Two years ago, Architectural Digest released its “Open Door” feature with Australian musician and actor Troye Sivan. It was a walkthrough of Sivan’s Melbourne home, which he had purchased in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The 12-minute clip was typical of the series’ celebrity-driven features—an intimate tour of someone’s home, often peppered with anecdotes about rooms or certain items of furniture. It revealed that Sivan had been quite invested in the decorating process. He rattled off names of some of the artists whose works took pride of place in nooks and on tabletops throughout his home, all while justifying their individual purpose in the space they occupy. It may well be the creative in him that allowed Sivan to exude a sense of grounded reality to the feature—that he actually works and lives in his eclectic Victorian-era home.
“I had been living in the States for about five years, longing to be in Australia, before the pandemic brought me home. As much as I’ve missed touring and seeing people, it’s been cool to be forced to stay still for a time. I wake up every day excited to make something new, in a house that tells the story of my life and the places I’ve loved,” Sivan told Architectural Digest.
That “something new”, we recently learnt, is a new venture wholly separate from Sivan’s music and acting careers.
“I have always wanted to work in this space, but really did think it was more of a niche side passion of mine—maybe something I’d do quietly as I got older,” the 28-year-old tells us. “The Architectural Digest video really emboldened me to believe that maybe people would like some of the same things I do, and to have the confidence to share my design voice.”
Tsu Lange Yor was teased as early as May this year. Eagle-eyed fans noticed Sivan following a @tsulangeyor on Instagram and when Vogue released a video of the star getting ready for the premiere of HBO’s The Idol, the consummate professional slyly name-dropped his then-upcoming brand. “I feel like the thing that, to me, takes you over the edge to where it’s like, ‘Whoa! Who is that?’ is scent. It’s called Luca by Tsu Lange Yor,” Sivan says to the camera before spritzing himself with the fragrance.
If you’re wondering, the name comes from a Yiddish phrase that means “to long years”. Sivan’s Jewish great-grandmother—a holocaust survivor who escaped from Lithuania to Johannesburg, South Africa, where Sivan was born—spoke only Yiddish and “tsu lange yor” is one of the phrases that has stuck through the generations in the family and remains in use till today. The brand is also a family-centric partnership between Sivan and older brother Steele Mellet.
“From the outset, we wanted this project to be a reflection of things that are deeply personal—such as our homes, heritage and self-expression. We don’t think other people can explore those themes for us,” says the duo. Mellet left his job back in April 2022 as an intellectual property lawyer at one of Australia’s leading law firms to devote his full attention to Tsu Lange Yor as co-founder and managing director. It’s the first time that the brothers have partnered up professionally, although Mellet had used his expertise at times to look over Sivan’s contracts.
Officially launched on 18 August via a pop-up in Melbourne’s hip Fitzroy neighbourhood, Tsu Lange Yor is simply separated into two categories: Self and Sanctuary. The former consists of the teased Luca, Pool, and the brand’s signature scent in collaboration with Sydney-based perfumer Craig Andrade, TLY 5755 (“It’s the Hebrew year that I was born in,” says Sivan). They’re all eau de parfum formulations available in either 50ml or 25ml, with the latter cheekily bottled (intentionally or not) as an allusion to Sivan’s biggest musical hit to date, “Rush”.
The three fragrances are inherently different. As Sivan explains, they’re meant to “cover some of my most common moods”. He’s specific on how he should smell like depending on his outfit, mood and the weather. “For example, we have Luca with bergamot, cedarwood and moss that is perfect for a night out. We also have Pool, with tomato leaf, cucumber, lychee, and coriander that’s beautiful for a warm spring or summer day. I think our most dynamic and exciting scent is probably our signature TLY 5755, with Tasmanian mountain pepper, shiso and vanilla—it’s fresh, green, peppery, and then totally warmed up and rounded out by the vanilla. It’s an awesome journey of a fragrance,” he explains. TLY 5755 specifically instructs the wearer to reexamine the scent in intervals—at the two-, 20- and 45-minute marks—after application as the scent gradually evolves.
Sanctuary is an extension of Sivan’s design sensibilities. The first drop features a trio of scented candles and oil blends formulated with TLY 5755, Pool and Sassafras, a woody and smoky profile.
An oil burner and a limited edition dreidel—both designed in collaboration with artist Joel Adler and hand-cast in recycled aluminium alloy—complete the home offerings. The pieces are beautifully sculptural. “The oil burner looks gorgeous, whether lit or unlit. And the ritual alone of dropping the oil in and placing the tealight candle immediately puts me at ease,” expresses Sivan.
There is reason why Tsu Lange Yor debuted with a focused four-scent release. This first drop is merely a foundation to what the brand is hoping to grow into, and at the same time, a showcase of the kind of precision and commitment to quality that it intends to centre the business around.
“Our approach has always been clear: focus on authenticity and quality, ensure every product reflects our values, and eventually that identity will be able to stand independently,” explains Mellet.
The brothers aren’t naive to discount the fact that Sivan’s celebrity status helps amplify Tsu Lange Yor. The initial online drop sold out within the day. The pop-up was buzzing with people wanting to be in on the brand early and, surely, also hoping to catch a glimpse of the star.
Celebrity notwithstanding, both Sivan and Mellet have put in the work needed to ensure that this doesn’t end up being some one-off side project. For starters, Tsu Lange Yor is a completely independent company, with Sivan handling all the creative aspects of the business while Mellet takes a behind-the-scenes role, focusing on all the commercial aspects.
There’s a set of guiding principles that they’ve laid out in order to cement Tsu Lange Yor’s brand positioning. Apart from committing to the highest standards of quality, everything coming out of Tsu Lange Yor has to be art-driven, celebrate young talents and queerness, as well as be a conduit for collaborations with inspiring creatives.
“My ultimate goal is for it to grow beyond Troye and me—to something that reflects and resonates with anyone who is art-focused and creative with their space and with themselves,” expresses Mellet.
It’s community building at its most organic. Sivan enlisted Melbourne-based Flack Studio—the interior design team behind his much-raved home—for the launch pop-up working alongside other local collaborators including Castorina and Halcyon Lake for furnishings as well as plants by Florian Wild, who all succeeded in making the space look and feel like an artfully curated home. And apart from the aforementioned Australian collaborators who worked on the scents and objects for Tsu Lange Yor, the brand also namechecks a host of creatives involved in other aspects of the brand—majority with a footprint in Australia.
From a largely Australian home base, Tsu Lange Yor has already made its way to another. Home to a treasure trove of all things fashion-forward and most importantly, creative, Dover Street Market is the brand’s first retail partner—and only within weeks of launching. Tsu Lange Yor is now stocked both in-store and online at Dover Street Parfums Market over in Paris. There’s a partnership with a gallery in Sydney that’s in the works too but the brand is sticking mostly to its own e-commerce as well as pop-ups for now.
“Slowly and intentionally,” says Sivan when asked about how he’d want people to enjoy a Tsu Lange Yor item. It’s hard to miss the subtext that that’s probably how the brand is intending on making its mark too. And if there is anyone who knows about playing a long game, it’s definitely the man who started out singing at telethons and creating YouTube videos before becoming one of this generation’s most popular pop artists.
It may be too early to foretell the brand’s future, but tsu lange yor.