Brisbane is home to so many incredible creatives making incredible things – if you love being able to wear the art you invest in (and which are often small batch or unique, one-off pieces) this list might be a good place to start.
Shop 4 California Lane (356-376 Brunswick St), Fortitude Valley
Australiana prints, cute embroidery, fun clutches featuring ibises, hand knitted jumpers with Aussie phrases…what more could you want? From design to final detail, Alice makes all her pieces in her Brisbane studio with a focus on using secondhand, vintage, and locally produced fabrics. Check out her store, or have a look online – both are chock-full of gorgeous things.
705 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley
A combined workroom and shop with ethics and sustainability as a core part of its ethos, aiming to help people reconnect with the value of thoughtfully-made garments by offering an insight into the design process. Regularly designing and making in-store, Practice Studio also offers alterations and repairs on both new and well-loved clothes.
The shop features work by emerging designers who are producing seasonless collections, limited edition art-fashion pieces and short runs of garments and accessories. The perfect place for a really unique outfit or accessory, and you’re supporting emerging artists too!
Phoebe Paradise is the alter-ego of Brisbane-based creative all-rounder Phoebe Sheehy, and the label has been operating since 2014.
The screen-printed dresses, tees, totes, robes, accessories, and artwork of Phoebe Paradise often have a grungy, distinctly Queenslander feel – from the cigarette butts on the Durry Socks to the outlines of wraparound verandas on the Home skirt and sweaty faces on the Pig City dress. I’m a big fan of the fit and comfort of Phoebe Paradise pieces, as well as the vibrant colours and bold prints. And I LOVE that they are locally made as well as locally designed!
You can find Phoebe Paradise pieces instore at Practice Studio (705 Ann St, Fortitude Valley) and capsule drops via the Phoebe Paradise website.
58 Vulture Street, West End
Since 2012, The Happy Cabin has been an independent store stocking Men’s and Women’s Fashion Brands from Australia and across the globe, offering handpicked wearables and apparel for life in the open and the outdoors. As well as men and women’s casual apparel they’ve got boardshorts, backpacks, and bucket hats; swimwear and sandals; funky socks, and plenty of other great gift ideas for the outdoorsy people in your life.
I recently got fitted for and bought some Saltwater Sandals from The Happy Cabin and had a great experience (and the sandals have been SO COMFY from day one!)
I came across Sierra Rose’s retro designs at the International Cake Show Australia, and they took me back to baking with my mum as a little kid. I loved the idea of being able to have matching things with my mum. They ship internationally, and express to almost all of Australia, if you’d like to be matchy-matchy with a loved one who lives far away (or who you haven’t seen for a while, in the madness of this year).
Kathy makes beautiful women and children’s clothing in bold prints and simple designs, predominantly cotton with the intention of avoiding synthetic fabrics. Meta Design Co is stocked at Nook in West End and, in non-pandemic times, is often at markets around Brisbane – check the website for details, or shop online via the Etsy store.
Lovely bold prints and classic cuts – Jericho Road was started by two sisters and the pieces are designed in Brisbane but manufactured overseas (details here). They have regular fabulous collaborations with local artists like Debra Hood and Tiffany Atkin.
709 Ann St, Fortitude Valley
Tees, caps, bags, and beanies are available through local contemporary design space Forge Forward, which hosts international, national and local creative with a graphic design focus.
284 Given Terrace Paddington & Byron Bay
A funky little space, stocking Ra Ra Superstar clothing (made in Brisbane from all recycled and collected materials) as well as local designers, vintage, and one-of-a-kind goods.
70 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley
Downes Reliable Shoe Repairs was established over 100 years ago and had traded at the same location for the entire period until development finally caught up with it in early 2014. Downes are now the proud home of Australia’s largest range of Dr Martens shoes, boots, and accessories, and they post nationwide as well as further afield (postal service willing, given the pandemic).
Downes offers gift vouchers, available in-store or via post/email, and exchanges if the fit is not quite right. They also post shoes/boots/accessories/vouchers within one business day as you pay, with all stock onsite, if you are ordering online. They specialise in modification, rehab, and repair of Docs, if you’re looking for a super unique gift for a Doc-lover who doesn’t need another pair, or whose favourites are in need of some TLC.
I bought my Doc Martens at Downes, as a birthday gift to myself a few years ago, and can’t speak highly enough of the wonderful, friendly, patient and knowledgeable service. It was a fantastic and memorable customer experience and I’d highly recommend them.
Based on the Gold Coast, Ellie Hopley makes art that is honest, funny, and often hits close to home. You can purchase prints, tees, totes, hats, beanies, gift cards and more via the website, as well as tattoo tickets if you and/or your giftee want existing Shuturp art tattooed on yourself.
220 Given Tc Paddington
Owned and founded by Nicole Byrne in 2007 Miss Henry Fashion Boutique resides in the heart of Paddington and is home to carefully chosen designs from international and Australian labels.
218 Given Tce, Paddington
With over 20 years of experience in beauty and retail, Julie aims to stock beautiful quality items and provide the option of eco-friendly and Australian-made products where possible. A wide range of gift ideas, from shoes and bags to men’s and women’s fashion, as well as gifts for babies and kids, bath & body and games & puzzles.