The first C.DESIGN studio began in a heritage-listed building on Lake Street Northbridge, inner city Perth, Western Australia.

The building comprised a terrace pair of semi-detached bungalow homes built in 1903 called ‘Ensenada’ and ‘Coronada’ and would be home to C.DESIGN founders; Claire Metcalf and Gavin Eddy. 

The C.DESIGN name was officially registered two weeks after Claire was asked to ‘whip up a few cossies’ for a friend working at a local magazine. Although she’d been sewing her own ballet leotards and costumes for a few years by this point, this was the first press coverage she’d received and recognised a personal vision she had for a future designing resort wear. 

The upstairs area would be called home to begin with and the downstairs rooms would be the studio for C.DESIGN. As you walked into the entrance of the downstairs studio, you’d be greeted into the first living room featuring a roaring fireplace and high ceilings. This would be the hub for meetings, a showroom, model fittings and castings and a general working space for business guests. On the main table you’d often find a vase full of Claire’s favourite flowers; tulips, as well as a family heirloom; a classic glass decanter originally belonging to Gavin’s grandparents.

Walking through to the dining area, you’d find the heart of the studio where fabrics, patterns and trims were stored as well as a giant cutting table. It was the hive of creativity. As the business grew, the rooms upstairs took over for manufacturing in years to come. The Lake Street studio housed independent business for C.DESIGN for seven years.

The studio was in a special street where, close to Hyde Park, Claire and Gav would take their dog Kaya on early morning walks along the water brainstorming ideas and planning the day ahead. The days never really ended for the two, with friends constantly dropping in for late night swims in the pool out the back and the fax machine buzzing with international orders throughout the night and early morning (more on that soon).

This was just the way Claire and Gav liked it.

Pictured: C.DESIGN Founder: Claire, Studio Manager: Brian and Fit Model in Lake St Studio Northbridge.