Fashion Lair

WHO: The Lair
WHERE: 115 Hunter St, Newcastle

After buying the business, which used to be located in the relatively quiet parts of King Street, owner and director of fashion boutique The Lair Ashleigh Greenaway moved the clothing store to the heavy foot traffic area of Hunter Street Mall. Full of sleek, edgy and exclusive designer clothes for both guys and girls, including the ever-expanding in-store brand Lair Leather Goods, it brings a sophisticated, yet playful edge to the outdoor mall. For those serious about their fashion, but not keen on pink or frilly pieces, this is a store to visit.

If you haven’t heard of the store before, you have probably noticed the adorable British Bulldog Woody, who sits quietly and contently outside the doors nearly every day.

Something to look out for is their Flea Market, which is happening this Sunday from 10am till 3pm. Occurring every six weeks the store is emptied of all new season clothes and filled with second hand goods from the designer filled closets of Ash and the staff from The Lair. Drop in to grab yourself some beautiful designer pieces that are like brand new but at a quarter of the price, with most things marked between $10 and 20.

What’s your favourite thing about working in Newcastle? 
I guess because it’s a city but it’s small enough to form quite personal relationships with our customers. Being close to the beach is nice and the lifestyle is fairly relaxed, unlike Sydney or Melbourne.

What brands do you currently have in stock?
At the moment we have Zimmermann, Alice McCall, Bec and Bridge, lots of Australian designers, Viktoria and Woods, Style Stalker, Lonely House Lingerie from New Zealand and Senso, which is our big shoe brand. That’s just a small portion of them, there’s a lot. Oh and our in-store brand Lair Leather Goods.

What kind of style/look do you mainly go for?
I generally go for a quite edgy aesthetic, basically things that I would wear. I also run it with my sister, so things she would wear, and we’ve got eight staff, so I generally keep all the girls that are close to me in mind when I’m buying. They all have quite different styles, but still have a definite edge to their style that’s not following trends so much or ‘pretty girl’ or anything, it’s individual.

Tell us more about the Lair Leather Goods brand.
It’s our in-store brand. So there’s me and three other girls working on it. We make handbags, accessories, such as belts and cuffs, and that kind of thing. It’s all made form scratch, in store, we just order huge sheets of leather and all the hardware and we make every single little detail. I’ve only been making it for about a year but it’s changed a lot. Starting at just totes, you know, flat, two-dimensional carrier totes, to three-dimensional bags, with full leather linings and reinforced bases and lots of hardware. There’s lots more embellishments now.

Any future plans/ideas for the Lair Leather brand?
Yeah, lots of ideas! The first idea is sort of happening just now. I wanted to have a couple other boutiques stocking the brand, which we’ve now got six or seven stockists around Australia. Other then that, there are a few boutiques that I would really like to see the brand in, but also would like to open up a second store in another city and represent the brand somewhere else as well.

Originally appeared on Urban Walkabout

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