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The old Freo Myer building had a rep for being a little, well, depressing. Arguably the emptiest department store in
Australia, its fluoro lights were a little too harsh and people passed through like moping ghosts. So you could not imagine
a more markedly different space than the pop-up haven that now fills its old shell. The non-profit Spacemarket, which
transforms unused places, has turned the old Myer building into a curated high-end marketplace filled with offerings
from avant-garde artisans and emerging creatives. It’s brimming with energy and creativity, with every ‘shopfront’ in
the light-filled open plan artfully arranged like a gallery. Kate Hulett, of milliners Kate & Abel, says, “People come
in and say, ‘It’s like Melbourne!’”
“The response from the locals has been incredible,” adds her business partner Matt Bale. It’s invigorated Fremantle on
a larger scale too, attracting crowds that wouldn’t normally make the journey down. The new platform is split into three levels,
with the ground floor acting as a retail space, the first floor a production area where people can literally see their new purchases
being made from scratch, and the rooftop a space for events, including Dave’s Cans rooftop bar and an open-air cinema.
“I think there’s a change in the way people shop these days. They want to connect more with what they buy,” says
Kate. Along with Kate and Abel, a must-see retail store is Six Thread, a team-up of WA designers Daniella Caputi, Monster
Alphabets, On A Whim, The Butcher and The Crow, Tindale, and Wild Horses. We also can’t get enough of furniture maker
A Good Looking Man; homemade soap store Peaches and Clean; and local produce mecca Urban Locavore. Although the
project is temporary, Kate reckons it will breed longevity. “Although it’s short-term place activation, there’s a legacy to it.
Hopefully these businesses will develop and become stronger and be able to move out into their own premises – maybe in
the empty shops around Fremantle!” Our fingers are crossed. Old Myer building, Newman Court, Fremantle.
HERE TO STAY
Our favourite plastic bubblegum-scented shoes
are stepping into a new location. Melissa Shoes has
opened a new pop-up boutique, M Dreams, on the
corner of Piccadilly Arcade and Murray Street Mall. All
of the latest eco-friendly quirky designs are available,
as well as collaborations like the new season Vivienne
Westwood styles. melissaaustralia.com.au.
Work of art
WA artist Mekel has collaborated with Betts for the debut of the first WA Betts For Her concept store that is
designed just for women. Years in the making, the female footwear boutique, located in East Morley, offers
a wider selection of designs for women of all kinds. Mekel’s dreamy watercolour illustrations bolster the
atmosphere and the overall shopping experience.
Opening just in time for the warmer months ahead
is the new store for iconic brand Quicksilver, its
first outlet in WA. The store stocks an assortment
of the world-renowned surf label’s bathers and
board shorts, as well as surf-, snow- and skate-wear.
Harbour Town, West Perth.
Devotees of mother-daughter shopping love the
bonding time that goes with it. Traipsing around to
double the shops? Not so much. New Cottesloe
boutique Coco Pink, owned by Gemma Caccamo
and her mum Rosalie, offers mums and daughters
a simple sartorial solution, with clothes to flatter both.
They stock trans-seasonal pieces that inspire cross-
generational love – from the likes of Zimmermann,
Aje, Mara Hoffman, Secret South, and Three of
Something – as well as pieces for the men and even
the animals in your life. Talk about a one-stop shop.
Shop 5/569 Stirling Highway, Cottesloe.
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