Jodhi Meares has an eye squarely on the future. But it’s a future a few light years beyond THE UPSIDE’s next collection.
“I’m a great lover of science fiction films. Have you ever noticed how they tend to wear a lot of Lycra? Maybe I’ve been working with stretch fabric for too long,” she grins, musing on the idea of Lycra capes.
If you’re not familiar with Jodhi’s new label, maybe you’ve heard of that little ole swimwear range called Tigerlily she created in 2000, and later sold to Australian surf clothing giant Billabong.
“Both brands came from an authentic place,” asserts Jodhi.
“Tigerlily was born out of a real love for the beach and THE UPSIDE was born out of a real love of being active. When I was working on Tigerlily, I spent the entire time looking at women’s bodies to try and understand what women needed to feel good in all their glorious shapes and forms. These days with THE UPSIDE, I spend my time looking at their legs,” she laughs.
While Jodhi loves to practise yoga, she didn’t love the lack of “cool” activewear on the market and eventually, the former model and one-time Australia’s Next Top Model host decided to create her own.
“I was practising yoga daily, mostly in New York City but also in Hawaii, and I literally couldn’t find anything I wanted to wear. It became such an important part of my wardrobe. I needed my activewear to be functional but I also wanted it to look good and it needed to cross over into something I felt was cool enough to hit the streets in after yoga.”
But Jodhi’s label isn’t just for the down dog crowd either, with THE UPSIDE blog featuring people from disciplines as varied as surfing, archery and dance sporting the wares.
“The message is ‘be you’. Find what you love to do to be active and feel good. It doesn’t need to be conventional, gym-type active, it could be a love of tree climbing – one of my personal favourite things to do!” says Jodhi.
And as for that future?
“My secret dream is that we’ll all be in Lycra suits with matching capes,” she smiles.
“There’s a superhero in all of us.
Favourite form of exercise: Yoga, yoga, yoga
Beauty secret: Be kind and be you
Best advice ever received: “All unhappiness comes from unfulfilled desire.” – Buddha
Best biz moment: On the Bondi to Bronte walk (in Sydney, New South Wales), when I saw our product on a girl for the first time. The dream became real that day.
Advice to other brand makers: Always listen to people you respect but at the end of the day it’s your creation, so go with your intuition
Jodhi Mears photography: StyleMeRomy