Event: The Menske Project
Like all great ideas, Menske began with identification of a commercial niche that appears largely to have been ignored: that of male-focussed retail. The bloke-friendly pop up above Allpress’ Collingwood roasting house and cafe has been pulled together by men’s apparel designer Courtney Holm. The inspiration? A recent New York trip that saw Courtney stumble upon a space devoted entirely to collation of designs for men.
“I try really hard to avoid using words like ‘craft’ and ‘market’,” Courtney admits, explaining that even in creative Melbourne the majority of artisan-style pop ups focus on a more feminine aesthetic. “We just wanted to create a space where guys could come and find a whole group of brands that appeal to them.”
Certainly there is nothing of the cutesy about it. Instead the majority Melbourne-based brands run the gamut from cult wallet maker, Bellroy, to shoe designer &Attorney, men’s skincare product from boutique brand, lief, and striking haute sport-style apparel from Courtney’s own label, Article.
Coffee is plentiful and Gertrude Street menswear retailer Pickings & Parry has its barber on loan for the weekend.
But the pop up’s creation is not all about retail. For Sydneysider Courtney, the event is equally designed to cultivate relationships between makers, ‘Menske’ being a Nordic word with a textured meaning: a noun, if you like, to describe honourable and courteous intent among Mankind.
“There can be a kind of protectiveness around the fashion industry that I don’t really understand,” she says, explaining her approach while offering an insight behind the name. “I just think it’s better for everyone if we can get together and share our energy and our ideas.”
Menske is on at 84 Rupert Street in Collingwood this Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13. Open from 11am-8pm Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday. The next series of Menske pop ups are scheduled in Melbourne this coming August and December.