Dreams and Deeds: Saint Side
One of Melbourne’s long-standing streetwear boutiques Saint Side, is situated in the North-Western suburb of St Albans. Renowned for their ‘John Street Show & Shine’, Saint Side has come to embody not just a brand – but a lifestyle that people can relate to. If this is your first introduction, Saint Side specialise in vintage items, the restoration of low-rider bicycles, streetwear, and collectibles. They have become the “go-to” for ageless goods for the likes of brands such as Casio, XLARGE and CLSC.
Jacob and I are regular travellers to Melbourne, so when an opportunity arose for us to make a visit to their CBD location, we couldn’t resist. It was good to see the Saint Side crew in their element, and we spent some time with founder Mark to dive a little deeper on this Melbourne institution.
Born Through Collaboration
Nine years ago, Saint Side started as a gathering between friends; working on various small projects that lead to a living and breathing dream between them. It all became a reality from various hobbies of theirs, slowly becoming a highly-recognised brand among the Australian streetwear scene.
“Saint Side started more as a hangout for friends than a business, initially back around 2007. We were simply working on our own brands or projects, but in various locations around Melbourne. We were just keeping the mind busy, designing and printing tees, working on custom bikes, custom projects, eventually the work began to increase and it just made sense to collate it together in one location and help each other out. At this point we moved it to 22 John Street, and while we still had individual things going on, it wasn’t until we started getting regular foot traffic, that we realized the space was something on its own. So in the beginning of 2009 we gave it a name, Saint Side, combining St.Albans, West Side of Melbourne.”
Growing from Our Roots: An Easy Decision
Saint Side first opened its doors back in January 2009 on John Street of St.Albans, where it was all too familiar to the team since they were kids. It was a no-brainer to have picked John Street as their first store location, where many vintage bicycles are restored/built today.
“Familiar location. It was in the middle of where we were all coming from logistically, it was available, it was enough room and it had history. John Street is a known street to us, as we grew up (and still live) in the area. The street itself was a hang-out during the 90s for a lot of us. It was one of the satellite shopping strips with a milk bar, barbershop etc. that would stay open late and always had loitering going on. It’s a small strip, all double story units, plenty of free car parking, and is about 10 minutes walk from St.Albans Station or Keilor Plains Station. It also has a bus stop 20 metres from the store, the 425. Being tucked away in the back street meant we didn’t have to deal with too much distraction.”
Saint Side Products
Saint Side stocks just about anything from collectibles like BE@RBRICK toys and BAPE couches, to a large variety of sneakers, eye-catching skateboards, vintage Casios and rare streetwear brands. These items are just an extension of the Saint Side lifestyle.
“Clothing from a selected few brands, lifestyle products from couches, to pomades, to incense, to accessories from the car, along with bicycles, and bike parts. We try to display our lifestyle, every aspect of that, and we’ve stuck to our guns since.”
Special Tee for a Special Event
February is usually a busy time of the year for the Saint Side crew, when the Annual Show and Shine is held at John Street, St.Albans. The Show and Shine gives the community something a little special to celebrate about. This year Saint Side celebrates the event’s 7th year with their ‘777’ T-shirt.
“Every year we organize the John Street Show and Shine to get bike owners, families, customers, motorcycles and cars out to do it how we like, celebrate the area, celebrate John Street, and the communities we are involved in; good music, food etc. With each event we put together a tee to commemorate this.
This was our 7th Show and Shine; we try to celebrate an area that is constantly stereotyped, so we ran with the “Winners in Last Place” motif. I particularly like the 7 quotes from 7 of our favorite films which makes up the border on the rear. By far my favourite JAWN right now.”
Mark and the crew are one of the friendliest group of people you will ever know in the game. They are down to earth and just willing to help in every way. They have built this hobby of theirs into a passion-driven business and brand, giving back to the community and celebrating the culture every year.
Be sure to check out their stores if you’re around Melbourne at the locations below:
Saint Side City
Level 2, 15 McKillop Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000
Phone: 0449 675 001
Monday to Thursday: 11am-6pm
Saint Side Workshop
22 John Street, St.Albans
Melbourne, Vic 3021
Phone: 0449 675 001
Monday to Thursday: By Appointment