Fashion in the Southern Highlands is not something we are short of. ARKKE, located on Bong Bong Street (conveniently next to my office!) is one of my all-time favourites.
Owner Kerry Anlezarkke has such a unique sense of style and her store is always brimming with fabulous finds. I think half my wardrobe must be from ARKKE and her previous store, Cloth & General, which she has recently merged in to the one gorgeous Bong Bong Street boutique.
Here, she shares aspects of her stylish Southern Highlands life. I hope you enjoy getting to know her.
What inspired your move to the Highlands?
In 1996, my husband, who is an architect, was working on a building development here. I came along for the ride and stayed!
What do you love most about the Highlands?
Spring, the old houses, the ducks that everyone stops for when they slowly waddle across the road. Also, the fact that most of the people here smile. And of course, my beautiful, loyal customers.
Tell me a little about ARKKE. How did it come about?
I opened my first boutique here in 1996. I sold it to a friend, who was also a customer and opened Cloth & General, a clothing and homewares store, followed by ARKKE early in 2018.
I love reinventing every few years, so I was keen to open a more unique style of boutique. One that I had to work hard at sourcing different labels for that you don’t find everywhere. I spend a lot of time doing that. I also love the jewellery that we carry. It’s mostly repurposed old pieces turned into necklaces and rings. We have a beautiful antique comb that is made into a brooch and a ring fashioned from a kerosene lid!
What kinds of fashion labels will I find there?
I have a passion for Japanese designers, so you will find a few of them. At the moment we are also stocking German labels, French, Danish and a couple of Aussie ones, too! The handmade shoes we stock have been a big hit. The beautiful little leather bags made from old compass cases have been popular, too. I don’t think you come to ARKKE for a lot of patterns or bold colours. But you will find beautiful natural fabrics, intricate architectural pieces that look elegantly simple on. It’s unique and quirky, too. A perfect fit for fashion in the Southern Highlands.
Who is your typical customer?
Oh, every day is different. I have customers that have trusted me and shopped with me from the very beginning. They’ve been shopping with me for 22 years! I feel very blessed and they have become friends. I seem to attract confident ladies who are looking for beautiful fabrics, long lasting items with a certain edge to their clothes. They have quite a lovely aesthetic.
Who are your favourite designers?
Oh, that’s easy! Elena Dawson, Yohji Yamamoto, Paul Harnden, Roggykei, Uma Wang, Horisaki … There is a bit of a theme there. Think of anything Diane Keaton would wear. Loose, dark and moody, but styled.
If you wish to learn more about life and property in the Southern Highlands, please contact me via www.homeandhearthproperty.com.au