History of Eagle Leather: The early days
Eagle Leather started operation in 1994 as a small specialty store located on Hoddle Street.
A trailblazer for its time, the original Eagle Leather owner Brian Mier created a store that became a haven for gay men, with a curated range of leather, latex, extreme toys and BDSM gear from around the world which until that time were fairly unavailable in the Australian market.
Brian was passionate about education and this passion led him to set about developing a BDSM and sex positive educational program during the mid 90’s in order to ensure that not only adults kept their sex lives exciting but also safe. Brian also set up the “leather link” newsletter that helped the leather community connect with each other and shared educational information, news, events, workshops and information on how to use these unique products safely.
Throughout the years Eagle Leather would grow significantly from its humble beginnings, moving into a much larger premises down the road at 58 Hoddle Street where it would stay until Brian sold the business in 2010 to two long time employees.
History of Eagle Leather: Modern times
After working for the business for several years, BJ and Shane took over the company in 2010 and they began a process of modernisation, re-invigoration and renewal of this much loved traditional brand, concreting our position as the benchmark BDSM fetish company in Australia. The store moved back down the road to our current premises at 80 Hoddle Street – an old brick factory turned Eagle HQ.
In our huge store, brightly lit and clean surroundings show off our expansive collection of high-end fetish fashion, toys, sex machines, and bondage equipment; set amidst a modern aerosol art backdrop, glass cubes and a whole lot of stainless steel.
We’re a small business with a talented team of six. Our formidable roster is headed up by our three owners: store manager and director Shane, business manager and director BJ, and administration, stock and marketing manager Pepper, who became a co-owner of Eagle Leather in 2016. Our talented crew also includes our customer service superstar Kevin, our exceptional leathermaker Hanna and the very talented and creative marketing co-ordinator Jono.
Over the years we have been rewarded by many accolades as voted by our peers and the public. Our hard work really started paying off when we were awarded "Australia's Best Independent Adult Store" and "Australia's Best Adult Sex Education Program" at the Eros Shine Awards. In addition, BJ took home the prize for Australia's "Best Sex Educator" and "Best BDSM Master" for his work running classes and workshops, as well as demonstrations and performances on an array of topics including impact play, rope bondage and electric sex. In 2020, we won an award for “Excellence in LGBTQI+ Small Business” at the GLOBE Awards.
The vast majority of our customer base continues to identify as gay men/MSM, and we are 100% committed to continuing to provide, nurture and support this demographic with our specialist products and commitment to local and global causes. However, since 2010 we have also actively increased our range of toys, clothing and gear for all genders as we move towards an inclusive future.
At Eagle Leather, we are committed to making sure that every customer who walks through our doors or shops on our website feels welcome, included, seen, and enough. In 2020 we decided to dispense of the outdated concepts of "male clothing" and "female clothing". We believe that fashion should not be limited by gender, and that you should feel free to wear clothing you enjoy wearing, and clothing that makes you feel sexy, regardless of your gender identity.
We are highly regarded for our expansive leather clothing label, which is produced in house in our leather workshop. We value the quality of our gear above all else, and our aim is to produce high end clothing that will last you a lifetime. No corners are cut in production, and we use only the best quality hides for all of our manufacturing. We also source leather goods and clothing from quality local and international suppliers.
We’ve also built a name for ourselves in the realm of rubber, by sourcing the best quality latex from suppliers both locally and around the globe. With the largest range of latex clothing in Melbourne, our dimly lit Rubber Room is dedicated to lovers of latex and provides the ultimate rubbery shopping experience!
In addition, we stock a huge range of dildos and butt toys, vibrators, prostate massagers, cock and ball toys and vaginal toys. We also retail everything BDSM from restraints and collars to floggers and paddles, nipple clamps, hoods, chastity gear and electro.
We don’t stock gear of lesser quality, and if anything we sell gets bad feedback or we don’t think it’s up to scratch, we get rid of it – our range is specifically curated to only offer the best of the best, gear we’d want to have in our own wardrobes and dungeons.
