From high end fashion boutiques, to owner operated destinations, La Tribe finds home in a variety of beautiful spaces throughout Australia and New Zealand. In this series, we sat down with the people and faces behind these beautiful stores, to hear more about their vision.

Alterior Motif is a modern, multi brand boutique that showcases a range of Australian & international designer brands as well as emerging local labels. Established in 2003, Alterior Motif began its journey in the sleepy Sunshine Coast town of Maroochydore and now also calls Noosa Heads home.

Penny Lane, captain and head buyer of Alterior Motif since 2004, grew up on the beaches of the Sunshine Coast. Her lifestyle reflects the Alterior Motif woman and she is constantly evolving the business to accommodate the changing world and the need to become a more sustainable business.

We caught up with Penny to find out more...


Describe the history behind your own personal retail journey. What is the inspiration behind Alterior Motif?

I started in working in retail at 14, when I was still at school. Surf stores were the only cool places to work back then, so I approached the local surf shop and they gave me a job. 

I continued in retail in surf stores through my late teens, quitting school to work full time. I loved retail, it fit well with my lifestyle and I loved relationship building. In my early twenties I moved to Sydney and evolved into working in fashion stores, then from there, moved into wholesale.

In hindsight, that entire journey equipped me with the tools to run my own store and do what I am doing now. I understood the retail and the wholesale facets of the industry and with over 10 years experience in sales and wholesale I was ready (I sound confident here, but I was actually so scared!) to see if I could take that knowledge and experience and be my own boss.

The inspiration for Alterior Motif was seeing a gap in the market and wanting to bring some forward fashion to the Sunshine Coast, create a new scene and a new style that had not been touched on before! Because of my time in Sydney and working in the industry for those years, I had the connections in the industry to make it all work.


Tell us more about your boutique’s location. What do you love most about your area? 

Our Head Office and very first store is in Cotton Tree, a coastal village nestled at entrance of the Maroochydore River and just by Maroochydore beach. I grew up here, so it’s very special place for me and also one of the most beautiful parts of the world.  

What I love most about Cotton Tree is its tight local community feel, we know most of our customers by name. Even though Maroochydore is growing so fast, it still maintains it small surf town energy. I absolutely love it. 

Our second store is based in the picturesque Noosa, and is on one of the most iconic beaches and national parks in Australia. About 40 minutes north of our Cotton Tree space, it is the perfect partner to our original store, as the customer is a more transient and tourist based clientele. What I love about Noosa is its diversity.

You have a bustling seaside town that attracts millions of tourists from around the world which creates an exciting and dynamic energy, but walk around the points of the headland of the national park, and you are transported back in time to the old Sunshine Coast- of empty bays and beaches with crystal clear waters and rocky headlands. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

It also helps that both locations are great surf spots, another very important part of our coastal community and life on the Sunshine Coast. 


Tell us more about the process of curating brands and styles in your boutique, do you reflect and refine each season?

Being a multi-brand store, the concept of curation is quintessential. It’s a creative process, but also one supported by analytics and numbers. Creativity and staying true to our coastal community is key, but this is also backed up with consulting our team and considering our customers wants and needs. It’s definitely a multi-faceted process drawing together and refining the Alterior Motif aesthetic and meeting our creative, analytical and customers needs. 



How does La Tribe align with your own brand values? 

We value offering our customers pieces that fit perfectly into their wardrobe and their life. That are timeless with longevity, but are forward thinking and practical. In the same way that La tribe aims to offer footwear of ‘style and substance’ that can be reached for ‘again and again’. 


What do you and your customers love most about La Tribe? 

The AM team and our customers love how well considered La Tribe is in offering footwear with a point of difference whist maintaining longevity in make and style.

The styles are very aligned with our coastal life, with a broad selection of versatile footwear that can be worn as either occasion or casual wear in our environment.  


What is your favourite style this season and how will you wear them?

My favourite style of the season is the Riding Boot in Black. It is so great styled back with the Silk Bed Sock (blush is my pick of colour). My favourite winter outfit to style them back with is my velvet jacket and pant set (or sometimes a tailored short – winter in Queensland is nice and warm).


More of our lovely retailer profiles can be found here.

xx La Tribe