With sun-kissed skin, toned limbs and perfectly tousled locks, newly married Jodhi Meares is the picture of glowing health. Here, the former model, entrepreneur and designer takes some time out of her busy schedule to talk about her latest collection for THE UPSIDE (expect their signature elegant cuts, subtle earthy tones, intricate patterns and very first compression pieces), athleisure trends, and the secrets to her success.
What can we expect from THE UPSIDE’S latest collection?
For this collection we’ve shifted our focus to more technical fabrics, launching our first compression range that caters to high performance activities and more rigorous training. We believe we’ve perfected the tank; finding the balance between technical qualities, while maintaining a great shape for all day wear and of course, we always have a strong focus on contemporary prints.
What sort of person do you design The Upside for? Do you have a particular muse in mind or are you inspired by your own lifestyle?
We will always keep a strong focus on fashion. We design for a person that wants to look great while they do whatever it is that they want to do to keep fit.
What is your favourite piece in the current collection and why?
The Lombardy Bomber – the market is currently enjoying the reinvention of the bomber in all areas of fashion. We actually have a great collection of vintage bombers that we carry in our flagship store in Bondi. I absolutely love the Lombardy. It’s a great representation of THE UPSIDE as a brand; that we can move quite seamlessly across both technical active wear and the fashion space.
What key active wear/athleisure trends do you foresee this 2016?
Colour blocking has been really strong and I don’t think we want to let go of that too quickly. At THE UPSIDE we pride ourselves on being contemporary – we can look at a Chanel jacket and interpret that into active wear.
The lines between active wear and daywear are more blurred than ever. What are your tips for styling this sporty chic look?
The thing I love most about being in this space more than anything else is the ability to dress up an active outfit. You can absolutely throw a great leather jacket or a beautifully cut blazer over a pair of our leggings or shorts, team it with the right shoe and you’re ready to go.
What do you think is the secret to your success?
My team, without question. I have a talent for finding the talented.
What is the biggest obstacle you’ve faced since launching THE UPSIDE?
My team – because they’re all talented geniuses! I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with a genius, but there certainly is a different rhythm to people at that standard.
How involved are you in the day-to-day business? What does a typical workday look like?
I’m involved from every angle and I love all of it but my role is Creative Director so I spend more time with my creative team. My week could go from full on days of design meetings, to throwing around ideas with the marketing and branding teams and even sitting down to plan social posts. I love our accountant, so I’m even spending time on numbers, which I’d normally find laborious but I now enjoy!
What has been the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If something doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not true. I may not be Bill Gates, but in my experience, if someone can’t explain something to me, it’s generally not true.
What are your top tips for someone starting out in the fashion industry?
Get a good shrink! (laughs) You absolutely have to have complete confidence in your idea and listen to yourself, because there will be plenty of people out there that may not understand your vision. It’s not up to them to understand it – just be very clear with your vision. Most importantly, get the right team around you. I didn’t know how difficult it was when I started out, but it’s so incredibly important.
What would you say is the best and worst part of your job?
My team and my team. (laughs)
Who do you look up to and admire?
My first husband James has always championed me as a creative. You need people around you like that, because they give you confidence. David Bush, our fearless leader, our business advisor Mark Calvetti, and of course my entire team. You have to have mutual respect to work as well as they do and I admire that in all my staff.
If you could pass on advice to your 20-year old self, what would it be?
This is a novel – It’s impossible for me to write this in a couple of sentences.
How do you see the brand evolving over the next few years?
I have huge plans for this company and they’re being realised faster than I could have ever imagined, which is extraordinary.
First thing I do in the morning: Hot water and lemon. Last thing I do at night: Kiss my husband goodnight. Workout I’m currently obsessed with: Yoga. It’s always yoga for me. Most people probably don’t know this about me, but: I was a figure skater with trophies to prove it. The one place I’d never wear yoga pants: To the White House. My favourite café/restaurant is: I love The Italian Bar on Oxford Street, Paddington. If I were a fruit or vegetable I’d be: A pineapple… because I’m one fiiiiiine-apple. If sugar were a superfood, my diet would consist of: Jelly Babies! I never leave home without: My yoga mat. I’m inspired by: Authenticity. My favourite emoji is: I’m emoji mad, I love them all! <insert lightening bolt> My pet peeve is: Negativity.
Meet Jodhi Meares
Join Jodhi and Head Designer Ash Holdsworth at the VIP Launch of THE UPSIDE’s latest collection tonight at Westfield Miranda.
Enjoy complimentary coconut water, champagne and wholesome snacks throughout the evening as well as the opportunity to say hi to Jodhi.