new zealand-based menswear brand i love ugly has recently extended its brick and mortar arm to the usa [los angeles] as well as maintaining multiple stores in nz and a long rap sheet of stockists reaching from taiwan to norway. firmly placing themselves on the global radar, it would make sense that the first australian location would pop up in the cosmopolitan capital of the country, melbourne. housed in a linear concrete and glass ground floor space on russell place, the brand stays true to their minimalist aesthetic and pragmatic design approach featuring an almost entirely onyx-coated interior, and the only deviation being the light timber floor and shelving interior.
the melbourne destination, like its predecessors, is interestingly designed in-house by the i love ugly creative team. inspried from feedback by their retail staff for functionality, then from a visual point of view, handed onto the design team for a consistent brand experience. an inspiring 21st century communal effort in both design and ergonomics to say the least. apart from producing great looking clothes, what's curious about i love ugly is an obvious application of basic design principles into an immersive brand package. key characteristics are present not only in their garments, but also integrated into architecture and the retail environment reflecting the teams deep design roots.
the idea of the melbourne space is to immerse the customer in a unique micro world, blocking the outside atmosphere. and in tandem with the brand's ethos revolving around offering a high quality and premium image at an accesible price, the russell street depot certainly achieves this. rumor has it i love ugly may land in new york and london sometime soon in the future, something which we're sure will have the locals in both style capitals salivating. location: 16-33 russell place, shop 22 [cbd].