Melbourne Streetewear Heavyweights Ichpig and Saint Side Are Bringing Their
Ichpig and Saint Aspect have been two of the most important streetwear manufacturers in Melbourne for the higher a part of 10 years. Saint Aspect has pushed group initiatives and cultural moments within the Australian streetwear scene since its earliest days, working every part from automotive meets, to bike exhibits, to sneaker swap meets. Ichpig has cemented itself within the scene because the hallmark of high quality streetwear, identified for his or her detailed designs and customized fabrication. Their OG ‘tall hoodie’ grew to become an immediate streetwear traditional within the 2010s, and its high quality grew to become the unbeatable customary.
The 2 manufacturers have had a relationship through the years, however they had been introduced nearer collectively in the course of the peak of the pandemic when their bodily shops needed to shut quickly. That is how a extremely anticipated collaboration between the 2 manufacturers was born. On Saturday the twenty sixth of November they held an occasion to launch a Saint Side x Ichpig clothing drop that features hoodies, monitor pants, t-shirts and socks, at Saint Aspect’s retailer in west Melbourne. The occasion noticed an awesome turnout, and performances from Southside Denny, Savage The Woman and Cherry Chola.
We sat down with the founding father of Saint Aspect, Mark, and Ichpig founders Nathan and Alex to speak concerning the evolution of streetwear, their mutually respectful and genuine relationship, and the long-overdue collaboration between the two group pillars.
It’s superb to see each manufacturers nonetheless thriving regardless of all of the disruption the pandemic has prompted over the previous couple of years. Inform me somewhat about what that season was like for you guys?
Mark: Covid modified the panorama for us. For context, we took a success throughout this time with our metropolis retailer closing its doorways—however the group out in west Melbourne was doing rather well. We had been additionally simply checking in with the Ichpig guys throughout this time to see how they had been doing as an analogous enterprise. We ended up speaking an increasing number of by that interval, and we might take turns checking in one another. That was how the seeds of our relationship had been planted.
Alex: Throughout Covid our on-line retailer was so busy, and we may solely actually deal with the inner stuff and work together with our workforce—we had been actually lacking group interplay and engagement. So popping out of Covid, whereas we’d had a whole lot of ‘digital’ interplay with our clients, there was a spot by way of bodily interplay due to on a regular basis spent in isolation.
It seems like each manufacturers have upped their bodily presence by working extra occasions lately. Saint Aspect’s been doing extra automotive meets and Ichpig simply did Sneakerland. Have these types of occasions develop into extra vital to you?
Nathan: For us, having occasions the place we are able to hyperlink up with different heads within the scene—join the dots and construct relationships to collectively put Melbourne on the map—has been actually vital. Streetwear is a cross part of so many alternative cultures from sneakers, to music, to bike and automotive tradition. The collaboration of Ichpig and Saint Aspect is partly about bringing collectively these cultures.
Mark: Yeah, it’s been about making use of [the principle of] simply going on the market and getting again into it. It felt nearly like we had been Amazon for 2 years in the course of the lockdowns—we had been simply 4 partitions and packing containers and getting on-line orders out. So getting out and doing an activation was vital, particularly as a result of we initially created the store to be a haunt. We wanted bodily interplay; we would have liked folks coming [to the shop] to have lunch and do issues out the entrance or simply cease by and catch up. Having the ability to do that once more has been vastly vital.
[As a brand] you’ll be able to develop your personal on-line tradition, however this doesn’t mechanically imply that it’ll translate right into a bodily group. I feel that’s what each manufacturers do very properly, as a result of we’re each manufacturers which can be about getting on the market and doing stuff on the market in the actual world.
Nathan: Yeah, there’s extra to a model than simply the product—there’s the folks within the model. The group actually makes up the model.
The time period “streetwear” is changing into looser and looser, and it seems like many manufacturers simply use phrase carelessly to explain a set or drop. I’m serious about all your takes on this, and likewise the way you all outline streetwear?
Nathan: It’s a tough one as a result of clearly, you develop into hard-pressed to explain it with out sounding detrimental, however the time period is being stretched and pulled and it’s develop into a bit Frankensteinian, ruining itself due to how broadly the time period has been utilized—it’s being eaten from two ends. There’s the gymnasium put on manufacturers coming at it from beneath, after which there’s the excessive finish manufacturers consuming it from the highest.
