Last Wednesday evening TVG popped down to Melbourne for the Mini Paceman launch. We decided we’d make it a full 24 hours to visit some places that were on our Melbourne bucket list. Number 2 was Double Monk.
Chris and Nick Schaerf aren’t just brothers, they’re two gents who have fulfilled a life long dream to create the finest men’s footwear store in the country. Their store Double Monk was at the top of our hit list while we were in Melbourne last week and for good reason, it’s immaculate. Chatting with Chris about the shop interested me as much, if not more than the range of footwear within it. Chris, a former lawyer and his brother Nick, a doctor, have shared a common passion for their entire lives – quality male footwear. Often referring to themselves as monks in relation to their passion for shoes, they decided to forget the daily grind and indulge in the industry they loved so much.
Their offering at Double Monk is nothing short of the finest brands in the world from John Lobb, Edward Green, George Cleverley and Crockett & Jones. Essentially the bar doesn’t get any higher in terms of stock (they are the only retailer of John Lobb in Australia) so the store’s fit out was essential to convey that message of quality. To say it’s good is a chronic understatement – it’s arguably the best retail space I’ve ever stepped foot in. Walking in my eyes locked onto the extravagant selection of shoes but I couldn’t help noticing the back wall adorned with Taxidermy animal heads and a seriously impressive whisky selection. Victorian Ash cabinetry displays the footwear range from each brand with hand crafted shoe horns and umbrellas spotted around the room. The meticulously restored metal pressed roof complements the dark chesterfield armchairs which accommodate you while you seek the perfect fit.
This is a shop for enthusiasts and it’s clear that Chris is. I could have spent my entire afternoon there chatting with Chris about shoes, menswear, watches and whisky. Despite the price of the shoes there’s not a thing pretentious about Double Monk, in fact the Fitzroy store is reviving the Australian retail space selling shoes and a wonderful experience. I have no doubt that Double Monk will become a Melbourne attraction and I guarantee it’ll be well worth the visit next time you find yourself in Melbourne – just make sure it’s a respectable drinking hour so you can share a whisky with Chris!
53 Smith St