Pickings and Parry is a menswear store and Barbershop based on Gertrude Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. Founded by Chris Pickings in 2013, P&P aims to bring back experience and purpose to menswear and grooming.
We visited Pickings & Parry and spoke with Ben Martin about his favourite places in the neighbourhood and life as a buyer.
P&P Buyer & Manager Ben Martin out the front of the flagship store at 3/166 Gertrude St.
BM - When I get up in the morning I smash a pint of water, I read somewhere ages ago that it wakes up the brain and it works for me. Then I do a stretching routine that I’ve been doing for well over a decade. I used to have a bad back so this keeps me upright and working properly.
Favourite T&D Product:
BM - My favourite product is probably the face scrub which I use a couple of times a week. That and the cleanser are great and I use the Fibre Royale every day obviously.
Ritual to Chill
BM - Running and exercising brings me the most peace.
Favourite background music for your rituals?
BM - If I exercise at home I actually prefer silence. If I’m running it is anything to distract me from my own heartbeat! Chris [Pickings] is a proper runner - so he runs in complete silence like a trooper. I’m not quite at that level yet but every year I run alongside him when he does a marathon for as long as I can handle!
As the Buyer at Pickings & Parry, you do a fair bit of travel; do you follow any grooming rituals to keep you fresh AF whilst jet-setting?
BM - A good shower, face scrub, moisturise and some sort of gel for my eyes normally sorts me out. If I’m in Japan then it’s all about the Onsen. Hot pool, freezing cold pool and sauna. Repeat and repeat until you feel cleansed from the inside. Then ruin it all with beer and ramen.
If you were to collaborate with a brand to design a capsule collection, who or what would you look for?
BM - I love collaborations when they come from a natural place. There are far too many that occur just for the sake of it. There are many brands I admire but I don’t generally want to see them conjoined, the result of collaboration should add something to both parties, not dilute them. Chris and I were both brought up in coastal towns where the sea, boats and fishing play a major part in how those towns were shaped. With that in mind, we both love smocks and the role they’ve played in all areas from sailing to war to mountain rescue to climbing. I imagine it would probably be a capsule collection then encapsulates that. Forgive that terrible pun.
[For the record, T&D loves a pun]
Ben's Favourite Fitzroy/Melbourne Hangouts
Cafés & Restaurants
Cibi is a personal favourite and Burnside for coffee close to the shop. Fatto a Mano is brilliant. The staff and food are all wonderful.
Sitting at the bar at Neighbourhood Wine makes me very happy. I miss the pubs of the UK so I’m spoilt for choice in Fitzroy & Collingwood with the Napier topping all of them.
I’m obsessed with glass bricks and Melbourne is full of them, check out the Lightbox project in Collingwood.
I went to Golden Plains this year for the first time and it was excellent. Compact, friendly and well curated. Considering I haven’t been to a festival since 2005, it was going to take something pretty special to win me over. It succeeded.
More about Pickings & Parry
Pickings & Parry's ethos centres around outstanding customer service, timeless style and an emphasis on heritage craftsmanship techniques. Hold any of their wares in your hands and you'll instantly feel the quality construction
P&P houses a bustling four-chair barbershop that will knock your brand new socks off.
A warm coffee or cool beverage is always on the cards. Their barbershop operates seven days a week with skilled barbers and drinks on the house with every appointment.
Next door, their sister store Heffernan and Haire services likeminded women who value quality construction and enduring style.
One of Melbournes most exceptional denim locations, Pickings & Parry stock the likes of Sugar Cane, Stevenson Overall Co, Vintage Levis, Indigofera and more.
Expert tailoring service is available on site to get your hemline rocking. This machine is from the 1930s and is used for chain stitching, the typical finish on selvedge denim.
Learn the story behind the creation of your favourite new garments in store.
Purveyors of yours truly, naturally.