Alex: I feel it’s earliest phases, [streetwear] was positively about informal put on and luxury first, and centred across the motion of ‘doing’. I feel Mark would agree that for Saint Aspect and Ichpig, the motion of doing has all the time been actually vital to each of our manufacturers. Mark doesn’t simply have bicycles in his entrance window as a result of he thinks they’re shiny and a ‘cool’ aesthetic. He can choose up instruments and repair them and work on them. It’s the identical for myself and Nate, we don’t see a stitching machine and assume, “Oh God, how will we use that?” we are able to sit down and crank out a garment if we’d like. So I feel the act of doing is kind of vital in streetwear, as a result of they’re garments that you just put on doing issues and that you just put on on a regular basis.
Mark: We’re all placing on one outfit within the morning, after which we’re sporting that ‘til we hit the sack. There’s no getting modified for various occasions all through the day and placing on hats and costumes. We’re simply getting dressed and getting shit finished every single day. I feel our clothes is a testomony to that—that’s the life-style we lead—it’s natural. Nobody right here is performing. We’ve been doing this our total lives.
Streetwear shouldn’t be about sporting one thing as a result of the subsequent man is sporting it, or shopping for one thing as a result of another person purchased it, however I feel a little bit of that has crept into the trade. It must be about shopping for one thing due to the story hooked up to the product itself.
This brings to thoughts the concept of posturing in relation to tradition—folks desirous to look like they belong to a particular tradition, versus truly belonging to it. Is that this one thing that you just’re actively attempting to maintain out of your respective communities? Are you able to sense these folks once they stroll by the door?
Mark: Generally you’ll be able to inform who they’re—I’ve bought a fairly good bullshit reader. We’re genuine by and thru right here. We’ve by no means finished something that we’re not about, or offered something or instructed a narrative that we’re not 100% certified for or keen about. Generally you’ll be able to catch it out, and different occasions you’re in a position to inform that an individual is mature sufficient to grasp the worth of what you’re presenting past its aesthetic high quality.
For those who have a look at sneaker tradition for instance, folks will spend their total financial savings on sneakers—cash they’ve been saving for a home—as a result of they get bit by the bug and can drop 30 racks in a 12 months on sneakers. Then years later they’re like ‘fuck sneakers’. Now that’s not sneaker tradition, that’s an individual extra involved with consuming than collaborating in a group, or truly loving the factor. Driving the hype itself is a drug.
With years of being within the recreation beneath your belt, at this level, what does development appear like?
Alex: That’s a superb query, a difficult query. I imply, development for us personally appears like offering extra alternatives to folks in and across the group, looking for different smaller independents that had been like us 10 years in the past and serving to to springboard them both by our platform or a collaboration, in addition to providing up our house right here in Brunswick to native musicians, artists and smaller designers.
Nathan: Yeah, rising in gross sales and quantity isn’t nearly more cash, it’s in order that we are able to make investments again into our group and folks in our organisation. Like with ON3 studios, Aman and Kisha do so much inside the music trade, and so they’re within the start-up part of their enterprise, and it’s good to have the ability to say, “Hey, guys, right here’s some money placed on a present,” and never must sweat it.
So it seems like development for Ichpig at this level is extra ‘horizontal’—bringing different folks as much as the purpose you’re at. What does development appear like for Saint Aspect Mark?
Mark: Including on to what the boys had been saying, Adrian Eagle did his first present ever on the Saint Aspect metropolis retailer and 18 months later he gained and ARIA. It’s a butterfly impact—you don’t know the place your affect on somebody will make them.
As a result of I’m somewhat older than the boys, I feel what we’re attempting to do is streamline issues a bit and improve the sense of peace we’ve as a model. It could be nice to get some applications going and perhaps transfer the bodily house to someplace that’s somewhat extra enjoyable. We’re considering perhaps the Bayside space in Melbourne or someplace close to the seashore, simply so we are able to leap on a motorbike and go for a cruise after work, as a result of we discover that we’re already doing that 2-3 occasions per week.
For those who may depart a chunk of recommendation for up-and-coming streetwear manufacturers, what wouldn’t it be?
Alex: Be all in, and be constant.
Mark: For those who’re good and constant, you’ll be nice. However in case you’re nice and constant, you’ll achieve success. Authenticity can be key.
Nathan: It’s about [finding something] that’s distinctive and significant—that’s what you’ve bought to determine, you’ve bought to determine your distinctive promoting level. Uniqueness and authenticity [is key].