L-R Luke, Jayden and Leigh.
Don’t let anyone tell you a little online surfing between writing tasks isn’t a good thing. For me it led to the discovery of this fun and funky Melbourne brand, Mavericks Laces. Founded by three Melbourne designers in 2012, the label has seen an appreciation for the finer details of fashion spawn into a stylish set of shoelaces and award-nominated branding.
The label’s 100% waxed cotton laces are not for the faint-hearted. According to designers, Luke, Jayden and Leigh, ‘if the shoes make the man, the laces make the shoe’, which is why their bold accents are full of colour and character.
Jayden Zernich, one third of the team behind Mavericks Laces, tells us about the bourgeoning brand, its creative processes, and the challenges of starting a fashion label.
Tell us about the team’s design background?
Mavericks Laces is made up of three graphic designers by trade, Luke Schoknecht, Leigh Scholten, and myself who stumbled across each other in studios at one point or another. Leigh and I have since gone on to be the duo behind CONDENSED, who have worked for the likes of Beggar Man Thief, Shoemakers of Melbourne, Life Space Journey and the Melbourne Pub Group. Luke has recently started his own agency called Raine & Makin.
What inspired the launch of the Mavericks Laces label?
We wanted to start a business where we could be free to push the boundaries with branding and design while having some fun. We have a passion for shoes so we started to think about business ideas in that area, and eventually saw a gap in the market for good quality and colourful laces that would help guys in particular add a bit of individual expression to their outfits.
“If no one ever doubted your idea then you’re not thinking big enough.”
Describe the Mavericks Laces fan?
A ‘Maverick’ is someone who does things a little left of skew and treads their own path. They’re the bold, dynamic people who walk to the beat of their own drum.
Tell us about the company branding that’s been shortlisted in the identity design category for the 2013 Create Design Awards.
‘Mavericks’ are unique individuals, so we created a custom typeface to represent this originality. Our challenge was to elevate the humble shoelace into a desirable and crucial fashion accessory. Through strong story telling, high-end product photography, playful copywriting and an engaging visual identity, we crafted an emotional connection between the target audience and the product.
Describe the Mavericks Laces creative process.
Colour research, colour research and more colour research! We delve heavily into colour trends from international seasons in design, architecture and fashion, to formulate a mood board and directional family of tones. We try to look at a broad variety of inspiration as we strongly believe that architecture influences fashion and vice versa.
From here we give it a Maverick touch. We work out how we can colour match our photo shoots to not only highlight the product, but experiment with interesting combinations, too. We want everything from the detail of the paper background to sans normal. Yes, others can shoot with paper, shoes, and laces, but we like to think our colour combinations and fun direction is what brings our product to life and sets us apart from the rest.
“Sometimes 20% of something is better than 100% of nothing.”
What is your go-to creative resource?
Love a book published by Victionary, Monocle, Wallpaper.
What are the biggest struggles to getting your own fashion store/label up and running? What advice do you have for other creatives?
Sometimes you can get caught up with wanting every element to be perfect as it’s your ‘baby’; however, if you continue down that path there will never be enough time in the day and nothing will ever come of your idea. Sometimes 20% of something is better than 100% of nothing. Take a chance and be prepared to learn along the way.
Adapt to the changes in your industry and learn from others who have done it before you. Nothing is as powerful as the knowledge others can give you, absorb it, add to it and apply it. People saying ‘you can’t’ should be your biggest inspiration, if no one ever doubted your idea then you’re not thinking big enough.
What’s on the horizon for Mavericks Laces?
Anything and everything! A world of colour on every boy, teen and man around the streets of your nearby city. It’s one step at a time, so to begin with we’re launching our two-tone laces in September.
**THE LOCAL SCOOP**
Where do you guys shop for cool fashion and accessories in Melbourne?
Claude Maus, Incu, Somewhere, Vanishing Elephant.
Which local designer/creative are you fans of at the moment?
Meandher, Bellroy, LifeSpaceJourney.