Interview: Brendan Mitchell and James Barrett - Up There Store
“Every man needs a good pair of jeans, a good pair of chinos, classic oxford shirts and white tee shirts. From that point, you can pretty much get dressed with your eyes closed.”
- Brendan Mitchell and James Barrett
It’s been three years since Brendan Mitchell and James Barrett decided that Melbourne’s men’s fashion scene was possessed of an Up There shaped hole in the retail landscape. Alumni of the sneaker scene (with a brief pit-stop spent working Paul Smith), the duo established their nirvana in an airy, second level laneway hideyhole, determined to bring quality men’s fashion to seekers of style.
Brendan: “We travelled a lot and saw stores around the world we loved but not everything in one location. We felt the only way we could get there would be to do it ourselves.”
Consequently the guys are focussed on brands scented with a whiff of exclusivity, alongside a strong serve of quality: think limited edition, US-made New Balance and first imprint Converse sitting next to UK brand Tender and Co (“one guy, all handmade and hand dyed; he pretty much just makes clothes he wants to wear”) and Copenhagen’s Norse Projects.
The product mix speaks to their desire to see Melbourne men embrace style and practicality.
Brendan: “Melbourne men have nailed black. But colour is good if you know how to wear it – just makes sure its tasteful. Wear appropriate outfits: sneakers and suits do not go.”
James: “And dress appropriate to the weather. If it’s cold outside wear a jacket – not a tee shirt and thongs. We see ourselves as educators: sell them the basics and they get comfortable with fashion, then can come back to look for shirts with more pattern and detail.”
Hook ‘em in with the Japanese made, Up There designed white shirt, elevate ‘em up the style totem pole with a Yuki Matsuda-designed three-piece camouflage suit. All in a day’s work for the boys at Up There.