Inside The Newly Reopened St. Agni Brisbane Boutique

A matured and contemporary transformation

By Kiri Johnston | 11th April 2024

After six years since its inception on James Street, St. Agni emerges anew, boasting a sophisticated, contemporary ambiance. With interiors crafted by Henman Designs and skillfully built by Morada Build, the store embodies a fresh chapter for the brand. We caught up with Lara Fells, the visionary founder and designer, to delve into the inspiration behind the revamped store aesthetic and the exciting trajectory of the brand.

Photography by Lynden Foss

The Store

What inspired the new look and feel of the James Street boutique and how does it reflect St. Agni’s ethos?

We decided to renovate the James Street store to align with our other stores and the overall direction of the St. Agni brand. Consistency across all our retail spaces helps reinforce our brand identity and ensures a seamless experience for our customers. We aimed to create a space that feels open and light, inviting customers to explore and engage with our collection. By maximising natural light and optimising the layout, we enhance the shopping experience and make the boutique feel welcoming.

Our vision was to treat each piece in our collection like artwork in a museum, giving each item the space and the attention, it deserves. This approach allows customers to appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of our products while also elevating the overall aesthetic of the store.

Despite its minimalist design, we wanted the space to exude warmth and character. To achieve this, we incorporated techy custom-made fixtures and carefully selected vintage pieces. These unique touches add depth and personality to the boutique, making it feel both modern and inviting.

How does the ambience of the Brisbane store compare to those in Sydney and Melbourne, considering local influences?

Unlike the Paddington and Armadale stores, which are situated in heritage buildings, the Brisbane store is set in a modern building. This architectural difference contributes to a contrasting ambience, with the Brisbane store showcasing a contemporary atmosphere. The Brisbane store’s ambience is enriched by its surroundings, offering customers a cohesive and immersive shopping experience that resonates with the local aesthetic.

Can you highlight standout features from the new store and how they enhance the shopping experience?

Making the fitting rooms feel intimate was a priority for the new store. By prioritising this aspect, we create a comfortable and private space for customers to try on garments. The choice of beautiful vintage wall lights adds a warm ambience to the space. Their warm glow creates a welcoming and cosy environment, inviting customers to explore and linger in the space. The vintage aesthetic adds character and charm.

Were specific sustainable design elements integrated into the boutique and were there any cultural influences behind the design choices?

A significant sustainable design element in the boutique is the use of vintage furniture and lighting. By sourcing almost all of the furniture and lighting as vintage pieces, we minimise the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new items. Additionally, repurposing vintage pieces adds character and uniqueness to the store’s design. Sustainability was also considered in the decision to retain as much of the existing store as possible. By incorporating elements like the large lightbox and maintaining the layout, we reduce waste and minimise the need for new materials. This approach not only aligns with sustainability principles but also preserves the store’s identity and history. The choice of many vintage pieces from the 1970s Italian era reflects a cultural influence on the boutique’s design. The 1970s was a period known for its bold and innovative design trends, particularly in Italian furniture and lighting. By incorporating pieces from this era, we pay homage to Italian design heritage while also adding a touch of nostalgia and sophistication to the boutique’s ambience.

Photography by Lynden Foss

The Collection

What are the key themes behind St. Agni’s latest collection and how do they resonate with the brand’s identity?

St. Agni’s latest collection delves into several key themes that resonate deeply with the brand’s identity. Firstly, the exploration of layering, proportion, and colour showcases a commitment to tailoring and design innovation. The collection’s focus on deconstructed detailing as a study of wearable architecture highlights our dedication to merging form and function seamlessly. The infusion of silk into timeless silhouettes, alongside draped designs creating new proportions, signifies a modern interpretation of classic tailoring. We incorporated intentional exposed seam lines adding a distinctive edge to the collection. The collection draws inspiration from the abstract, challenging conventional silhouettes and modernising traditional wardrobing.

Can you describe standout designs reflecting the brand’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship?

The continued experimentation with artisanal leather craftsmanship in footwear and accessories reinforces St. Agni’s dedication to quality.

How does the latest collection cater to evolving customer needs and preferences?

We continue to evolve our signature organic cotton basics, allowing customers to build upon their everyday wardrobe staples. We are also expanding our
offering, ensuring pieces can be easily styled together.

Are there any new initiatives or collaborations on the horizon that you’re particularly excited about?

We have some new and exciting categories arriving in line with our Resort collection this year.

Photography by Lynden Foss

The Founders

Can you share any exciting upcoming plans?

St. Agni is looking forward to an exciting year ahead with a strong focus on internal investment and team inspiration. We are considering renovating our head office to create a dynamic workspace that aligns with our brand ethos and supports our team’s needs. Additionally, we’re exploring the idea of hosting a pop-up store overseas, providing an opportunity to introduce St. Agni to new markets and connect with a global audience. These upcoming plans reflect our commitment to growth, innovation, and enhancing the St. Agni brand experience both internally and externally.

Will St. Agni be involved in Australian Fashion Week this May, and if so, what can we expect from your participation?

St. Agni has made the decision not to participate in Australian Fashion Week this year. While we value the opportunity that Fashion Week presents, we have opted to take a break from the event this time around. Planning and executing a show can be an immense workload, particularly for our small team. After three consecutive years of participation, we believe it’s important to allocate our resources differently this year. Instead, we are focusing on strengthening our business from within, dedicating our efforts to internal initiatives that will support our long-term growth and sustainability.

How do you stay connected with your customer base and adapt to their changing needs and preferences?

We love receiving feedback from our customers, whether it be in-store, over email or socials. We can identify what styles are well received by our customers and we look at ways we can cater to this, whether that be developing new colour ways, fabrications or cuts.

Explore new arrivals from the latest St. Agni collection here.

Header image: Imagery by @lynden_foss via @stagnistore

By Kiri Johnston A matcha enthusiast with a relentless online shopping addiction, often spotted poolside with her beloved dogs.




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