Dana shares about her Melbourne shop ‘Lenko’ with FK.
Tell us a bit about Lenko and the concept behind it.
Lenko has always been about making dreams come true. It’s about being able to make clothes I wish I had and host the art and music events I want to go to! The clothes are a bit magical, with random prints and fun silhouettes and our shop is meant to be a wonderland full of objects art and clothes your heart desires.
What inspired you to open the first Lenko store?
A moment of craziness I guess! I had no idea what I was getting into! Running a shop and designing the clothes and producing them locally while also sourcing the new talent we wanted to feature was a huge task. I loved every moment of it, and it was like building a visual representation of the inside of my head.
How has the journey been from opening your first store to now opening the Flinders Lane Boutique?
The journey has been very rewarding and interesting to say the least! I have loved meeting so many awesome customers, talented designers and my rad staff. Moving to the new shop is like coming home!! The space is so inviting and everyone comes in to say hi! I really feel this is just the beginning of a whole fun new chapter in Melbourne fashion and art.
What do you look out for when buying new stock?
I like personality. A sense that someone has thought about this piece and made it well. They have thought about who will be wearing this. I look for something with a strong voice that says “wow this is unique and I want it!”
What makes Lenko unique and what keeps customers coming back?
Well you know that the people you talk to in the shop actually care about what you look like in the clothes! We use customer feedback a lot to design our ranges. People are always smiling and having a laugh while they look at the weird objects or read the random tees and cards in the store. They like that things they buy become their favourite thing in their wardrobe, and no one else has it. The atmosphere is always sparkly, we pump fun music and dance sometimes when we fold.
What is your favourite part of the new store?
I like it all! I love the position- it’s exciting to be in the happening end of the city and especially to be in the Nicholas building with its history and vibrant art community! I love the job we did renovating it to a bright inviting store and the murals were a huge challenge to install and I love them dearly.
What do you like to do around Melbourne, besides working at Lenko?
I like my secret decaf coffees shhh. I love going to art openings and seeing what the clever kids are making. Seeing band gigs keep me busy when I’m not doing my lame DJ act with the talented DJ Tehalo. Warehouse parties and a dance with friends is always a good option for the weekend.
Any other plans for the future?
Woah! Always plans for the future but I don’t want to jinx myself! I guess keeping doing what I love with the Lenko label and making people happy is always the vision I have.
All the specific details:
Shop 5, Cathedral Arcade,
37 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000
03 9077 2177
11am – 6pm Mon – Thurs & Sat
11am – 7pm Fri
12pm – 5pm Sun