Sports brand on the up

the upsideHomegrown sports apparel label has kick started a bricks and mortar rollout with the opening of a flagship store at Westfield Bondi Junction.

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Moving into bricks and mortar is a natural evolution for The Upside, Jodhi Meares’ fashionable sports apparel label for men and women.

Meares was founder and owner of swimwear label, Tigerlily, before it was purchased by Billabong in 2007.

Conceived in 2014, the brand has rapidly gained traction in Australia, the US, UK, and Canada. This year it will launch in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.

Tara Fraser, GM of The Upside, told Inside Retail PREMIUM, it is just the beginning of an aggressive store rollout.

“There is a huge retail plan, we really believe in bricks and mortar as well as online, so we plan to rollout this year and the next couple of years both locally and overseas,” Fraser said.

Although there are no solid plans for a second store just yet, Fraser hinted the brand is looking for opportunities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, or New York.

“We’re always open for both pop up and actual stores, so I think it’s a plan for both, and it’s what the location is.”

The Upside originally launched online, and as a wholesale label, distributed in Australia through David Jones, Rebel, and General Pants Co, and online at Stylerunner, Stylerunnerman, Mode Sportif, and Surfstitch, before opening pop up stores at Bondi Junction and Potts Point in Sydney.

It quickly went international, ranged on Net-A-Sporter, Carbon 38, and Urban Outfitters’ fitness endeavour, Without Walls, among others.

The 40sqm Bondi flagship stocks The Upside’s men’s, women’s, and recently added accessories ranges.

“We touched on accessories last season and they went really well so we are growing the accessories brand and that will be launched in the second half of this year,” said Fraser.

“We’re also going to be launching The Upside swimwear in the next year or so and we’ve got some exciting changes to our menswear in the pipeline, which we’ll be talking about more at the end of 2015, so there’s a lot of exciting new things happening.”

This story first appeared in Inside Retail PREMIUM issue 2034. To subscribe, click here.

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