Shop Local, Chapel St.
Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.
Established in 1977, Dakota 501 is one of the oldest independent denim stores in Australia. Since the late 1970s, Dakota 501 has forged an identity as one of Melbourne’s most reliable and diverse denim destinations.
I first came across Dakota 501 back in 2008, I had met a few people that worked there and became good friends. Actually back then I had quite a lot of friends that worked on Chapel St, it was a local institution for those who wanted to get into retail and further their careers from the shop floor and into the brand offices or for a lot of my friends becoming the “buyer” was the goal. Dakota not only held my friends on their rosters but even a partner at one stage too, but it wasn’t just because your my friend you can work here, they hired people with great customer contact and brand skills.
Having pioneered the “store within a store” or “concept store” floor design in Australia, Dakota501’s hallmark is its commitment to displaying passionately selected local and international labels in unique environments. To this day, they continue to showcase each brand this way, serviced by a staff member who knows the product back-the-front and upside down.
A few years back sad new struck and after 40 or so years Dakota was shutting its doors, could it be due to the massive rise in rents? I can’t answer that. Most thought this was the end of an institution, but Isaac Davies thought otherwise and came up with a plan to help relocate and keep this chapel st icon open for business. In April 2015, they relaunched Dakota501 in a new location at 245 Chapel St Prahran and is very much at home.
Everything about Dakota501.com – from the models to the person packaging your purchase – is good old fashion home-grown Dakota501.
“We are not run out of a huge warehouse and we are not answering to any big wigs over at head office! In this way, we are unique, authentic and ever passionate.”
Isaac & I.