In the heart of greater Melbourne’s eastern ‘burbs lies Nunawading. While the name may not be synonymous with style and glamour, it is the home of the recently revamped Brand Smart Factory Outlet- Melbourne’s newest mecca for the fashion forward. While this well kept bargain hunter’s secret has stood in this very spot for decades, its recent reinvention truly stimulates the senses of even the most discerning shopper or ‘designer snob’.
A handful of journalists, bloggers and fashion personalities were treated to an afternoon of wining and dining hosted by the beautiful ChelseaThomas of I Heart Bargains. As a mother, Chelsea truly understands both the need to cut back on expenses wherever necessary and the want of most women to look impeccably put together at all times. For this reason, Chelsea is the perfect ambassador for this unrivalled outlet shopping experience. After indulging in delicacies provided by a selection of Brand Smart’s luxe dining venues, we are taken on a walk through the revamped shopping complex. High end fashion retailers such as sass & bide and Oroton plus homeware havens including Bed, Bath & Table and Royal Doulton offer premium stock at remarkable discounts- 70% off in some cases. The complex is also home to a handful of divine restaurants and cafes, cementing Brand Smart’s status as a true one-stop-shop.
It’s the sass & bide outlet that catches my eye. With new stock dropping each week, the store offers pieces from previous collections at discounts similar to those offered at their biannual warehouse sales. The difference? No fighting with vicious bargain hunters to find your size. Brand Smart stores offer the one-on-one service found in the full priced boutiques we’ve become so accustomed to.
After a walk through the centre (and a stop at Ugg Australia at which we are gifted a pair of Uggs that may or may not have left my often-neglected feet for roughly a week), we bare witness to what is potentially Melbourne’s most budget-concious fashion show. Chelsea shows us three looks, each immaculately styled from top to toe, each coming in under $200. One such outfit, an utterly chic LBD, retails for well short of $100- evidence that one can, in fact, still look impossibly chic the day before pay day.
Brand Smart celebrates its multi-million dollar relaunch 4-day celebration beginning on Thursday May 2, showcasing first-class style without the designer price tag. Located a mere 20 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, I know exactly where I’ll be doing my Mother’s Day shopping.
Images courtesy of AMPR