WHILE growing numbers of major international fashion labels are making their way into Perth’s most stylish fashion address, King Street, two Perth fashion entrepreneurs are putting their own unique stamp on the strip.
WHILE growing numbers of major international fashion labels are making their way into Perth's most stylish fashion address, King Street, two Perth fashion entrepreneurs are putting their own unique stamp on the strip.
The owners of Subway DC clothing stores, Justin and Megan Locke, recently launched a new fashion and art concept store, combining art, music and fashion under the one roof.
Occupying the space above 44 King Street, Wasteland features high-end labels, including See by Chloe, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ksubi and M by Missoni, together with quality low-end labels for basics, bags, shoes and jewelllery.
Wasteland also a stocks a range of CDs, featuring 220 select titles, together with a series of art, design and architecture books, most of which aren't available anywhere else in the state.
"We haven't seen a store like this anywhere," Mr Locke told Business Class.
"Some of the shop fittings we've collected for a number of years with the idea of opening this store," Mr Locke said.
A big feature of the store is the artwork - from the alloy chandeliers and custom-made clothes racks by prominent Western Australian sculptor George Kurstkov, to the spectacular mural adorning the staircase entrance by prominent Sydney-based artist Ben Frost.
Artworks for sale by local internationally recognised artists, some highly collectable, adorn the walls, with events and exhibitions held regularly at the store.
The couple opened its first Subway DC store in King Street almost 15 years ago, making it the longest standing retailer in King Street.
The Lockes have since opened other Subway DC stores on Market Street in Fremantle and St Quentins Avenue in Claremont.
Heading towards the Wellington Street end of King Street is luxury men's fashion boutique/cafe Zekka, located in the former Hudson gallery space on 74 King Street, which its owners say is a first for men's clothing in Perth.
Behind the original business are the owners of edgy Mt Lawley homeware store Tube, Conor and Romina Youngs, and former travel management company account manager, Scott King.
Labels stocked by Zekka include Belgian designers Ann Demeulemeester and Raf Simons, and Japanese designers Kiminori Morishita and Commes Des Garcons.
The owners travel to Paris and Milan twice a year to pick up new designs, often exclusive in Australia.
"We went to Paris last year and talked with designers; most of all, these people had never heard of Perth before.
We had to give them a bit of a snapshot of what Perth is and the current economic development it is undergoing," Mr King said.
"[Paris] fashion week is a crazy time, we are penciled in for at least two or three appointments a day and we look at collections and put together our selection from an overview that we get; we have to think about what will work out with the other designers," he said.
Mr King believes there is a niche for menswear in Perth, especially when it comes to international design.
He said overseas fashion designers were starting to take more notice of markets in the Southern Hemisphere, for example by having lighter clothing in their winter collection that can be sold during the Australian summer.
The laneway cafe has been very successful so far, attracting a mixed crowd, according to Mr King.
"People enjoy exploring things and go somewhere which is not right underneath your nose," he told Business Class.
Recent additions to King Street include Swiss shoe and bag maker Bally and the Western Australian Pearl Gallery, which opened its doors earlier this month, with jeweller Tiffany & Co opening soon.