It's Sparkle Season

Chit Chat: Shannon Thomas behind Désordre

Too many events this summer and nothing to wear? Same story, different day. We might have just solved all your problems (even if it was a problem you didn’t know you had)… IT’S SPARKLE SEASON!

This summer, James St welcomes Shannon Thomas as she brings her iconic fashion boutique, Désordre to Queensland. Shannon describes James St as “the biggest vibe” and “so much fun“. We caught up with Shannon to talk all things glitz, glam and how she got started in the fashion industry as a young entrepreneur.

10 years of Désordre is a monumental achievement, what encouraged you to start your own business?

There was a monumental fun fashion gap – the edgy, wow, oh my god where did she get that? The “why can’t I find this from the runway” feeling I always had. I was addicted to fashion blogs and magazines, I inhaled editorials, both online and in print. I was constantly hungry for fashion and left wanting more. Even though I obviously couldn’t afford the Rodarte runway I so desired. I had worked in fashion retail and understood the intricacies of the industry and running a boutique – this was pre the online retail phenomenon – and I had the passion required.

What was the inspiration behind the unique name Désordre and how do you pronounce it?

The french pronunciation, and please feel free to google translate ‘listen,’ is “desssss-orrrrrrrd re,” with a rolled almost nonexistent ‘re’ at the end.

It literally translates to “mess” in French. When I was starting the business, it was a cumulative idea with a friend of mine who brought on art gallery installations, homewares, and we moved to different locations travelling throughout Sydney, we even did a pop-up in Fortitude Valley in 2009!

Over the years of being a business owner, what is the most difficult lesson you’ve had to learn?

Cash flow is the most difficult lesson always. How to effectively manage it and realising that everyone really will only ever take care of themselves. If you receive something faulty, if there’s a costly shipping error due to someone else’s mistake, you really are going to have to wear it yourself. Problem solving is one of my greatest skills. The word no to me is just a hurdle. I immediately jump into problem solving mode and think how else will I solve this?

You love to travel, where’s somewhere you’ve never been but would love to experience?

This list really is endless, I’m a big beach girl. I’d love to find somewhere secluded with my family to switch off for a few weeks. I haven’t stopped in quite a while, I’m definitely more of a summer baby.

You’re very selective with who you stock in your boutiques; what boxes must a brand tick to make it into a Désordre store?

  1. I have to want to wear it and be obsessed with it, know that I want to put it on my body, and I’d wear it to events / lunch / work
  2. It has its own aesthetic. It doesn’t feel as though it’s inspired by another brand, it has its own true aesthetic
  3. It’s not readily available anywhere else in Australia and is highly sought after

Most loved item in your wardrobe?

This would be a seasonal question as it varies according to time of year, plus I have sentimental items that are ALWAYS loved regardless of how often they’re worn. Right now the Magda Butrym Denim Corset is high loved and on rotation!

Have you ever ‘fan-girled’ over a customer?

I fan girl over most of my clients. I don’t get phased by celebrities, I grew up with my dad working in the music industry, often backstage at concerts so I know everyone’s human.

Why James St and where to next?

I’m so excited to have had this opportunity, it is truly one of Australia’s best locations for shopping and dining. I’ve always loved this little area that has just gone from strength to strength, I am even inspired by how beautiful everybody looks just swanning around on a Monday. Could not have thought of a better location for our Queensland takeover.

The perfect Désordre outfit for lunching on James St?

Can I give two please!

  1. The Alex Perry Preston bustier and Hale mini skirt, whatever colour is best suited to you
  2. A Magda Butrym mini dress, because this is always a vibe

If you didn’t go down the Désordre path, what do you think you’d be doing now?

Probably the fitness industry, it’s a passion of mine that I love to do in my spare time.
But I do love that it is a hobby and self-passion project, my own solo ME time, so maybe not. Fashion really feels like a calling I couldn’t have avoided.

Posted on

January 1, 2023