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November 19, 2014

Filter Store goes global

After a successful experiment in the world of bricks and mortar retail, fashion entrepreneur Christopher Arblaster is opening Filter Store to the world with a new online presence and an expanded range of pieces from the likes of Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons.

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  • Words: Tam-an Nguyen
  • Pictures: Andrè Castellucci
  • Pictures 3 & 4: Supplied

Christopher Arblaster first conceived of Filter Store after struggling to  satisfy his fashion needs with what was readily available in the Australian market.

With a newfound desire to source his own clothing, he began looking at Japanese and online stores for inspiration.

“Since I couldn’t find what I wanted to wear here, I was looking to Japan and online; eventually I started to find things that weren’t quite right for me but were very interesting and I thought other people would like,” says Christopher.

“I started hoarding things and it came to the point where I had to either try and turn this into a business or stop doing it, which I didn’t want to do.”

After years of collecting garments, Christopher was given the opportunity to collaborate with Renew Adelaide and set up a physical shop where he could display his carefully curated selection of interesting and hard-to-find items.

“I started hoarding things and it came to the point where I had to either try and turn this into a business or stop doing it…”

Filter Store was first established in 2012, and successfully provided style-conscious men and women around Adelaide with a range of a unique vintage workwear and second-hand designer pieces. But working in such a niche market proved to be difficult and Christopher felt that it was time to create an online presence – hoping to reach like-minded fashion enthusiasts locally, interstate and overseas.

“Opening the bricks and mortar store was an opportunity I had to do through Renew Adelaide and it was a good opportunity to test the concept and see if that sort of environment would work in Adelaide,” says Christopher.

“Eventually, I learnt that I didn’t feel like I could sustain a shop that sold the things I wanted to sell as a viable business. At this point, I decided online needed to be my focus.”

He says the idea behind the move is primarily to reach a wider audience and create an archive of his collection.

“I mainly want to reach a larger market with my online store. When I had a pop up shop, although there were a handful of people who really liked and bought my stuff, there weren’t enough people in Adelaide who could afford to buy it regularly to support my costs,” says Christopher.

“Also, I’m really interested in creating a record of them and allowing people to see and provide context to them. With an online shop, I can set up an archive of all the pieces I sell that’s searchable based on era or context.”

Christopher adds that although Filter Store will primarily operate online now, he plans to continue exploring different retail spaces with periodical pop-up shops.

“Another idea I like is exploring different spaces and creating a new retail environment each time while working with people locally in Adelaide who are doing other interesting things that I respect and admire,” says Christopher.

Christopher will turn this idea into reality with a pop-up shop at The Props Dept. on Logan Street, which will run from November 21-23 to coincide with the launch of Filter Store’s online site.

The temporary shop will stock items that cater to Christopher’s signature aesthetic – think monochromatic tones, textures and layers –  and include pieces sourced from Japan, online and locally in Adelaide (everything will also be available online while the pop-up is running).


Get down to Filter Store’s launch party at The Props Dept. on November 21 from 6 – 9pm. The pop-up shop will also be open on November 22-23, from 10am – 6pm on both days.

Filter store online launches November 21, and you can keep an eye on what Christopher is doing on Facebook or Instagram.

The Props Dept. is located at 12 Logan Street, Adelaide and you can also keep up with Tania’s news on Facebook or Instagram.

The location for this pop-up shop was a no-brainer for Christopher, who says he has been amazed by the work of Tania Saxon, who runs The Props Dept., since discovering the space.

“What I really wanted to do was create a connection between what I’m doing and what she’s (Tania) doing with her space – where she is very generously hosting me – and explore the relationship between our two approaches and styles,” says Christopher. “The end result is part Filter Store and part The Props Dept., so I guess it’s a bit of a collaboration.”

So whether you fancy the traditional concept of bricks and mortar or prefer the easy access of an online shop, be sure to visit Filter Store and find your next vintage workwear, uniform or military surplus piece, as well as browse the second-hand designer items – featuring international names such as Comme des Garçons, Helmut Lang, Issey Miyake, Vivienne Westwood, and Yohji Yamamoto.

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