Store Profile: Icarus Store

December 3rd, 2010 by Nate and Jessica  |  Published in Sydney Man  |  2 Comments

Icarus is one of the most renowned and tragically proud figures in Greek mythology. In attempting to escape Crete by flying away on wings that his father had constructed, Icarus ignored advice and ventured too close to the sun. As the wax in his wings melted away, he fell to his death in what is today known as the Icarian Sea. Icarus also remains one of the most popularly referenced Greek figures, lending his name to a relatively recent and welcome arrival in the retail fashion scene for men at 42 Reservoir St, Surry Hills.

Thankfully, Nathan Lim, owner of Icarus Store, shares none of the stubborn and hubristic qualities of his boutique’s namesake. His store, too, won’t be sharing Icarus’ fate - alive and kicking since mid-2010, Icarus Store offers a thoughtful, well-crafted and uniquely sourced range of men’s garments, accessories and fragrances that has already seen the venture achieve niche success. As if being sole Sydney stockist of Opening Ceremony menswear, Robert Geller Seconds, Patrik Ervell and Loden Dager wasn’t enough of a drawcard, Icarus Store also offers the ease of online shopping.

On the Streets of caught up with Nathan to talk individuality, interior design and the vibe of New York’s Lower East Side.

Hi Nathan, nice to meet you face-to-face. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
“Hi. OK, well this is my store Icarus. I’ve graduated from a Commerce degree and have been working in the corporate world. I’m here on weekends, and have always had a passing interest in fashion.”

What was the impetus behind your increased interest in fashion that drove you to establish Icarus?
“Well, while studying I was too poor to buy any decent clothes back in uni, but I always found that I didn’t like shopping in stores in Sydney. I didn’t like the fact that you’d buy something and someone else down the street would be wearing exactly the same thing… I wanted to find clothes that no-one else was wearing.”

Do the brands here represent your own personal aesthetic?
“Yes I’d say so. I do try to cater for most guys, but the brands I’d wear myself would be more along the lines of Patrik Ervell and Band of Outsiders.”

So why Surry Hills, why this part of Reservoir St?
“Surry Hills is where I see most of my customers coming from. This street itself is becoming quite the creative hub, with a lot of creative agencies and graphic design firms around here … makes sense to be here when I’m aiming for the kind of guy that appreciates good, tailored design, likes clothes that are well-made.”

Describe your relationship with the interior architect and your influence on the look and feel of the space.
“I met Lenny [Wong] through a friend of my girlfriend, and I knew he did the Via Alley stores in Surry Hills and the QVB. I gave him some guidelines as to what I saw the store being, and he took that and interpreted it in his own way. The store really is the way I imagined it to be… but it was a real collaborative process.”

The Lower East Side vibe here is strong. Was that a conscious design decision?
“Definitely I was influenced by the Lower East Side. I visited New York last year and I can trace back my inspiration for the look of the store. That’s what I like: the labels coming out of New York, and the design of the shops in the Lower East Side. Surry Hills has that feel as well.”

The highlights of the store seem to almost exclusively be coming out of New York: Patrik Ervell, Loden Dager, Robert Geller, Opening Ceremony.
“A few Canadian labels too: Wings & Horns, and Blanc & Noir, who are Vancouver-based.”

A lot of the designers you stock seem to believe strongly in polished tailoring, rigid, conventionally ‘masculine’ materials, clothes that are very structured. The Robert Geller diffusion line in store is quite a lot looser, and lighter. Does that represent a potential future shift towards a broader aesthetic offering?
“The way it is, I try to cater for most guys in Sydney but yes the Robert Geller garments are not normally something that I would wear myself but I can appreciate the construction, and his vision, and I think it’s a way of appealing to a larger base.”

So where do you see Icarus Store down the track?
“Hard to say, but probably in a larger location, with a few more brands under our belt… but I don’t want to carry 40 or 50 labels, the intention will always be to keep it quite niche and curated.”

Favourite store in Sydney (other than your own)?
“The Incu stores, and, prior to them, Our Spot [now closed]. Dion, the owner, has opened up another store in Darlinghurst called One of a Kind which is worth visiting.”

Favourite city?
“Either Tokyo or New York.”

Favourite designer?
“Patrik Ervell.”

Despite most of what’s in store coming from North American labels’ A/W collection, what is the one summer must-have from Icarus?
“The Robert Geller Seconds graphic tee.”

Check out Icarus Store online or pop by 42 Reservoir St, Surry Hills from Tuesday through Saturday from 11am - 5:30pm.


  1. Anonymous says:

    December 3rd, 2010at 1:04 PM(#)

    Very interesting. I like that areas of the up-and-coming neighborhoods and places for creativity in Sydney have sprung up. Great shots too, but I DO wish I could see more of the peices up close, as there seems to be lots of photos of the racks of clothing. But very cool, and I’m LOVING the new site!

  2. Effortless Style :: On The Streets Of Sydney - Discover Sydney Style through Street Fashion says:

    March 17th, 2011at 9:31 AM(#)

    [...] Popissue, VIRR Footwear) and Icarus Store (Patrik Ervell, Mjolk, Robert Geller Seconds), which we profiled late last [...]

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