IMG_2045 What did I know about Sportsgirl before saying "Yay!" to guestblogging for them during RAFW?  Well, actually more than people thought I did, as they harboured suspicions that I knew not a single thing about their Antipodean, hidden-away Australia-only chain store.  Thanks to at least twenty Aussie blogs on my RSS reader and the lovely Kat George of Style Lines who used to work with me at Dazed (and really needs to start blogging again…), Sportsgirl in my mind was something like an Aussie equivalent to Topshop.  Or at the very least, they both appeal to the same demographic.  I'd hear through the blogging grapevine about their collaborations with Australian designers which have been extensive and prolific including the likes of Alpha60, Arnsdorf, TV and Romance was Born.  Whilst talking to people during RAFW, they spoke of Sportsgirl as something of an institution – something that they grew up with since the 70s, which is how I personally relate to Topshop (yes, Topshop before it got infinitely cool and international it served me and my generation well in the 90s with their 2 for ¬£10 fruitti tutti coloured tank tops).  With all that in mind, I found no reason to say nay to guestblogging and in the course of it, I also got to find out more about the Aussie high street and its make-up. 

The big shakeup to the status quo of Aussie's lower priced brands is of course that Zara has just opened up in Sydney, to queues and queues of people waiting to venture into the sheeny shiny new store on Pitt Street.  Personally, Zara rarely figures into my shopping routine just because a) I can never find anything and b) once everyone has ransacked the rails for anything mildly exciting, you feel like you're just going through a lot of very plain and uninteresting clothes.  That's just a personal tick but obviously it's doing phenomenally well with a queue still forming at Zara when I first showed up in Sydney. 

So does Zara have Sportsgirl quaking in their boots?  As it turns out, entering Sportsgirl for the very first time leaves you feeling you're in a boutique rather than a chain store.  Even their Pitt Street flagship is a fraction of say, Topshop Oxford Circus, and you're confronted with a whole lot of personalised visual merchandising that for me doesn't feel like indentikit product pushing.  In other words, a very different beast to Zara and in some ways, Sportsgirl have done a fine job of carving out a niche for their 'Sportsgirls' customers that they know so well.  

When I went in, they were pushing a 'Make Do & Mend' mantra that goes hand in hand with the Social 'Knitworking' groups that they've organised throughout Australia (gotta love a good bit of wordplay).  I was quite impressed with the level of detailing that went into the typography, props, graphics and illustration work used to present these concepts even if the average shopper going in is mainly concerned about getting a $60 cardigan because it's getting a bit 'chilly' (err… like 15 degrees sort of chilly…)

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Their store is divided up into sections that currently has a vintage section themed around Rose Bowl Flea Market where their buying team has actually gone to Rose Bowl in California to pick out items to bring back to sell.  Alright, the prices are slightly inflated, but I like the idea of this international pick n' mix where a chain is bringing pieces from places people may not necessarily have the means to get to…

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This idea is extended to their Global Market Place which is themed around Peru at the moment where the buyers have bought back a ton of accessories to sell.  It is a little like a highly edited selection of tourist garb but again it makes a change from chains being "inspired" by Peruvian motifs and producing their own versions whereas here, Sportsgirl are selling the originating artefacts directly…

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Like the gullible tourist that I am, I immediately bought into the whole schtick, getting myself a bag and a belt… LAUGH away, any Peruvians that are out there…

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(Worn with Alpha 60 tunic, Aldo x Julian Louie wedges)

Inside Sportsgirl's Style Me Studio, a chamber where you can use the in-store styling service, it was decorated to a Central/South American theme, again, eschewing the blank canvas formula of many chain stores and making the space more intimate…

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… The experience was made all the more welcoming with the presence of Sportsgirl's personal stylist Monica here who showed me the Sportsgirl ropes…

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I was even slayed by their packaging, particularly this zip-lock paper envelope used for packing away the jewellery.  Gime a nice bit of printed brown paper and I'm a retailer's soft touch…

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Obviously I had to get in on the Richard Nicoll x Sportsgirl collaboration. This is the first time Sportsgirl have collaborated with an 'international' designer even though Nicoll is originally from Australia.  I thought it was great to see strands of what he's done for Fred Perry (that mod-ish aspect) and Topshop (cleancut preppyness) in this collection with results that are still refreshing…  

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You might not be able to make it out, but it's important to know the checks here are rendered in navy which I think makes a difference to the straightforward Prince of Wales check and gingham patterns.   

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(Richard Nicoll x Sportsgirl jacket, tie-up shirt, trousers with Holly Fulton x ASOS arrow shirt, Beau Coops neoprene wedges)

The item that is likely to be the most industrious out of this Sportsgirl lot is actually this very simple denim jacket with grey jersey sleeves. A hard-working denim jacket has eluded me for quite some time and judging by how many times I've gotten use out of this already means it's made a good return on investment.  You see that little bit of infiltration of banking language there.  That's me being all serious and stuff.  

