Quintessential Menswear Advice From Dion Kovac of Meanwhile

By Jacqui Thompson
5th Oct 2013

Dion Kovac knows menswear and has played a key role in influencing Sydney's menswear scene for many years. In the early days, this influence possessed a serious street/ skate vibe, via his store Our Spot. These days, and with a few more years under his belt, it is all about the gentlemen's wardrobe. 

Dion, along with business partner Tim Leckie, opened the premium menswear store Meanwhile, in the lovely suburb of Elizabeth Bay in 2011. Stocking a carefully curated stable of international and local labels, including: A.P.C, Dries Van Noten, Our Legacy, Moscot, Yuketen, Three Over One, Henry Wilson and Gentleman's Brand Co.—to name a few, has made Meanwhile the go-to for stylish local fellas.

We caught up with Dion to garner some of his invaluable men's sartorial advice and to find out his favourite spots around Sydney. Also we must congratulate Dion and Claire on their brand new baby girl!

TUL: Having owned and managed men's retail stores for many years in Sydney, you have definitely influenced local style—how have you seen it change over the years?

Dion Kovac: I just think guys are becoming more interested in their appearance and how they look. I'm noticing also that people are shopping for brands that have a heritage and interesting story behind them.

TUL: Can you tell us which Spring/Summer Meanwhile deliveries you are most excited about?

Dion: This summer I am excited about a local favourite 3/1. They have produced some really cool floral and Hawaiian print shirts and shorts. Perfect for the Australian summer.

TUL: And what will you be sporting over summer?

Dion: Linen shirts, Gingham shorts and slip-on Vans—a Baby Björn!

TUL: Absolutely and congratulations . . . A lot of thought obviously went into the interior design of Meanwhile, where did the inspiration come from?

Dion: We all just pulled together on this one. It was based on a New York Mid-Century vibe, steel glass windows, reclaimed timber and raw concrete walls. We're really happy with the way things turned out. We believe the interior complements the brands we carry.

TUL: The Meanwhile site looks really beautiful, and you've just launched your online store, are all your products available online? 

Dion: The online store has been a long time coming and we're excited to finally launch that side of Meanwhile. There is more product to go up and new collections from brands are going to be introduced over the summer season. Online will mirror the actual store stock and offer the same product, however we will begin to introduce some online exclusives in the near future.

TUL: What are the absolute must-haves for a gentlemen's wardrobe?

Dion: I always get asked this question, and each season I always end up changing the answers, as I feel the gentlemen's wardrobe should never stay the same and it should keep evolving. This time I'm going with a good pair of raw jeans, a classic denim shirt and a pair of white canvas slip-ons.

TUL: Once upon a time your retail focus was skate orientated via Our Spot (with the best sneakers in town), are you still involved with the skating scene?

Dion: When I opened Our Spot I was skate-or-die to the bone! Over the years I've kept in touch with the skate scene and friends, the Australian skate scene right now is amazing! So much talent. I am so grateful to have been able to grow up living that lifestyle, there's just something about skaters, they're on a whole other level. 

TUL: Do you still skate, and where are your favourite Sydney spots?

Dion: Yes I still roll every now and then, my fave spot these days is right out front of the store!

TUL: Which are your favourite bars in Sydney?

Dion: I like the Old Growler, The Passage, Shady Pines, Gnome in Surry Hills is good for a mellow beer on a summer's afternoon.

TUL: And your favourite cafes/ restaurants?

Dion:  Fratelli Paradiso, Eno Pizzeria, The Apollo, Room 10.

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