It really hit hard a couple of days ago.
Granted with the rise of tech knowledge, everything has changed for the world of fashion retail and marketing.
We can all play and trade in the global market place.
With this comes the destruction of the marketplace that we grew up with. I remember catching the train with friends and heading down to Chapel Street or Brunswick Street and walking up and down it all day. There was so much to see, unique labels and local designers selling small batch almost bespoke clothing. Individuality. The need to stand out or find your niche in the local crowd. Word of mouth and then organic growth.
I kind of feel that with globalization, the benefits of being able ti grow a brand fast and to the giddy limit sacrifices the customer’s sensory journey with a brand. It use to be so satisfying to walk into a store like Melbournes ” Alice Euphemia” or “Fat 52” and see what local designers were creating. This is where the likes of Tsubi ( Ksubi now) and Gorman originated. It was pretty rad to watch them grow and to be a part of their journey in a way.
You knew the product, you were able to explore and discover it. It was a treasure and then when it grew as a business – you felt like you supported and contributed to it in a small and significant way to become a global brand, leaving room for you to explore, discover and support someone/else local.
I feel like the journey and the community has gone.
Just by walking down Prahran on the weekend made me mourn this. Every second shop ( sometimes 3 in a row) were empty and for lease. All the big brands selling their low-quality product or global brands that could afford the astronomical leases were there. It was boring and the streets were dirty and suspect. Loads of cafe’s struggling to compete with one another, there was the feeling of desperation. Perhaps I have been living down on the coast for too long – however, I kind of feel that this has given me fresh eyes to the situation at hand.
I don’t want bricks and mortar stores to die.