Let’s go beyond denim.
With Elwood 101.
Love their way: St Kilda style.
Elwood 101 is the kind of store that feels like it’s exactly where you should be. With labels like Rolla’s, Neuw and One Teaspoon on the shop floor, it’s your go-to for denim essentials. But it’s so much more than that - it’s the vision of Sam and Donna Portelli.
With a rock chick vibe and big dreams, they first opened a store in Elwood on 101 Ormond Street in 2009. And it was from here that they took their name. The style, though, is all their own.
“Donna and I wanted to bring our own style to Elwood,” store owner Sam Portelli tells us.
“Originally we opened up because we were struggling to find clothes shops that we were into. There were no stores selling clothes that weren't too young, or too old.”
Now not just one store but two, both of them find themselves Bay-side and have that live-by-the-sea vibe to them.
“We would never stock anything we wouldn’t wear ourselves,” says Portelli. “Our store is a reflection of who we are as people. We don’t just want to sell clothes, we want to share a style and a look.”
And, it’s working.
“We get a lot of people with one look coming in, but we’ll challenge them to try something different and they love our advice. Guys come in and say they always get lucky, and girls always get compliments.”
Winning, all round.
We got to know Elwood a little better when we quizzed them on their style, favourite labels and more.
Our style is...
Cool, relaxed and ages well. It’s a modern classic and quality streetwear. They’re pieces you’ll keep in your wardrobe for years and are hand-selected by us so that it’s not the same styles you see in every store and shopping centre.
Labels we love (and why we love them) ...
A lot of our favourite labels are ones we have a long standing business relationship with and are predominantly Australian-designed. Many have now gone on to become global labels. Among them are…
Neuw. We’ve stocked them for a number of years now and they continually evolve.Their denim is premium.
We love Rolla’s for its retro vintage vibe and Nana Judy is perhaps our most fashion-forward mens label. We’ve stocked this since 2009 and it’s continuing to grow.
Maurie & Eve, that just sells itself. Without a doubt, it’s our most pre-ordered brand. We love the new styles they continuously come up with.
Also in our favourites is Alice McCall - her pieces are unique, timeless and ultra feminine.
For the men, Kiss Chasey is a core brand we’ve stocked since we opened in 2009. Very popular with guys of all ages.
One Teaspoon – we love this denim based street label that has more of a rock chick kinda vibe.
RES Denim is, again, another brand we were one of the first in Australia to run with. They have great fits, a great price and high quality Australian denim.
Each season, I look for...
Something that hasn’t been done a million times before. Something fresh, something that suits our DNA, that suits who we are.
Because we carry so many brands, we look for something unique that hasn’t been represented by everyone else. We try not to duplicate styles from brands. If there are similarities from one label to another, as can sometimes be the case, we try to pick what we believe is the best quality product in that style based on fabric, cut and price.
Our best kept secret is...
Our customer service. Both in store and online. We genuinely go the extra mile to make sure every customer is happy and satisfied with their service from us. Customer service is key!
I get a kick out of...
A customer coming back and letting us know that they are always complimented whenever they wear something they bought from our stores. It’s a really big reward and feels great to hear.
On high rotation...
Unlike most stores we actually play albums of all different genres. Our faves at the moment are the new Flume, Boy & Bear, The National, Jamie T, Leon Bridges, Paulo Nutini, Chet Faker, Half Moon Run, the Rubens, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Mark Ronson, Guy Garvey, and Eagles of Death Metal as well as the new JJJ Like a Version albums.
For her, from Elwood 101
For him, from Elwood 101