|about the upside
While the days are kept busy and one’s free time becomes fleeting, finding the hours to keep active and stay fit is put on the back burner. THE UPSIDE strives towards the philosophy of a healthy lifestyle made attainable through activewear that is informed by fashion without abandoning functionality.
Living between New York and Hawaii and practicing yoga daily, THE UPSIDE’s Founder Jodhi Meares identified a gap in the market for activewear informed by fashion. THE UPSIDE’s early ethos laid in establishing a bold brand that catered to sartorially sophisticated and time savvy individuals who led demanding lives but cherished their training. THE UPSIDE was born to fill that void for men and women alike and the Sydney based brand has earned its place as one of the top activewear labels in the global market without abandoning functionality or premium style.
The key ingredient to THE UPSIDE’s refined approach is undoubtedly Meares’ extensive experience in the world of fashion. A notable model at the age of 15, Meares later went on host numerous television shows including Australia’s Next Top Model, before successfully establishing Tigerlily, a swimwear company that embodied the quintessential Australian boho chic aesthetic.
Moving on from one successful venture to the next, Meares established THE UPSIDE in 2014 to great acclaim. With one look you know those legs or that crop is THE UPSIDE. Admired for its uniquely refined prints and easy sleek style, THE UPSIDE rapidly gained a loyal following throughout Australia, which later followed through to the USA, The United Kingdom, and Europe. Known for its luxurious materials and attention to detail, the brand had soon covered all areas of the active life style for both men and women.
In Australia THE UPSIDE opened stores in Bondi, Mosman and Miranda as well as here at www.theupsidesport.com. Gracing the pages of numerous publications including Elle Australia, Harpers Bazar, Vogue and Women’s Health, the brand was soon spotted on fashion and sports icons such as Candice Swanepoel, Kelly Slater, Kim Kardashian, Nick Youngquest, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Hayley Baldwin, Karlie Kloss and Jourdan Dunn.
Within a year of launching in Australia, THE UPSIDE had gained great traction, growing its reach around the world. The brand can now be found in some of the finest stores and websites from around the world, including Matches, Net-a-Porter, Harrods, Lane Crawford and Selfridges.
In 2016, THE UPSIDE launched their widely anticipated menswear range, THE UPSIDE Man.
Rapidly becoming the go-to label for fashionable sportswear, THE UPSIDE has grown leaps and bounds in the short time since its launch. With a great deal in the works, and exciting seasons ahead, THE UPSIDE continues to demonstrate its significance as a leading luxury active wear label.
My vision for THE UPSIDE came to me when I was spending time between NYC, Hawaii and Sydney. While deepening my yoga practice I was witnessing the powerful infancy of the athleisure movement, that was taking over studios in a global sweep. Women of every age were under the spell of these magical pieces.
I spent the next two years closely observing women en-masse at yoga studios and gyms at the beginning of what would become a defining moment in the multimillion dollar health and wellness space. The nascent cult of athleisure had lured its followers in droves. Myself and my yogi pal’s were well and truly mesmerised.This Lycra flavoured evolution would put any 60’s era cult to shame and I was beyond hypnotised. As an avid lover of lifestyle brands I was fascinated by this unprecedented and genius new category. So what was the one ingredient athleisure’s first-movers were missing? Cool. The original offering was limited, bland and lacked fashion appeal - and it had no colour or soul and there was my “in”. The vision was strong. I’d wake up and be getting ready for yoga visualizing what I wanted to wear, and it was keeping me awake at night too. I was dreaming about colours, prints and crop shapes. I knew I could bring something fresh, modern and functional to this space and I knew it needed to speak to a contemporary, fashion forward woman.
A brand has to be authentic. It has to tell the truth.
One of my favourite yoga studios is Jivamukti at Union Square in NYC. Sharron Gannon and David Life created Jivamukti in 1984. They are serious and authentic yogis and hard core vegans. Their knowledge is deeply rooted in tradition having spent many years in India where they were schooled by guru Swami Nirmalananda, guru Sri K Pattabhi and guru Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati. I have a lot of love and gratitude for this school, it’s offered me enormous peace and a deeper understanding of my yoga practice outside of the physical postures. It’s an urban sanctuary for the hippies of NYC with beautiful, big and light- filled yoga rooms where we chant in Sanskrit and are schooled on the teachings of the month by teachers filled with compassion and deep love for their students. Being part of this community made me feel like being at my best friend’s house, it had that warmth of a huge hug. This is where the grounded authenticity I’ve layered through THE UPSIDE’s product and persona. A brand must tell the truth. It has to be believable. This authentic love for yoga and everything it embodies is the soul of THE UPSIDE. This pure love for yoga and itsheritage also informs THE UPSIDE’s aesthetic. India is a kind of heaven to us colour and print junkies. There is a softness and femininity to India’s palette, paisleys and an intensity of colour created by age-old dyeing techniques that is referenced right throughout THE UPSIDE range. It’s not a simple process to bring print and colour to Lycra. These prints are traditionally printed on beautiful silks, linens and cottons, and so we are constantly bringing something different and organic, to an athleisure space that has been built on polyester and nylon.
I was back and forth from NYC and Hawaii, and had bought a house on Oahu’s North Shore right on the Banzai Pipeline. The yoga movement was nearly as strong as the surf culture, one of the beautiful things about yoga is that it takes on the energy of the place where you practise. Hawaii has an incredible aura, vibrant, childlike and with a purity that embeds itself into your mind, body and soul, it’s a truly joyful place to be. I’ve never had more fun in a yoga class than on Hawaii’s North Shore and soon I became best friends with Lily, everyone’s favourite yoga teacher. She taught an energy driven class called ‘Funky Flow’ and played 70’s Rock‘n’Roll, reggae and Leonard Cohen before Shavasana. My time in Hawaii made me feel like I was actually growing younger with all organic food, Aloha vibes and lots and lots of yoga. That joyful gift that Hawaii gave blessed me with the time and space to start putting pencil to paper. I created our first collection there and layered in some joy. Hawaii is the joyful, light-hearted piece of THE UPSIDE mosaic. Hawaii taught me that exercise should be fun and never be taken too seriously. It gave me an appreciation of first light, that heavenly time when the earth is waking up and we feel truly alive and at peace. Surfers paddling out at sunrise so eager to drink up everything that Mother nature has to offer.
To be well and feel gorgeous in your pursuit to a joyful and healthy life - this is THE UPSIDE's greatest wish for our customers
The earth loves us all deeply and gives us everything that we need to experience real happiness. I wanted THE UPSIDE to communicate this as a brand. The earth supports you on your quest for joy and peace. All you have to do is wake up with our beautiful sun and witness all that she is giving you. LIFE. The healthier we are, the more alive we feel and we believe it should be a joyful effort to health and wellness. Performance brands make it feel like it is a job to be fit, but we are not all Olympians or professional athletes, nor need we be. THE UPSIDE tells you it’s your birthright. You were born a native of this beautiful blue planet. She nurtures you throughout your journey to wellness. This is what we at THE UPSIDE stand for. To be well and feel gorgeous in your pursuit to a joyful and healthy life - this is THE UPSIDE’s greatest wish for our customers.