Until the existing tenant decided to relocate, the little shop at 497 High Street Prahran had long been renowned for offering quirky investment pieces. For thirty years every available surface of this cosy space was adorned with French collectibles and had a devoted customer base who adored scouring through the crowded treasure trove of antiques.
In late 2005, the doors of 497 High Street once again flew open to reveal its evolution; TORSA, the creative child of owner Romy Klooger. Once more the space was filled with unique offerings, this time in the form of covetable clothing from international designers previously unavailable to Melbourne women.
Klooger envisaged that hers would be a destination store offering customers access to a tightly edited selection of carefully sourced labels. There would be no pretension, no fuss, no slavishly followed fashion trends. Just timeless, wearable clothing. Whilst in the years since the customer base has broadened considerably to accommodate interstate and international purchases, the philosophy has remained the same. Klooger's keen understanding of international fashion, coupled with an innate awareness of what Australian women want to wear has ensured that TORSA is always brimming with effortlessly stylish pieces.
At TORSA, the walls and floors are whitewashed to ensure that the clothing is always the focus. The quantities are small but the buy generous so that customers are able to view the collections as the designers intended. It is rare that anyone leaves empty handed, but browsers are made to feel instantly at ease. Klooger has worked hard to make her store a uniquely personal, inviting space where visitors (and their dogs) always feel welcome.