This digital photograph depicts shoe store owners and siblings George and Andreana Lambrinakos posing in their family-owned shop, Shoe Image Fairfield, during the State of Victoria's first COVID-19 lockdowns and associated 'stay at home' restrictions.
George and Andreana's parents first started this shoe business in 1969, and George became the store owner in 1995. When the COVID-19 lockdowns began in Victoria in March 2020, George and Andreana introduced in-store social distancing measures and hand sanitisation procedures, however their business was still heavily impacted by the drop in customers, with an estimated fall in revenue of 75%.
George and Andreana also experienced difficulties sourcing shoes from European supply chains, as shoe manufacturing companies in Europe had shifted to the production of masks and surgical gowns.
Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to their retail business, George and Andreana were grateful for the support of their local community and local client base. 'Customers continued to come from all over', reflected George in May 2020, 'and having our shop online helped a lot with this situation.'
This photograph was taken during the first Victorian lockdowns, when retail stores were still permitted to remain open to the public. In subsequent lockdowns restrictions tightened and retail stores, including this shoe store, were forced to close their doors.
This photograph was taken by Melbourne-based photographer Julie Ewing as part of her 'Across the Fence' photographic series. This series documents life in Melbourne's Darebin region during the first COVID-19 lockdowns that began in Victoria on 14 March 2020. Julie photographed 120 households and 60 businesses during March to May 2020, and this digital photograph is one of 24 images that were acquired into Museum Victoria's Collecting the Curve Collection. These photographs provide a lasting reminder of how neighbourhoods and households in Melbourne were impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as the unique ways through which individuals and communities adapted their lives and found new routines, traditions and ways of supporting one another.
Digital TIFF file
Donation from Julie Ewing
Collected as part of the Museum In My Neighbourhood project with support from the Office of Suburban Development.
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