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(Worn with Vol 1. painted silk t-shirt dress)

Comments (37)

  1. I love your 2nd outfit, even though it’s not really my style! You’re stunning.

  2. I want to shop there! Looks amazing! Love the look with the dress and wedges, perfection! Great job dear!! XO Raspberry & Rouge
    http://raspberry-rouge.com

  3. I want to shop there! Looks amazing! Love the look with the dress and wedges, perfection! Great job dear!! XO Raspberry & Rouge
    http://raspberry-rouge.com

  4. I want to shop there! Looks amazing! Love the look with the dress and wedges, perfection! Great job dear!! XO Raspberry & Rouge
    http://raspberry-rouge.com

  5. Mila says:

    Love your shoes on first pic! And that store looks so cute!
    http://www.modeuncover.com

  6. very interesting! thank you.

  7. Susie says:

    I love all of your outfits here! The painted shirt dress is divine, and I absolutely adore the Alpha 60 tunic. I’ve never heard of Sportsgirl, but am definitely going to check them out.

  8. Sheray says:

    Love Sportsgirl, so glad you enjoyed it, I’d live in a Sportsgirl store if I could, so inspiring and very me.
    Sheray.
    fashionsherayde.blogspot.com

  9. Daniel Dunt says:

    I wasn’t aware of ‘Sportsgirl’ and after reading this plus having a little nose around there website, I can certainly see the countless links between the Sportsgirl label and Topshop! I’m thinking I might have to wait a little for this beautiful not so little post to vanish from the mainstream of the blog and then perhaps write a little something up myself. Thanks for notifying me about this label, If I’m ever over in Australia I will defiantly have to have a poke around! – Daniel Dunt
    http://tsnewyork.com

  10. Michelle says:

    Great article- I love Sportsgirl, which can be seen in many of my blog posts : )
    x
    Michelle
    http://www.michellesstylefile.blogspot.com

  11. jenaly says:

    your so cute and i love your style. i could never pull it off but somehow you make it work beautifully.
    http://jenalyenns.blogspot.com/

  12. I V Y says:

    sportsgirl is the greatest!
    love it.
    the richard nicoll x sportsgirl jacket is lovely.
    ∆ blog
    ∆ twitter

  13. Loved ‘social knitworking’ and the ziplock bag!

  14. Laura says:

    This looks amazing!!! Love the skull details in the shop 🙂

  15. Rosie says:

    I’ve fallen in love with that Alpha60 dress…. but I’ve just seen the price 🙁 I’m only a poor student!

  16. Bianca says:

    wow nice post! the first couple picks somehow reminds me of the yarn shows in Pitti Filatti.

  17. Lisa Ann says:

    Just another reason to get my butt over there! I have had this crazy idea bouncin’ around in my mind the past moths or so to move there… Yikes!
    Thanks for the great write up.
    ‚òÆ Lisa Ann
    http://www.sugarcoatedstyle.com

  18. susie hull says:

    When my parents decided to move over to oz, which means me now spending my year in both places, I was so worried about the fashion they had to offer!, and it was such a relief when I discovered sports girl!! I love it

  19. Flaviana says:

    Love all the looks!
    MY BLOG: DRESS UP FOR ARMAGEDDON

  20. ROBSON ROCHA says:

    Les photos s‚Äôen viennent bient√¥t!Vraiment tr√©s beau,j’adh√®re!!!!
    bisous
    J’accompagne toujours votre blog et j’aime beaucoup votre travail. Moi aussi, j’ai un blog o√π je montre mes cr√©ations de mode. je voudrais vous pr√©seter mon blog http://www.zoedegaia.blogspot.com
    Je vous remercie de votre attention.
    Robson Rocha.

  21. Love the way you integrate art and fashion!!!

  22. Edward says:

    Wow, good that I saw this blogg.
    Just sended you and email.
    Hope we talk soon.
    Edward…

  23. jackson says:

    love all the looks
    ================
    webdesign

  24. jackson says:

    it is nice
    ==============
    webdesign

  25. patuxxa says:

    Shoe telepathy! I bought those ALDO x Julien Louie wedges and wearing them today for the first time. Funny though, in Portugal they didn’t even advertise them as part of a collaboration, and they don’t have the whole line. But I love them!

  26. Celia says:

    Haha. My father has that kind of belt and lately my mother was wearing it. That made me smile. 🙂

  27. elviram says:

    i`m not peruvian but ecuadorian (neighbors) and we have almost the same things and crafts! i¬¥m sure you would loooove our textiles… i love how you mix them and create other styles 🙂

  28. Susan says:

    your makeup is so much lighter than your skintone it makes you look a little sickly. and I feel like just cause you’re asian you get away with closing your eyes and picking random clashing clothing. lol. but you’re cute so it’s ok i guess.

  29. sylviaeasley says:

    I like the dresses ,It looks amazing & stylish .I love to read this blog and one more that is http://www.onlygowns.com/blog .This is one of the best blog i guess.

  30. Victoria says:

    There is some fab Visual Merchandising going on! Very nice, thanks for sharing Susie! x

  31. jenni says:

    I love sportsgirl <3 It's great to hear that you appreciate Aussie fashion.
    chocolate-closet.blogspot.com

  32. Simplizers says:

    Wow, your style is chic and full of life. I learn more from you to be creative with my style. The jean coat is one of my favorite piece, too.

  33. Susan says:

    love all the sets- especially the first one!
    xo

  34. Tartangirl says:

    Love your prince of Wales check outfit !

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