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Melbourne's Best Shopping Experiences

Joanna Hall

To mark the 2018 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion festival we thought we’d bring you our top pick of the best places to shop in the Victorian capital. Shopping in Melbourne is somewhat of a ritual for fashion lovers, who get to mix cafe culture with hidden laneway boutiques, local designers and the best of your favourite international brands. Whether you're after high fashion or fine art, jewellery or accessories, the city's arcades, department stores, shopping centres and laneways are home to everything from day-to-day essentials to the unique and unusual. And Melbourne’s passion for fashion is firmly back under the spotlight right now, with the Fashion Festival running through to March 18, and playing host to a lineup of events from runway shows, to fusions of fashion and food and more. Here’s our pick of shopping experiences in Melbourne anyone can enjoy at any time of year.

CBD Malls

Bourke Street Mall is one of the most popular shopping hubs in the city for good reason. For one, you’ll find huge stores by fashion giants Myer and David Jones, along with the popular Spanish brand Zara, Cue, Roger David and Forever New. The Block Arcade at 282 Collins Street is arguably Melbourne’s most iconic shopping destination. Housed in a heritage listed building, this shopping arcade has beautiful mosaic tile flooring and a glass canopy, and a range of shops including Crabtree & Evelyn, Wittner Shoes, and Australian By Design. On La Trobe Street, Melbourne Central is a shopping and food mecca with a number of popular stores under the one roof. Fashion and accessory stores include Bardot, Colette, Converse, Country Road, Foot Locker, Gap, Mimco, Nike, RM Williams and Rebel Sports, while lovers of beauty products will enjoy MAC, Sephora, Napoleon Perdis, and Mecca Maxima. Queen Victoria Village is located at the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Streets, featuring a range of speciality and retail stores including Big W, while Target Centre is a smaller arcade off Bourke Street featuring Target, City Chic and Novo Shoes. For high end fashion head to the Emporium Melbourne, which is connected to Melbourne Central, Myer and David Jones, and offers designer brands including Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein, Carla Zampatti, Kate Spade, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Rodd and Gunn, and Scanlan Theodore. Boutique Place is a boutique shopping experience located on Collins Street, and home to a small collection of boutique fashion, beauty and speciality stores including Mollini, Saba and Indigo. The Strand on Bourke Street combines fashion and lifestyle, with designer brands including Desigual, Gorman, Nobody Denim, Midas, Veronika Maine and Habbot, while the Queen Victoria Markets on Elizabeth Street is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere, and a great place to find clothes, leather goods, shoes, souvenirs, toys, jewellery and more. 

Outlet Malls

DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) at South Wharf is the best outlet shopping in Melbourne, with over 120 factory outlet stores featuring clothing and accessory brands such as Lorna Jane, Mimco, Peter Alexander, Seed, Victoria's Secret and Nike. Other big name brands on show here include Calvin Klein Jeans, Cue, M.J. Bale, Sass & Bide and Adidas, and if you’re after homeware or tech, the brands include Bed, Bath'n'Table, Nick Scali Furniture and JB Hi-Fi.

Made In Melbourne

From local street wear and catwalk fashion to handmade jewellery, homewares and kids' stuff, Melbourne designer have a keen focus on community, homegrown production and sustainability, with an army of creative people busy at work across the city. A few shops to put on your list include Pieces of Eight at 28 Russell Place, which offers handmade jewellery and limited edition art pieces with a focus on intelligent and innovative designs, Melbournalia at 50 Bourke Street, which is a great place to bag some gifts and souvenirs paying homage to the city, and Aesop at 87 Collins Street, a Melbourne institution since 1987 which offers ethically sourced botanical products for the skin, hair and body. Meanwhile Lord Coconut at Mitchell House is Melbourne’s only retailer, gallery and online boutique selling contemporary jewellery designed exclusively for men, and Obus at Cathedral Arcade on Swanston Street showcases fashions by designer Kylie Zerbst.

What's New

Harbour Town Melbourne was the city's other outlet mall, located in Docklands, but it has recently rebranded to become The District, Docklands, and is moving away from its former identity - which includes the addition of an all-weather roof. Dubbed Melbourne's newest shopping, entertainment, dining and fresh food precinct, The District features a lineup of new attractions and facilities alongside the iconic Melbourne Star Observation Wheel and the O’Brien Icehouse, including the Ron Barassi Senior Park and Library at the Dock. Fashion stores of note include a recently opened H&M, alongside Miniso, Canterbury, General Pants Co., Hype DC, Bardot, Sunglass Hut, Platypus and a flagship store for SportsPower, Cotton On, Forever New, Bonds and Politix.

Shopping Tours

If you new to Melbourne and don’t fancy navigating yourself around the city's best shopping destinations, one option is to take an organised shopping tour. Melbourne Shopping Experiences operates a number of different tours including Marvellous Melbourne Shopping, a walking tour which takes in the city’s arcades and laneways, Bargains and Bubbles tour, a day long shopping experience away from the malls to the best outlet shops, and A Vintage Adventure, which scouts for vintage and retro clothing. Another option is Fashion By Foot, which offers a new way to learn about personal style while discovering some of Melbourne’s best kept fashion secrets.


For More Information on the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival visit and for more information on Melbourne visit



2018 Campaign Teaser 00:31

Australia's Largest Fashion Event Returns. 1 - 18 March, 2018. Creative Direction & Styling: Mark Vassallo Photography: Justin Ridler Video by: Sense6

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