Creatives descend on Howey Place as part of shopfront program


Howey Place is getting back to its vibrant best thanks to the help of five new pop-ups opening their doors as part of the City of Melbourne $2.6 million Shopfront Activation Program to revitalise empty shopfronts.

The initiative is giving local creatives, artisans and entrepreneurs the opportunity to breathe new life into empty retail spaces with one-of-a-kind offerings to reignite parts of the city that need it most.

The new pop-ups, which opened on June 3, form the “Handmade in Howey” makers’ hub featuring:

  • Lastly – offering artistically designed and limited-run unisex streetwear.
  • Mr Cuff – a bespoke men’s tailoring store with custom and ready-to-wear options.
  • Ms Edie Black – for artisan jewellery made from iron, low carbon steel and high carat gold.
  • The Eklectic Sewing Centre – stocking ethically-made designer clothing, with in-house dressmaking services.
  • The Curvy Design Shop – with some of the best ethical Australian plus-size designer clothing, starting at size 14.

Launched to support the city’s recovery from COVID-19, the council’s shopfront activation program has transformed dozens of vacant spaces in the CBD, Docklands and Lygon St in Carlton to provide emerging businesses with a unique opportunity to test their ideas.

From creative spaces and displays to pop-up shops, the program has brought a dynamic collection of new offerings to otherwise empty shopfronts and helped to drive visitation back to the city.

Howey Place was also adorned with a magical balloon cloud installation as part of City of Melbourne’s “Shop the City: Winter Weekend” from June 3 to 5, which featured free cannoli and hot chocolates, as well as live entertainment as part of the city-wide shopping festival.

The Shopfront Activation Program is part of the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund – a partnership between the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government.

“We’re giving vacant spaces across Melbourne a new lease on life with our Shopfront Activation Program, while shining a light on some of Melbourne’s finest creative and business minds,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said. •

“The reimagining of Howey Place into a lively makers’ hub is a celebration of Melbourne artisans, and just one of the city’s many vibrant precincts which has re-emerged as part of our ongoing recovery efforts.” •

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