Song For The Mute Opens First Flagship Store in Sydney

SYDNEY – Song for the Mute is about to hit the “Sound On” button.

On Friday, the 13-year-old Australian women’s and men’s wear brand co-founded by Melvin Tanaya and Lyna Ty will open the doors of its first flagship store. A 980-square-foot space located inside a heritage-listed building at 350 George Street in the central business district, the boutique sits in close proximity to some of the largest Australian flagships of Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Apple.

More from WWD

Designed by Byron Bay of New South Wales-based Pattern Studio, the store fit-out features a series of modular merchandising units-cum-changing rooms clad in brightly-coloured hot-rolled steel and riveted enamel, with other features including mirrors, cement, faceted timber and stone. The new boutique is an extension of an initial experimental pop-up concept store the brand opened on nearby King Street in November.

“It had been doing consistently well, so that gave us a boost. [We thought,] ‘OK, you know, we belong in the city,’” said Tanaya, Song for the Mute’s brand director and managing director. Ty is the brand’s creative director.

The new store will serve as the launch pad for a tease of Song for the Mute’s second collaboration with Adidas Originals: a Fall/Winter 2023 capsule collection called SFTM x Adidas 002, which features four sku’s of footwear and 10 sku’s of apparel. On Sept. 22, ahead of the global rollout of the collection on Oct. 20, 50 pairs of the SFTM-002 Campus sneaker in black will drop exclusively at the Song for the Mute store and on the Adidas Confirmed app. A third Adidas Originals collaboration will drop in 2024.

Founded by Tanaya and Ty in 2010, Song for the Mute sells to 90 stockists worldwide. Export accounts for 80 percent of the business with China and the United States the biggest international markets. Self-funded, with a turnover of 10 million Australian dollars or $6.4 million at current exchange, the company is currently in expansion mode, recently also signing a lease for a new, more than 5,000-square-foot studio space in the inner Sydney city suburb of Camperdown.

“A lot of people are questioning the market right now in terms of spending power and recession, but we actually decided that this year was the year that we wanted to reinvest into the business for future growth. We decided to take that leap,” said Tanaya.

Born in Indonesia and Paris and boasting Chinese/Indonesian and Chinese/Cambodian heritage, respectively, Tanaya and Ty met at age 10 at the Sceggs Redlands primary school in the Sydney suburb of Cremorne, shortly after their parents migrated to Australia. Ty had grown up in the heart of the Paris ragtrade, where her father worked as a tailor and her mother, as a seamstress.

They reunited in 2010, after completing their tertiary studies: Tanaya, a degree in visual communications from the University of NSW and Ty, a masters at the Accademia Italiana Di Moda in Florence, following initial fashion studies at Sydney’s Whitehouse Institute of Design.

The duo has built a following for their gender-fluid tailoring, and elevated streetwear in luxury fabrications. All their collections are named as “chapters”. Signature items include the oversized Coach Jacket and cropped, tailored Lounge Pant with an elasticised waist. Starting with menswear, they expanded into womenswear in 2015. Today 30 to 40 percent of the collection is unisex.

Opening a Song for the Mute flagship in a key international market is next on the agenda – as are more projects with international retail partners. These include Estnation in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills shopping center, where a three-month Song for the Mute pop-up concept has just opened.

“But we have to do this one [the George Street flagship] well first,” said Tanaya. “We’ve always seen Sydney and Australia as our home, so we want to sing in our own country.”

Best of WWD

Click here to read the full article.