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Whether you prefer window shopping at up-market malls a la the GPO, scoring unique finds in more innovative shopping zones like Chapel Street, or rummaging through the wares at Queen Victoria Market, you’ll find scores of shops around Melbourne, many offering great bargains.

Shopping in Melbourne


A cult following has led the niche Australian botanical skin-care brand Aesop to shelfdom at the likes of Barneys New York and Colette in Paris. (Consider it the Aussie version of Kiehl’s.) Browse the company’s line at several store locations, including rosehip seed lip balm, parsley seed antioxidant eye serum, and roll-on ginger “flight therapy” (to rub on pulse points for calm during air travel). Pithy musings from writers such as Albert Camus, Aldous Huxley, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Emile Zola adorn the tubes and bottles.

Tags: shopping

Bourke Street Mall

From the city’s two flashy flagship department stores, David Jones and Myer, to the old world Royal Arcade with its delightful mix of small shops, Bourke Street Mall has universal shopping appeal. Throughout the day this long strip buzzes with tourists, shoppers, street performers, and city workers.

Bourke St.,
Tags: shopping | eclectic | department store | walking district

Chapel Street

Mixing high-end haute couture and bargain-basement specials, Chapel Street is shopping nirvana. Alongside Australian and international designer stores you’ll find chic smaller boutiques with eclectic original pieces. Whether you choose a funky piece of jewelry from Dinosaur Designs or an original by Australian designer Collette Dinnigan, your credit card is bound to get a workout.

Chapel St.,
Tags: shopping | expensive | designer | eclectic | clothing

E.S.S. Laboratory

Fashion duo Hoshika Oshimi and Tatsuyoshi Kawabata source fabrics from Italy and Japan but design and manufacture their fluid pieces of clothing in Melbourne. Known for their unorthodox shapes and unexpected cuts, the pair also recently designed costumes for a social documentary–cabaret at the Sydney Opera House.

114 Gertrude St., 011-61-39-495-6112,
Tags: shopping | clothing

Flinders Lane

Once the domain of Melbourne’s clothing factories, Flinders Lane is now a hip shopping district. The stretch between Swanston and Elizabeth streets is lined with boutiques from fresh, young Melbourne designers like Christine and Alice Euphemia. It’s also home to several New Zealand designers.

Flinders Lane,
Tags: shopping | trendy | designer | eclectic | clothing


Since reopening in 2004, GPO has quickly become a serious shopping destination for Melbournians. Interspersed between high-end Australian and international designer boutiques such as Wayne Cooper, Akira, and Zimmerman you’ll find a few Melbourne-based brands in this gorgeously grand and historic building.

Corner Little Bourke and Elizabeth Sts.,
Tags: shopping | expensive | designer | clothing

Hidden Secrets

A great way to discover the city’s best kept shopping secrets is on a Hidden Secrets tour. Taking in over 50 of Melbourne’s most unique boutiques, and covering everything from men’s and women’s fashion and accessories to chocolate, confectionary, and wine, you’ll see the shops locals love.

Tours depart from “Time Out Cafe” at Federation Square, 011-61-3-9329-9665,
Tags: shopping | tour | culinary | eclectic | clothing | wine


This paper store’s wares are exquisite – no surprise since it’s run by the same folks behind the bookbinder Paper and Book Arts of Byron Bay, New South Wales. Inside Kami, find silk-screened chiyogami photo albums, yuzen paper made in Kyoto, handcrafted cards, and assorted journals.

217 Brunswick St., 011-61-39-419-5735
Tags: shopping

Kleins Perfumery

Entering this pint-size shop (often featured in the pages of Australian Vogue) is like stepping into an old-fashioned boudoir. Lining the shelves at Kleins are products from more than 80 international and local beauty brands, including Cire Trudon candles (once commissioned by Marie Antoinette), Tokyo Milk’s triple-milled soaps, and items from Australia-based Mor Cosmetics and Jurlique.

313 Brunswick St., 011-61-39-416-1221,
Tags: shopping | perfume

Little Salon

This cute-as-a-button shop specializes in wee pretty things. Among them are whimsical Belle & Boo prints by British illustrator Mandy Sutcliffe and coin purses fashioned from vintage fabric by local label Only Midge. Other standouts include lightweight, two-toned peacoats and playful brooches in avian motifs.

71 Gertrude St., 011-61-39-419-7123,
Tags: shopping | boutique | home | clothing | accessories

Queen Victoria Market

The largest open-air market in the southern hemisphere, the Queen Victoria Market offers a huge range of souvenirs and great-priced clothing. While there are bargains-a-plenty, don’t miss the fabulous produce section with hundreds of vendors selling everything edible; closed Mondays and Wednesdays.

Corner Elizabeth and Victoria Sts.,
Tags: shopping | souvenirs | market | eclectic | clothing

Since Grey

At this former gallery space turned boutique, store owner and designer Nadiele Kolb’s bolero jackets and asymmetrical dresses are now the works of art on display. Kolb, who began her career in bridal wear and at Australian couture houses, accents her pieces with thoughtful details like covered buttons, contrast piping, and lace appliqué. Plus, she swears by natural fibers such as cotton, silk, linen, and wool.

122 Gertrude St., 011-61-39-416-0458,
Tags: shopping | boutique


Owner and printmaker Stewart Russell and his team use sustainable pigments created from natural ingredients like iron powder and flowers to impose their designs on everything from bed sheets to shift dresses and porcelain tiles. Look for a Le Corbusier print on a silk sheath dress, garments by Japanese label Dress Camp, serene botanical motifs incorporating geraniums and peppercorns, as well as black-and-white bed linens decorated with Amsterdam cityscapes. Russell previously ran printmaking studios in Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Now he often collaborates with other artists to print on everything from wood to glass. A second outpost of SpaceCraft recently opened in South Melbourne’s Hawksburn neighborhood. 2010 Smart Luxury Award winner

225 Gertrude St., 011-61-39-486-0010,
Tags: shopping | smart luxury winner

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