In recent years we have begun expanding our vision beyond our store, kicking off in 2014 when we held our first FANTASTIC: THE PARTY, which celebrated 20 years of business. We wanted to create an otherworldly experience, a party where fetish, colour, performance, and dance collide in an intoxicating night to delight the senses. Our sell-out party now has a strong core following and is regarded as one of the best fetish events in Australia, enjoying attendance from local, interstate and international party goers.
Our party and our passion is to bring all genders and all sexualities together under one roof to celebrate the things this community shares in common: a love of sex, techno and fetish. With Fantastic, our aim was to really bridge the gap between male-only fetish events and the pansexual kink scene. It’s been a truly beautiful experience watching the scene and our parties evolve over the last several years as people from different sexualities and genders break down the barriers and forge new relationships and new cultures as we party as one.
FANTASTIC: THE PARTY became so popular as an annual party, we felt it was time to add a winter version to the roster: from there, the colourful summer party’s darker spin-off FANTASTIC THE ABYSS was born. FANTASTIC has featured an amazing collection of DJs and Performers from across the globe, including DJ Hell (GER), Discodromo (GER), Volvox (NYC), Nastia Reigel (RUSSIA), Blush_Response (GER), Dave Tarrida (UK), Borusiade (ROMANIA), Saeborg (JAPAN), Hajime Kinoko (JAPAN), Leh Ysl (JAPAN), BORIS (GER), Isabella Hanikamu (CAN) and PSYK (SPN).
Our community focus
We are huge supporters of our local BDSM community through a significant amount of sponsorship of events and community club donations, as well as regularly playing host to many highly respected local and international sex educators. Presenters at Eagle Leather workshops have included such famous names as Osada Steve (JPN), Felix Ruckert (GER), Satomi Zpira (JPN), Lukas Zpira (FR), Hajime Kinoko (JPN), Janet Hardy (USA), Dirk Caber (USA), Tristan Taormino (USA), Roughinamorato (USA), John Pendal (UK), Esinem (UK), Master Jock (NZ), Frank T Khani (GER), Sheila Crux (AUSTRIA), Mistress Tokyo (AUS) and many more.
We are highly geared toward supporting local and global charities and initiatives, and aware of our unique ability to use our good name to lend support to such groups, both within and outside of the fetish/sex positive community. Over the last several years we have donated to many great causes including Joy FM, David Williams Fund, Beyond Blue, Sexual Minorities Uganda, the LGBT Network Russia, the Victorian Aids Council/Thorne Harbour Health, Melbourne Rubber, Vic Leather, Bears Perth, Bear Men of Adelaide, The Coalition of African Lesbians, Harbour City Bears, VicBears, Melbourne Chargers, Rainbow Railroad, Switchboard, The Soup Place, Sisters and Brothers NT, The International Power Exchange Competition, Red Cross, Sydney Pups and Handlers, Victorian Pups and Handlers, Boot Co, Transgender Victoria, GEAR’d Adelaide, Adelaide Leather and Fetish, the International Pup and Handler Contest, The Rescue Collective, The Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the Lost Dogs Home (Save A Dog Scheme).
Our vision for the future
We’re highly geared toward supporting our thriving local community to continue to grow and prosper, so you’ll see us continuing to support as many local social groups as we can and sponsoring as many events as we are able to. We consider our brand to be more than a retail store – we are a community hub and a space where you can be exactly who you want to be without judgement. We believe that the leather and queer communities are a vital part of our brand as well – our extended Eagle Leather family.
Our aim is always to be inclusive and to make you feel that this is a brand that you can identify with, that you feel welcomed into, and that you can be a part of. As such we welcome all genders, and all sexualities.
We are working hard towards what we call our “2030 vision” for this city’s fetish scene – we want to see a scene in Melbourne that rivals that of anywhere else. The question we ask ourselves every day is this: If we work really hard at it, what will this city look like in 2030?
We have a dream for this city to become a contender for the fetish capital of the world, right up there with Berlin and San Francisco. Just because we are a long way from Europe doesn’t mean we can’t be world class in our own unique way. Of course, this vision is much bigger than us – but we believe if kink and queer businesses, social groups and organisations, event promotors, artists, and the queer/leather community can work together, Melbourne as a whole can make this happen.
For us now, everything we do is geared toward that vision.