MAN I am SO excited for this one.
I'm sure you guys will recall my affection for New Zealand based lighting / furniture design studio Douglas and Bec, who I first discovered back in 2010. Headed up by Husband and wife team Bec and Paul Dowie alongside Bec's father Douglas Snelling, Douglas and Bec creates a distinctive, pared back range of lighting and furniture made in New Zealand, and also run their very own gorgeous little retail store in Ponsonby, Auckland. I've been banging on about Douglas and Bec for a long time, so it's PRETTY FREAKING EXCITING to annouce that this clever NZ-born design studio have just opened their very first showroom in Melbourne. YES!
It was a fortuitous email from Melbourne fashion retailer Julia Pound of Dagmar Rousset in January this year which provided the impetus for Douglas and Bec's recent move to Melbourne. Julia, who previously ran her business from a modest shopfront on Gertrude street, was looking for a new space, and came across this amazing lofty warehouse space in Easey Street, Collingwood. She knew it was too big for just her business - and she also knew that it would take a clever pairing of two complementary businesses to really prosper in this location, which is tucked just off the main drag. Julia wrote to a handful of local businesses she admired to gauge their interest in sharing the space, but no one was biting. Then, despite never having met them, she dropped Bec and Paul an email, asking if they would ever consider opening in Melbourne. Bec jumped on a plane the very next day!
'Julia had been looking for quite some time and with her sound knowledge of the area, as well as her infectious enthusiasm, I just could not think of it being any more perfect!' says Bec. After checking out the space, she went home to convince her business partners - Paul, her husband, and Douglas, her Dad and co-director of the company. Within a week it was settled.
Fast forward three months and Douglas and Bec's new store officially opens TODAY, looking every bit as beautiful, minimal and scandi-streamlined as you would imagine. 'All of a sudden we are here, open and are in love with it all' says Bec, who has spent the past 6 weeks in Melbourne setting up shop with husband Paul. Their new space is a beauty to behold, full of Douglas and Bec's signature handcrafted lighting and furniture, paired with an inspired edit of pieces from international brands Bec has developed strong relationships with, including US based design studios Iacoli and Mcallister, and Ladies and Gentlemen.
'I am extra excited about this combined special store experience - being able to tell our stories in this beautiful space' says Bec. Indeed, the 'combined special store experience' is one of the great drawcards of this clever partnership, making this new retail offering a unique destination. After browsing Douglas and Bec's light-filled showroom, you can wander through to Dagmar Rousset, where the 'New York loft' vibe really ramps up - the vast double height ceilings and industrial windows must be seen to be believed! In these impressive surrounds, Dagmar's quirky edit of womenswear and accessories are showcased to full effect, with sculptural shop fittings designed by local jewellery / sculptor Hamish Munro. Dagmar's eclectic range includes fashion labels PAM, All Knitwear, Ayamé, Bensimon and many more.
Open Monday to Friday 10 - 6 and Saturday 11 - 4.