How lockdown and the work-from-home revolution changed the way we dress
Launching her new clothing and lifestyle boutique – Sissa Sorella Collection – in the midst of a pandemic may not have been ideal, but Kate Dawson made a very sound prediction about the types of clothes, shoes and of accessories in which she would specialize.
And it turns out they’re a perfect fit for a post-lockdown lifestyle.
When Sissa Sorella Collection opened at Campbell 5 last November, Kate planned a very specific niche for her sister fashion boutique to shoe flagship Deakin.
For years shoe customers had been asking Kate to create a range of clothes, and she set about showcasing her vision in a bright and airy space on Provan Street, which is fast becoming the most cosmopolitan street of Campbell.
Kate always wanted the store to be all about effortless, casual wear, a step up from the clothes you wear to the gym, but more fun and functional than the suits you wear to work.
The irony is that Kate seemed to have pinpointed the demand for clothes in the new work-from-home society.
“I think the changes brought about by COVID have changed the way we dress to leave the house, and I would say our clothes fit into a more relaxed lifestyle where you want to feel good and look good, but you don’t want to dress up and you won’t be sitting in a desk all day. »
She stocks smart-casual, ready-to-wear, easy-to-wear, and lifestyle-focused pieces that can easily translate from Zoom meetings to cafes with clients.
“At the end of the day, I want my customers to put these clothes to good use, to find pieces that are versatile and comfortable, but also beautiful, and that make them happy to be seen in the city.”
This is not always the case when you are caught racing in athleisure…
Kate spent a lot of time sifting through conversations with her clients about the demand for clothes in Canberra.
“Through the conversations I had with our Deakin customers, it became clear that there was an opportunity in Canberra for high-end casual wear that is wearable, accessible and feels great, everyday wear. , not just for special occasions.
“I was also aware that there are already some very nice clothing stores in Canberra, of which I am an enthusiastic customer! So I deliberately looked for brands that weren’t currently available in Canberra, to try and work with the Canberra scene.
The Sissa Sorella collection is home to a selection of contemporary labels from beloved brands such as Morrison, Once Was, Pol, Soleil, Luna, Zoe Kratzmann, Dea and Arlington Milne to name a few.
Kate is specifically looking to support some inventive Australian brands not otherwise represented in Canberra.
She also puts a tremendous amount of energy into engaging with her customers to the point where they ask Kate to provide them with specific items so they buy locally and not from a big online retailer.
“Campbell was designed to have a different experience from Deakin, and we intentionally wanted to create an experience for our customers to move around the store in a relaxed and open way, and we tried to include all of our favorite things about shopping and none of the irritations.
“Campbell and Deakin share the same concern for providing friendly but not intrusive service in a luxurious, warm and pink setting!”
Meanwhile, homeware additions including candles from Byrne and Love and glass and ceramics from Marmoset Found and an enviable collection of fashion and design-centric coffee table books mean it’s hard to enter the store and leave empty-handed.
Even if shoes are your weak point, the Campbell store has a completely different selection to the Deakin range, so they specifically complement the clothing range.
Kate keeps her clients satisfied with large private dressing rooms and extends her expertise to a range of events, including fashion shows and in-store champagne buying events. Stay tuned for seats at some private and exclusive style dinners Kate hopes to host later in the year.
And while Kate is a firm believer in the power of touching, feeling and trying on items in order to choose the perfect piece, she also understands the lure of online shopping and has spent considerable time building Sissa Sorella’s online presence. .
“We’ve done a lot of work on our website this year, uploading hundreds of products to shop 24/7! We also have regular styling photoshoots so people can see what our clothes and our shoes on the body rather than flat and so we can provide multiple photos on the website and social media.
“There is a place for the web, it’s convenient and practical for many reasons. But there’s nothing quite like trying on a feel like a garment makes you feel in real life.
Just look for the touch of pink on Provan Street.
What: Sissa Sorella Collection
Where: 6 Provan Campbell Street
When: Wednesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.