Feb 20, 2013 10:33
by Brenda Cunningham
When singer Madonna married film-maker Guy Ritchie she proudly declared it to the world, splashing a glittery Mrs Ritchie on the back of a white tuxedo jacket at the 2001 premiere of her hubby’s movie Snatch. Three years later the idea stuck with Renee Watson (nee Doyle) as a great fashion moment for her own wedding and for the couple’s soon-to-be launched Sydney boutique.
“I’m a massive Madonna fan. I had Mrs Watson written in Swarovski crystals on the back of my blazer... much to the envy of (husband) Paul’s mother, the original Mrs Watson,” she said. “And so when we bought our store it was absolutely, an easy decision to call it that.”
That bedazzled wedding moment lives on in their northern Sydney store, where passers-by often hold-up traffic at the busy Northbridge junction intersection, to feast on the changing window. “I’m a bit of a rearranger. I swap the mannequins daily and so we often get calls from our regulars saying 'I just saw a dress in the window … I’ll be in before school pick-up, do you have it in a 10?' "
Renee and Paul pride themselves on selling “wardrobe-building pieces” that are “not too fashiony”. But they still always look for “something a little different” to the big shopping centres and to bring their loyal regulars back.
Mrs Watson - the store - has a chic, urban edge where well-heeled customers, including a few TV celebs and actors, are well looked after amongst the Scandanavian furniture and cow rugs. Renee used to live in Copenhagen so Danish designers like Malene Birger are regular staples. The store also has super wearable Majestic basics; Paul & Joe printed wrap dresses and tunics and other labels like Tibi, True Religion, Paige, Hudson and AG jeans, even their own brand, Mrs Watson.
“Shopping should be fun and it should be about attentive and caring service. Our store is simple but funky, I swap the decor a bit and bring things in from home to change the look.”
It wasn’t always on the cards for the Watsons to go into the fashion business, despite Renee’s love of all things Vogue. The pair has a background in food. Renee’s dad is Peter Doyle of the three-hatted est fame and the couple toyed with the idea of a wine bar instead of a boutique. “The hours are much more child- and family-friendly and I’m doing what I love with my amazing husband."
One day Paul will get a Mr Watson menswear store of his own to play with - only fair seeing as their four kids have a Little Watson range to wear - but until then the couple are happy to work alongside one another growing women’s fashion. “I love it, we have this beautiful lifestyle and beautiful loyal customers - it is a pleasure to come to work," she said.
ADDRESS:155 Sailors Bay Rd,Northbridge
TEL: 9958 1516