Lingerie On Hampton 50th!
Hampton Street’s longest standing retailer turns 50! In fact, 422 Hampton Street has been used continuously as a lingerie store since 1936!
It’s January 1964… and a freshly graduated and enterprising Kathleen Marshall (in Polka Dots above), takes ownership of ‘Laces’ lingerie at 442 Hampton St, purchasing the shop as an ongoing business. Fast forward to January 2014 and Kathleen’s daughter, Trish (see below), proudly celebrates 50 years of continuous business as ‘Lingerie On Hampton’ the oldest surviving retailer in Hampton Street!
The building at 442 Hampton was constructed in 1935, the first tenant moved in as a lingerie shop in 1936 and it has remained the same ever since. It’s fascinating to talk to Kathleen and Trish and get a snapshot of what Hampton Street was like in 1964… “We had the ‘Coles’ variety store, where the ‘Hampton Newsagent’ now is today. ‘Woolworths’ variety store was already at its present location (now branded ‘Safeway’)… but only the northern 1/3 of the site was used… the southern section (the area opposite Aust.Post and NAB) was the wonderful ‘Hampton Theatre’.
Many of the local ‘baby boomers’ and older ones will remember this gem … unfortunately we had only been in the lingerie shop for a year, when they pulled down the theatre in 1965. I loved that theatre, the only thing I don’t miss is sitting below the ‘dress circle’ and ending up with chewing gum in my hair. Around the same time they pulled down the old red brick post office and replaced it with an up to the minute, trendy, mid 60’s version….which also became outdated (if only we had the foresight back then)!
The street also boasted more than 10 butchers and 8 greengrocers. However as supermarkets gradually became more popular and accepted these faded away. Later on, in the seventies and eighties, Hampton Street became a mecca for antique shops and at one point (mid eighties) claimed more than 35 Antique and Bric A Brac stores. In addition there were over 20 hairdressers (some things never change)!
Trish relates an interesting take on selling lingerie through the ages: “Australia was a little behind in fashion in the sixties… so when a friend came and asked me for some stockings with pants on top for his girlfriend, I just looked at him. His sister had just got back from England… apparently ‘Pantihose’ had been invented, but no one in Australia had even seen them yet!
In the late 60’s… colour was starting to enter the area of bras. Bikini briefs were a must…as hipster skirts and pants were in… yes, even back then. Sleepwear was nighties with lace overlays, with ruffles and pom poms… in pastels and the ‘never been out of fashion’ black or red. The 70’s heralded a lot of change, and by the 80’s we were up there with the rest of the world in design and colours. Hampton Street was abuzz with fashion at that point and had all the leading designer boutiques. The mid 80’s to late 90’s was for me one of the best era’s in lingerie, your everyday brands were using beautiful French, Swiss embroidered and guipure laces. Nowadays, to get exquisite fabrics and designs we buy from France, Germany and Holland.
Today ‘Lingerie On Hampton’ specialises in Sleepwear in Ginia Silk & Indian cottons, as well as local & imported bras including Chantelle & Lou Paris, Marlie Dekkers, Naturana & Affinita’s. We also stock the Arianne range from Canada. Fitting and customer service are our priority. We are incredibly proud to be celebrating our 50th birthday under the same owners.
Mum (Kathleen) retired at 76 after running the business for 33 yrs, and in Feb 1997 I (Trish) have continued at the helm and have now been working in the shop for over 33 years myself.
Back in the day there were several family owned businesses that seemed like they would be around forever… the first to go was McQueens Bakery (ask any of the primary school kids from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, they had the best vanilla slices, finger buns and pies)! Out of the remaining… four went within a very short period of each other…Hattam’s Menswear, Disney’s Newsagent, Nathlyn and Thompson’s Hardware. As much as we may be the oldest, there are a lot of others now racking up the yrs… Coachman Menswear, Ellies Boutique and The Hampton Fruit Market, to name a few. Together with these traders and others that are new to the street, we love being part of the vibrant Hampton Street community that is today. A big thank you to all my loyal customers over the years, even though fitting the ‘3rd’ generation makes me feel old!Pop in and say hi to Trish at Lingerie On Hampton at 442 Hampton Street, or call 9598 1549. Click here to view directory listing.