New AGWA Design Store reimagines Gallery’s retail space

Design / Life

Fusing eclectic art with contemporary fashion and homewares through exclusive products and design collaborations from local and globally renowned brands, The Art Gallery of Western Australia has launched the AGWA Design Store, breathing new life into its retail offering.

With product curation led by Perth design and fashion retail aficionados Leith Groves and Rob Marshall, the AGWA Design Store is a visual delight, offering customers an always surprising mix of playful and beautiful pieces, including exclusive designer collaborations, international streetwear, accessories, ceramics, homewares, books, children’s clothing and AGWA merchandise.

Working with Perth designers including the likes of Poppy Lissiman, as well as exclusive brands not available anywhere else in Western Australia, the AGWA Design Store features a diverse range of products for art and design lovers, Gallery visitors, and sartorial followers, with a broad range of products also available via the online store.

AGWA Director, Colin Walker, said the store speaks to the new vision of AGWA and is a unique asset for the Gallery.

“The AGWA Design Store is a place where the everyday is elevated with form and function always in play, it’s a curation of products that will make you smile,” he said.

“The store represents the next transformational stage in AGWA’s overall redevelopment. We wanted to ensure we were offering our Gallery visitors, and the broader community a store that spoke to our passion for celebrating good art and design, but also offering something way beyond the traditional gallery gift shop.

“We expect that the store will attract a diverse new audience and complement the changing offer of the Gallery with the rooftop bar, café and bar, and diverse exhibition and programming schedule.”

Sharing a commercial footprint with the AGWA Cafe and Bar, the AGWA Design Store is in a new central location accessible directly from the Perth Cultural Centre, standing as a retail destination in its own right with a distinct art and design focus.

The AGWA Design Store will include a range of fashion and accessories from international streetwear label K-Way, Wiradjuri woman Kristy Dickinson’s Haus of Dizzy, Wah-Wah, Broochella, Many Peaks Assembly, Dillinger Optics, Alexandra Blak, and Kate and Abel to name a few.

Homewares will include playful lamps from Seletti, Bitossi collectables, Portuguese ceramics, bespoke Dinosaur Designs pieces, Winterwares’ dining sets, quirky bookends and doorstops by German label Zuny, vintage hand-painted tiles by Jenny Klopper, exclusive Emma Davies vessels and ceramics by Chrissie Hogan.

Hailing from decades of service in Perth’s fashion industry as the owner of the much-loved Varga Girl, Leith Groves is well-known for her distinct flair for the unusual, beautiful and unique when it comes to fashion, art and accessories. Rob Marshall brings his own distinct merchandising style and experience from past collaborations with high-end retailers, designers and bespoke artisans.

The brief for Leith and Rob was to create a welcoming space, full of playful and thoughtful pieces from designers and artists locally and regionally, as well as internationally.

Rob Marshall says, “We wanted to transform the space into a destination where people can find works by WA artisans such as Studio Mulders, exclusive pieces from Italian ceramics legend Bitossi or enjoy picking out something fun and frivolous like an avant-garde banana lamp from Seletti. Whether it’s a Dinosaur Designs resin salad bowl, a giant Miffy Lamp or a pair of earrings by Haus of Dizzy, we wanted the AGWA Design Store to be accessible for everyone.”

Every three months, the AGWA Design Store will feature a local artisan or artist, creating a platform to showcase their work, supporting emerging and established artists across WA. Visual artist Emily Gibson will be the first artist in residence, with her fun bright sculptures featuring throughout the store.

“Collaborations will form a strong part of the store curation, and we are working on some exciting projects with local designers which we can’t wait to reveal,” said Leith Groves.

The AGWA Design Store will transform to align with seasonal gallery exhibitions, creating a space that celebrates the Gallery’s latest works and visiting artists.

The Design Store is the most recent component of AGWA’s redevelopment project, which includes a 500-person rooftop venue and sculpture walk with Christopher Pease’s large-scale mural Targets, and the reconfiguration of the Gallery entrance. The shared space between the Design Store and the AGWA Bar and Café allows visitors to relax with a drink after a shopping excursion or Gallery visit, extending the social offering of AGWA, and complementing the Rooftop bar. The new retail space will also host regular events and is available for private hire.

The AGWA Design Store is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm. The AGWA Bar and Café is open Monday to Friday: 6.30am -5pm, and Saturday to Sunday: 8am-5pm.

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