Melburnians are blessed with access to some of the most diverse and unique local designs. Focus your next spree on all things made-to-last with these talented makers, designers and small business owners.
Queen Victoria Women's Centre SHOP!
After opening on International Women's Day in 2020, QVWC! Shop has been a hub for the city's best female and non-binary artists and designers. Love a quirky accessory? Peruse Candy Ng's cute badges and patches, super cool zines and totes from local collective GEMS, and diorama earrings from Funky Fun You. Or shop with a purpose and buy from social enterprises like Sisterworks. It's even located at the site of Victoria's first women's hospital.
You'll find this treasure trove hidden in a basement on Flinders Lane, almost invisible from the street. Jewellers Emma Goodsir and Ali Limb opened the first e.g.etal store more than 20 years ago to create a space to showcase exciting local talent. Today you can browse modern styles from independent Aussie and international designers, from statement cuffs to sculptural work of art rings.
Home to handmade Victorian produce and products, everything in Clementine’s is charmingly local. Owner Melanie Ashe is so Melbourne she lives a mere minute's walk away from her Degraves Street store. Pay her a visit to pick up rooftop honey, street art inspired gifting, fierce fashion and more. Snap a pic with the orange Vespa on your way out to make your visit even more iconic.
Started more than 10 years ago by local designer Kristy Barber, Kuwaii creates timeless designs with a focus on sustainability. That means quality craftsmanship, low volume runs, limited edition prints and trans-seasonal staples. The end of season sale is always a treasure trove of gorgeous pieces, too.
Two African-born and Melbourne raised sisters are behind the eclectic Collective Closets. They’ve successfully married Melbourne’s monochrome tones with Nairobi inspired chic. The designs feature tribal prints and earthy colours, African inspired and made in Melbourne. You’ll find your perfect pair of high-waisted, statement pants here. Find their gorgeous space at the Queen Victoria Market.
Co-founded by Marnie Goding in Melbourne in 2004, this playful fashion brand is now loved around the world. ELK's styles are Scandi-inspired but Melbourne in spirit. Every piece is designed in Melbourne with sustainability in mind. Visit the Carlton pop-up to shop the local uniform of bright prints, chunky platforms and ELK's cult-status colourful earrings.
Jacqui Fernandes is an Australian fashion house offering a range of women's clothing and accessories showcasing contemporary and understated beauty. Specialising in coats, leather, and evening wear, the dresses are striking in their simplicity. The collection of designer French handbags, cashmere wraps and precious jewellery emphasises the house-style.
Christine on Collins
Christine Barro is one of Melbourne's most iconic retail figures, with a long history of high-end shopping. Once a buyer for Georges department store, she sourced Prada and Fendi for the Australian market in the 1970s. Now, Christine’s self-titled shop is an unmissable Paris end icon. Where else would you find brands started in the 12th century by Dominican monks next to glimmering Lanvin jewellery?
Yesign Chocolate Gallery
Yes, those works of art are chocolate and yes, you can eat them! Part chocolate shop, part art gallery; Yesign is a proud woman owned and run business with Danyoung Chen at the helm. Visit the pop-up for beautiful gifts and handmade bespoke Belgian chocolate. And look out for 'meet the artist' posters introducing the creative minds behind those artisan treats.
Underground Sundae in the Nicholas Building
You’ll always find something new at Underground Sundae. Founded by Kiwi designer Annemieke Ytsma, this local jewellery label works out of studio three on level six of the Nicholas Building. Delicate yet self-aware, their quirky style blends chains and charms, stones and pearls. Check out the Us by Us earring sculptures of customisable hoops and studs.
Haus of Dizzy at the Melbourne Museum store
Founded by Indigenous Australian designer Kristy Dickinson, Haus of Dizzy is one of the coolest jewellery brands in town. Think bold, glittery earrings rooted in Indigenous activism and female empowerment. Find her bedazzled wares at the Melbourne Museum store. Photo via Melbourne Museum website.
More female-led businesses and events in Melbourne
Mabu Mabu - Big Esso
An all-day bar and kitchen showcasing Indigenous food by Torres Strait chef Nornie Bero.
Hidden Secrets Tours
Indulge and discover the city's hidden charm with Melbourne's original laneway walking tours.
Hero at ACMI
A contemporary day-to-night food and wine bar experience with chef Karen Martini at the helm.
The place to go for a pain au chocolat, almond croissant, ham and gruyere, or lemon-curd cruffin
An authentic French pâtisserie serving cakes, pastries and baked treats.
Hemingway's Wine Room
Brasserie and Wine Bar that is inspired by seasonality, with dishes based on European fundamentals
Last updated on Wed 31 Aug 2022
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Camilla and Marc
Australian luxury fashion brand creating high-end clothing and accessories for women.