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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Up There Store

Melbourne has long yearned for a menswear store that successfully curates a selection of product that focuses on provenance that can easily form part of your everyday. Due to an embedded post war European influence, Melbourne’s menswear approach has generally focused on tailoring, muted and dark tones and subtle fabrics. Up There store – opened in 2010 by the collective of Brendan Mitchell, James Barrett and Jason Paparoulas – eschews this tradition, instead embarking on a search for a new kind of masculine identity that combines a sense of playfulness, a nod to the outdoors with inherent design detail.

Situated on the first floor of a beautiful low rise building on Mckillop St Melbourne, Up There has transformed a small largely disused space into a premium menswear showroom. Utilising the lovely natural light afforded to the space by the industrial full height windows, the collective have curated labels like Sunny Sports, Norse Projects, Yuketen and Note to Self to fill their garment racks. Recently also picking up Japanese label The Superior Labor – who produce high quality cotton and denim wears in Okayama Japan – it is evident that the inherent quality of a garment is celebrated at this store.

Extending this fastidiousness to the other products that are ranged, Up There are also one of the few retailers to stock Inventory Magazine and accessories from Bedwin. Likewise, the footwear on the display tables also juxtaposes the contemporary with the classic with limited edition Adidas and New Balance sneakers sitting side by side with a select range of Clarks Originals. It’s a store that deserves some recognition purely for its unbending search for something new.

Copyright Leon Goh and SHIFT 2012

CIBI

Situated in a back street in Collingwood Melbourne, CIBI breaks down established boundaries between food, retail and creative space. Opened in 2008 by husband and wife team Zenta and Megumi Tanaka, CIBI is one part select store and one part café. A deftly curated selection of design classics like cutlery and cookware by Sori Yanagi, Hakusan porcelain and contemporary collaborations such as the SIWA range of paper products designed by Naoto Fukusawa sit beside a café that focuses on providing locals much needed sustenance.

Zenta Tanaka – with his background in architecture and design – has designed a café and store that successfully articulates the kind of lived in, industrial and eclectic design aesthetic that references the tenets of the slow architectural movement. Reclaimed materials, industrial elements like steel and formwork blocks are littered throughout the space. Subtle details abound, marimekko prints linger amongst found vintage furniture and a vintage Apple Mac is used as a doorstop. Display tables are created out of asymmetric trestles designed by Zenta himself and timber that was sourced from disused timber yards.

Complementing this approach to design, Megumi-san’s food philosophy is as much about celebrating fresh ingredients as it is about the juxtaposition of traditional Japanese home style food and contemporary western cuisines. There are several dishes that continue to resonate with the regulars. The Japanese breakfast, fragrant rice, shiozake, bean salad and tamago comes with a hearty homemade miso soup that epitomises the simple heartfelt approach to their food. This embedded sense of soul is also present in dishes like the refreshing soba noodle salad and bean, sourdough bread and avocado CIBI breakfast – everyday food elevated and enriched into something special.

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012

Hotel Americano

Located in Chelsea on 27th Street, Hotel Americano is the first hotel in New York by Mexican hoteliers Habita Group. Habita founders Carlos Couturier and Moises Micha have created a string of design hotels that epitomise a kind of relaxed Latin sophistication juxtaposed with heavily curated room offerings. Hotel Americano is no different, taking over a disused parking garage on 27th Street and a half block away from the amazing High Line urban space, its stainless steel façade shimmers, illuminating the street in an affront to the existing industrial landscape.

Embedded in the gallery district of Manhattan, it is evident that Hotel Americano’s aesthetic successfully treads the fine line between design hotel and a warm inviting space that locals and guests can sink into and make their own. The exterior and room design is minimalist with Habita collaborating with architect Enrique Norten. However carefully considered room amenities and design details abound with Loden Dager denim bathrobes, Aesop bathroom amenities, timber tatami style base for the soft bedding, a polished industrial concrete floor and a wonderfully useful in-room iPad surrounds the guest in a space that juxtaposes sleek European design with pared back Japanese restraint.

On the ground floor, restaurant Americano (run by chef Olivier Reginensi, who previously worked at Daniel) serves lovely French inspired food with some Latin flair. There’s also a rooftop swimming pool – with inspiring views of the Empire State building – that doubles as a hot tub in winter. This combination of epicurean refinement and ability to soak in the urban landscape in an entirely personal manner makes Hotel Americano the perfect chic hotel for your New York odyssey.

Copyright Leon Goh & SHIFT 2012