It’s a good time to be a leisurewear label. Melbourne’s Best Jumpers launched in 2018 with a core collection of off-duty hoodies and sweatpants. More recently, designer Dylan Best has added sleek knitwear, minimal tailored pieces, and outerwear to the range. Now, following successful pop-ups in Fitzroy and Chadstone, the brand has moved into permanent Prahran digs.
“I always had to have [a store] to showcase the product – to see it and touch it,” says. “It’s hard to get that across through social media and a website.”
Best worked with interior designer Sophie Di Pasquale to create his new, bare-bones store. Di Pasquali is known for her chic townhouse conversions, and spaces for now-closed South Melbourne bar Smalls and local label Viktoria & Woods.
“[It’s] minimal – kind of like the brand’s aesthetic. And eclectic,” Best says. “The clothes are the main focus.”
That focus on the garments, rather than the surrounds, is typical of Best’s attention to detail. He has a hand in every step of the design process, including personally selecting every material the label uses, and working with a Japanese fabric company he discovered whilst working at Club Monaco.
“These Japanese fabrics are known for their quality, in terms of hand feel and durability,” Best says. “That’s part of my brand – tech, sport performance – taking those fabrics and doing them in elevated silhouettes.”
Cotton nylon jackets and pants bring a sporty feel to preppier pieces in the range, and you’ll also discover the occasional surprise – like a women’s pleated skirt in a parachute-ish material. It’s perfectly on point for Melbourne’s current mood, as we’re working from home more than ever before, and we want to be comfortable as well as professional.
Best kicked off his career in the US, studying fashion at Parsons School Of Design in New York followed by internships and freelance work with labels Rag and Bone, Band of Outsiders, Derek Lam and Phillip Lim. After a two-year stint working with the design teams at Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco, he returned to Australia.
Despite having trained in the US, there’s a very specific Australian edge to Best’s pieces. Classic sweats in luxe Japanese cotton terry and fleece come with multi-coloured wombat prints, or simply the word “mate”. There are bucket hats and tie-dyed sweaters, and high-vis yellow detailing on waistband tie pulls.
“I wanted to do something Australian – my idea of Australiana,” Best says. “All the actual garments and the construction, I want all that to be beautiful, and luxury. In terms of the DNA, something Australian – to me – is something that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Best Jumpers, located at 59 Izett Street, Prahran, is currently closed due to Melbourne’s stage four lockdown. During this time, a 10 per cent online discount is available to Broadsheet readers. Use the code BROADSHEET10 at checkout.