Born and raised in Canberra’s backyard, Alicia Xyrakis made the big move to Sydney at a young age but the grand pull of the National Capital proved too strong as she made her way back in 2014 opening Rebel Muse – Canberra’s latest and greatest in women’s fashion boutiques. A cosy and chic setting in Braddon’s trendiest locale, Lonsdale Street, Rebel Muse is gaining widespread attention as more people pick up on Alicia’s talent, drive and determination to make Canberra a fashion destination.
With a deep-rooted love for fashion and the desire to open up a boutique for years, Alicia’s vision was to bring people back into the store and get rid of any feeling of having items pushed on to you for sales alone. The goal was to wipe the negative away and get people excited about shopping again. Quality over quantity is the philosophy behind this unique boutique, with a variety for your wardrobe, beginning with jewellery and simple t-shirts to the more stylish pieces, all from Australian designers except for Nicole Richie’s own House of Harlow jewellery collection.
Reluctant to move back at first, Alicia’s eventual decision to open up shop in Canberra was quite a simple one.
“To begin with I didn’t want to open in Canberra. I had all my friends in Sydney and it’s such a great place but I knew this is what I wanted and I knew I wanted it in the next two years so I worked full- time and in a bar on weekends just to save up and get myself ready. I was scouting locations and rental prices trying to find a good spot. And my dad said to me ‘there’s this new spot in Braddon and I think you should come and have a look at it.’ I did and fell in love with the space straight away and started speaking with the real estate agents and it was just so affordable.”
Noticing a major gap in the market for quality and affordable pieces, Alicia was quick to act and wanted to be the one to fill the gap and continuously bring new and fabulous pieces to Canberra.
“I wasn’t paying much attention when I would come down here but now talking to other shop owners and seeing what’s going on, there’s a lot to look forward to. We’ve all got top secret things brewing and we all know what’s coming and work together to create a great experience; it’s very exciting. Especially in Braddon, it’s such a community and has such character and we all do things a bit different and against the rules. There’s a lot more to come.”
Looking forward to spring, Alicia is excited for the store’s first spring collection and what it will hold.
“In spring it’s perfect; you can still layer lightly, I love layering and even in winter no matter how much I layer it is still cold. You can wear leather pants and a thin top and a light denim shirt over the top and you don’t get cold but it’s also not too hot and it’s nice and pleasant. You can take a nice jacket out with you and pop it on in the evenings. It gives you more room to play around with more looks and styles and it’s so easy to dress for. And, of course the spring racing carnival, everyone gets a little bit more fun, they start dressing up and going out again, playing with colours and florals.
By spring we will have new collections in. I tend to stick with neutral colour pallets and coming into spring we’ll stick with that in nice blushes and a lot of lighter fabrics and drapes that we have coming that are a lot more fluid, bigger silhouettes, a little less structured and a lot prettier. Everything starts to get really pretty in spring which is really nice and seeing more pastel tones and even in the denim, the lighter colours as opposed to the heavier denims for winter, we’ve got a lot of that coming through. Lace is also coming in for spring. A lot to look forward to.”
Since her return, Alicia is looking forward to her first Canberra spring in years and what she hopes it could be.
“There’s lots of things growing and by spring it will be so busy around, especially in the area of Braddon. A lot more will be open and I’m excited about there being more people in the streets at the beer gardens and cafes and I think that’s what I’ll love, just more people out enjoying the sun and being outside. People going down by the lake and going for walks. People really shut down in winter so it will be nice to see them emerge again.”
Rebel Muse is located at 121 Lonsdale Street in Braddon and open Monday-Sunday.