uppers & downers is a vintage and unique goods store located in Vienna, Austria. Pink Things Vol. II is stocked at their location, so this is a sort-of thank you to uppers & downers for being our first international stockist! I interviewed Dzenana, the sassy but kind owner of uppers & downers, about how the shop came to exist, what she looks for in products to stock in her store, and about the new uppers & downers zine that just launched, encompassing the attitude and style that uppers & downers embraces in its pages. This was a fun and brief conversation that allowed me to learn more about the store!
Sarah Sickles for Pink Things: Hihi! So tell me about yourself! What’s your story and how did you get started with Uppers and Downers?
Dzenana: I was studying art history and working as curatorial assistant when I decided that it’s much more fun to open a store and do whatever I want, whenever I what, however I want. Yep.
Pink Things: Can you tell me about the history of Uppers and Downers? What inspires the curation of the store, online and in person? Are there any special guidelines or is it more of a personal preference and gut instinct?
Dzenana: As much as I’d like to claim that there’s a very well thought-out concept behind everything, I have to admit that it’s definitely all very unorganized based on gut instinct - we just kinda go with the flow and that’s how it should be.
Pink Things: If you had to describe to me what Uppers and Downers is about, what would you say?
Dzenana: It’s about inspiring people see through their own wide-open eyes.
Pink Things: What are the products you sell and those you buy from like?
Dzenana: For the most part we sell well preserved hand-picked second hand and vintage clothing but we also carry a handful of new brands that always tend to have a vintage twist to their designs or pick up the store's vibe in some other way.
Pink Things: What are your customers like? Is there something you would like to say to them? How are they involved with the evolution of Uppers and Downers?
Dzenana: Our customers love details and they love to take their time to experience end explore things. I also think they appreciate the fact that even if we sell used clothes we don’t really fulfill the cliché of the usual vintage store overfilled with 20 beige coats, 40 patterned blouses, 30 gross fur coats, and 100 T-Shirts with not-so-funny prints on it - in short, stuff people didn’t want for a reason. We definitely prefer the smell of all the sweet little things instead of mothballs.
Pink Things: So tell me about this customer’s zine! It’s a new project, right?
Dzenana: I like to think of uppers & downers as a little cosmos. It’s about creating our own world within a world full of shopping streets. With this in mind the customer magazine is just the natural progression of the flow we mentioned above. My long-time friend and fave collaborator Sarah Wetzlmayr and I made it our very own mission to put uppers & downers into magazine form and I think we mastered the challenge pretty well. We are very happy and proud of the result.
Pink Things: So tell me about your relationship to and opinions on the color pink!
Dzenana: I like the fact that the color pink has become the warpaint of a new generation of young people who refuse to be put in uniform boxes.
Pink Things: What’s next for Uppers and Downers? For you specifically?
Dzenana: Hm, dunno, let’s see what the future holds. Classic. *eyeroll*
uppers & downers is located at 1070 Burggasse 46, 1070 Wien, Austria or you can find them online. The uppers & downers Customer Zine is currently available for the cost of shipping here.
This interview was conducted via email and has been edited. Photos courtesy of uppers & downers.