Taking up residence next to Blood Orange – its sister-store that offers designer women’s wear from Australia and overseas – Meanwhile Menswear offers current yet timeless clothing and accessories for customers who don’t necessarily follow seasonal trends.
The side-by-side retail offerings are located on Elizabeth Bay Road – an area that hums with café and deli options, but is somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle of Potts Point’s main retail hub, just up the road.
Being a destination in its own right meant that Meanwhile had to be welcoming and appealing from the outset, so architect Mandy Edge convinced the store’s owner – whom she met when they both lived and worked in London – to install a full-height glass and steel-frame store front.
“This automatically set us apart, giving the store an earnest, timeless appearance, and ended up setting the tone for the rest of the fitout,” Edge says. Step inside, and the interior features raw concrete floors, sandblasted brick walls and aged steel balustrades and hanging racks, which provide a neutral backdrop for the clothes.
Despite the minimalist aesthetic of these base materials, the store feels like an oversized dressing room. Many of the items are displayed for sale as if they already live in your wardrobe – shirts and sweaters in neatly folded piles, individual pairs of shoes on the floor, jeans stacked on stools, bags hanging from hooks.
And the store feels warm and inviting thanks to vintage floor rugs, small collections of antique pharmacy jars that double as vases, bespoke leather furniture, and Italian hand-blown glass pendant lamps.
In keeping with the store’s aesthetic – which eschews change for its own sake – Edge aimed for a masculine space tempered by delicate touches, a comfortable lived-in space. “But the fitout wasn’t enough on its own,” she says. “It wasn’t until the store was filled with its beautifully crafted items of clothing that we saw the design complete.”
27 Renny St
Paddington NSW 2021
m 0404 958 717
f 02 9361 4900
[lg_folder folder=”stories/2011/june-11/desire/meanwhile/meanwhile” display=”slide”]