business and open your own retail space, it is a very expensive operation, and so if we can at least showcase some young designers as they come through, it gives them a chance to be able to get their labels known,” Taylor said.
“That’s why we called it The Shelter: it’s kind of an overarching store that not only caters to the necessities of life, but also protects the brands that are underneath it.”
Those brands include Maison Martin Margiela, Danish clothing designer Barbara Gongini, Canadian jewellery designer Arielle de Pinto, Jimmy D, Monday’s Child, taylor, homeware from The Foxes Den and bike hire from tokyobike.
The Shelter, which sits at 78 Mackelvie Street next to Workshop, opens today.