The ultimate (and I mean ULTIMATE) shopping destination of Canberra is now Lonsdale Street Traders on 27 Lonsdale St in Braddon. Not only are the wares you will find here unique and wonderful-more on that later-but the concept itself is worth hyping, and something quite new for Canberra. Lonsdale Street Traders is retail space for boutiques and pop-up shops, kind of like a semi-permanent designer weekend market that’s on everyday (and late night on Thursdays). The shop fronts are as exciting as the treasures held within.
Here at the Traders you’ll find vintage fashion, high end brands never before seen in Canberra, one-of-a-kind pieces from local designers, quirky and kitsch paraphernalia and a general hipster-topia affectation complete with rad cafe and huge comfy chairs.
Below are a few of my favourite shops at the Traders.
Accessory shop Box has the most impressive shop front. The walls are covered in faux grass, and there are tree stump stools placed around the door, making you feel as if you are about to step into a forest – a magical forest of shoes and bags.
The much talked about itrip iskip is the place to go for super unique pieces that you pretty much won’t find anywhere else in Canberra.
Frith St is a vintage boutique whose concept is succinctly summed up by the Coco Chanel quote printed on its wall “Everyday is a fashion show and the world is the runway”!
Hive stocks stationary and small home wares. Everything is so incredibly cute that you end up just looking at everything, and before you know it, you’d been in the store for 15 minutes!
Pela’s Studio brings together both high end Australian brands and experimental international labels with architectural influences. What I loved most were the origami head pieces and exquisitely crafted shoes.
Hipsley Lane is one of the biggest vintage boutiques I’ve been to in Canberra. I was really impressed with the amount of stock they have, from day and evening wear to accessories and jewellery.
Velvet Lane is my favourite shop at the Traders, not the least because the styles they stock are totally in line with my love of colour and prints. What’s unique about Velvet Lane is that it’s actually an online store, but the owners recognized that people love to be able to touch and see what they buy in the flesh, so they’ve set up the store to cater to just that need.
Some say that Lonsdale Street Traders makes you feel you’re in a city much cooler than Canberra. But Canberra is gradually developing its own culture and subcultures. Perhaps Lonsdale Street Traders is not the image of a place like Melbourne or London, but a reflection of the true heart of Canberra, which is impulsively young, bravely creative and constantly forward looking.