From 16 until 19 November, dot COMME—the discerning retail temple built by Holly-Rose Butler and Octavius La Rose to honour collectible, rare garments by Rei Kawakubo, Juna Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and their ilk—will host a pop-up boutique in Sydney at 5 Comber Street Paddington. It will feature 100 Comme des Garçons Homme Plus pieces, plucked from their 2,500-strong archive of clothes. These can be slipped on, paraded around in, fought over, and purchased between 10.30am and 5.30pm each day.
In celebration of their coming Sydney appearance, we present this Q&A tidbit with dot COMME’s founders, which first appeared in Museum’s High flying issue.
For major fashion labels, the driving force of their business is found in conventional products: lipsticks, fragrances, handbags, an accessibly priced basics or casual line. dot.COMME works in almost the opposite way, stocking only the gaudiest or most artisanal. How does that translate in a commercial context?
“This is tough—it kind of doesn’t work! We have never received any financial assistance since starting the business [and] online has definitely been the unexpected success. It was certainly a highlight when Walter [Van Beirendonck] recommended us to Opening Ceremony to show a portion of the W< archive for their ‘Year of Belgium.’ Online we mainly sell to collectors or industry experts, though we also constantly get orders from vintage designer boutiques in New York who can afford to mark up our retail price double or triple. It’s slightly shocking but we don’t really have that kind of wealth on mass here in Melbourne.
I mean, we like to think we are influencing or educating the younger generation that maybe don’t know Comme des Garçons beyond the Wallet or Play lines. It’s exciting that we can showcase a portion of our ever-growing collection physically in store, as well as our other labels we collect: Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Bernhard Willhelm, Walter Van Beirendonck. We really take pride in the intensive amount of research we put in [to sourcing product] and the years of collecting … we try not to compromise on the brand’s visions by choosing a representation we think they’d be proud of showcasing. dot.COMME doesn’t follow trends—many of our garments are as modern today as they were 25 years ago!”