Alpha60

Shopping, Boutiques Paddington
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Melbourne label Alpha60 transforms classic shapes into edgy pieces

Monochromatic men's and women's garments are synonymous with boutique streetwear label Alpha60, which was founded in 2005 by brother-sister duo Georgie and Alex Cleary. Since then, they've made one hell of a name for themselves: Patti Smith wore an Alpha60 Jean Luc Godard T-shirt when she met with Godard and, in turn, gave the French auteur an Alpha60 T-shirt bearing her visage. The company wasn't even making the Patti Smith T-shirts en masse at the time – they had to whip one up and send it over to her specifically.

Alpha60 co-founder Alex Cleary, an entrepreneur from the outset, speaks to Time Out about a decade of fashion design, and the side benefit of not working for the man.

Alex, how did Alpha60 come to life?
It all started because I wanted something to wear and didn’t have anything interesting. Georgie had been stamp printing stuff and decided we should print up an old business shirt. I still have that shirt hanging in the cupboard. At the start, no two shirts were the same – they were all hand-printed and customised. So, for the first year or so every surface in the house was covered with shirts drying. There was a long period of chaos.

As siblings, how do you and Georgie work together and manage differences of opinion?
We’ve been working together since we were eight and ten years old. Our first business was selling cut flowers on the side of the road. Admittedly, we’d appropriated them from our parents' farm, but we soon worked out that we liked working for ourselves.

You turned ten this year. Is Alpha60 still as much fun as when you started?
When we started there was no pressure to make Alpha60 commercial. We didn’t have to compromise our aesthetic – it was just fun. We have more responsibilities now, but we still get to make things every day and that’s the fun bit. We’ve always said we have to make this work so that we don’t have to get a real job.

By: Meg Crawford

Posted:

Venue name: Alpha60
Contact:
Address: 15 Glenmore Rd
Paddington
2120
Opening hours: Mon-Wed, Fri & Sat 10am-6pm; Thu 10am-7pm; Sun 11am-5pm
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