Tag Archives: Melbourne

INTERVIEW: Mavericks Laces

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.

SS 5 Pack

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.

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“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.


Mavericks Branding

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.

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“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.

Mavericks Primary 3 pack

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.

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Interview: Sarah Hudson, award winning ceramic artist

Sarah Hudson is an award-winning, Melbourne ceramic artist. A detailed and delicate finish to her creations – which include jewellery and tableware – has won numerous awards and recognition both locally and internationally. Off the back of her first solo exhibition in Melbourne this month, we caught up with the artist to discover where she finds her inspiration to promote harmony and beauty in her ceramic designs.

Sarah Hudson

Tell us about your background. What path led you to ceramic design?
 I’ve always worked in a design environment, such as graphics, communications and industrial and product design. The experience gained from this and working with amazing creatives in these fields has formed a strong influence on all aspects of my practice.

When I chose ceramics as an elective course in the first year of my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I hoped to learn techniques that would complement my metals and jewellery major. By the end of the year I was combining techniques learned from both disciplines.

Where do you turn to for inspiration?

I tend to re-visit my visual diaries – of which I have many! Over the years I’ve sketched and researched a myriad of concepts I like to turn to for inspiration. My studio is also a treasure trove of curious pieces that capture my attention for one reason or another – whether it’s colour, texture, pattern, words or interesting objects I’ve collected.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

My day is always varied and full – which I love. I make, design, source, research and, when firing, my day often extends into the night!

Your ‘Bamboo Sake Set’ won a prize at the 2010 Itami International Craft Exhibition. What was this like? Why do you think you were chosen as the winner? Describe the winning piece and what inspired it.

This International craft exhibition receives hundreds of entries from around the world, so to receive The Itami Prize among lots of amazing works is an honour. My design was a response to the judges brief to create a Sake Set that would bring friends together to enjoy the drink. My inspiration to use a bamboo theme with ‘clusters’ of bamboo poles suggested this connection and fellowship.

The materials, bamboo and porcelain, were carefully selected and hand finished resulting in a harmonious and calm environment. The set is appealing if only a few cups are used and, as friends gather, new bamboo vessels can be added to share the joy of drinking Sake, too.

Your jewellery collection, ‘Beauty, a quiet conversation’, also won an award at Itami International Craft Exhibition. Describe this collection and what inspired it.

Each year the Itami Craft Exhibition alternates between the themes Sake – Itami being the birthplace of Sake – and Jewellery. This necklace series is a collaborative design with fellow Melbourne artist, Pennie Elliott. Pennie and I studied alongside one another in ceramics and jewellery at Monash University.

The necklaces combine handmade porcelain and precious metal beads. The subtle design reflects on the repeated process of making over time. It features unique, irregular pieces that join together without interruption in a state of harmony.

You showcased your works at Potier Gallery in May. For those who didn’t attend, what were visitors privy to?

The exhibition was a quiet reflection on the beauty of porcelain, inviting the viewer closer to contemplate on the detailed and delicate work before them. The exhibition launched new designs including delicate and thin-layered tableware, new bamboo-themed vessels and necklaces.

I also launched an installation of hundreds and hundreds of translucent porcelain petals. Many hours of work, but worth every minute to see my idea fully realised!

What is your favourite piece/collection you have designed and why?

I can’t say I have a favourite as each individual artwork or coloured bead is intriguing. I’m fascinated with combining pigment and porcelain as its not until the final firing is complete that I can see the subtle or intense colouring I’ve achieved.

Which artists/designers do you admire?

A mix of local and international artists I love: Vera Siemund, Ted Muehling, Lucy Sarneel, Nga Waiata, Letitia Buchan and Sarah Dingwall.

What’s next for Sarah Hudson?

With the Potier Gallery exhibition finished, I’m looking forward to taking a step back and reflecting. Having said that, there’s always a mix of different opportunities and awards to develop ideas and designs for.  This year I was awarded an Australia Council ArtStart grant and I’m currently setting up my studio which is very exciting!

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Art Melbourne, May 24 – 27

For its ninth consecutive year, Art Melbourne will open its doors at the Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton. Organisers this year are excited about its contemporary twist and fresh new look that will inspire over 14,000 visitors set to flock to the event.  The art fair showcases thousands of quality, original artwork under $5,000 in an encouraging environment, highlighting the demand for quality artwork at affordable prices.

Fair Director, Tasmin Roberts says, “The Art Melbourne model lends itself to the current economic climate. Now more than ever people want good quality, original work without the high-end price tag. Art Melbourne delivers this to buyers and creates a new market for galleries.”

Exhibitors have been encouraged to be creative with what they show for under $5,000. Galleries may choose to commission special, editioned work from some of their more established artists, show a strong collection of works on paper, or promote their up and comers with a solo presentation in the New Gen sector.

New at Art Melbourne in 2012:

  • Art Asia
    A selective group of galleries from the broader Asia Pacific region and Australian galleries representing Asian artists. The feature is sponsored by the Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF).
  • Street, Urban, and Graphic Art
    A representation of the highly popular artistic movement that is somewhat of a phenomenon in Melbourne laneways and broader Australia.
  • Ausin Tung Gallery
    Ausin Tung Gallery will be exhibiting and will work with Art Melbourne in the creation of an education program covering topics such as ‘The Asian market, how relevant is it to Australia?’, ‘Collecting work under $5000’, and, ‘What to look for in an art work’.

For more information visit Art Melbourne.

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Interview: Chris Lebon, Brothers Apparel

In their own words, Brothers Apparel is ‘in a class of its own.’ It seems the family that designs together, stays together in this soon-to-be dynasty that promotes comfort and style all in the one outfit. The label was founded by the Lebon Family, four Melbourne brothers, and is all about being simple yet unique with your wares. Using premium materials for long-lasting everyday outfits, they’re turning the idea of what’s dressy and what’s casual on its head. Chris Lebon chats to us about the label.

It’s often said, ‘you should never work with your family’. Why is Brothers Apparel the exception?
For most cases it’s true — you shouldn’t work with family but, what sets us apart, is we all have something to bring to the business and we’re very family oriented. So, even if we all did something separate, each brother would be there to help if it was needed. The best thing about running the business with your family is that we’re not afraid to express ideas freely, and you always know you can rely on your family.

Brothers Apparel (left-right) Matt, Chris, Vince and Nick

Describe the label’s style?
Effortlessly stylish. We’re a very causal brand with pieces consisting of ‘urbans’ (tracksuit pants) and hoodies. Despite being ‘casual,’ all our pieces are innovative and fashion forward, putting us in a class of our own.

Has there always been an interest in fashion within the family?
Definitely! With four boys in the family all with their own swag, it was difficult to not be interested. A big influence also came from the second oldest brother, Vince, who has been in the women’s shoe industry for many years, and has also launched his own show label ‘Rollie’.

Which designers inspire you?
A lot of the premium women’s labels such as Sass & Bide, Shakuhachi and UK brand allsaints really excite me with what they’re bringing to the world of fashion. With their bold colours and eccentric designs and contrast, it’s something that I’d like to incorporate in each season for brothers, too.

You’re known for your stylish tracksuit pants. What makes them such an essential item to the man’s wardrobe?
It’s definitely the comfort factor and the ability to wear them for any occasion. It’s great to see people wearing them to parties and even night clubs — it’s what makes these pants so great, they can replace cargos, jeans or chinos, only difference is — they’re more comfortable!


Alex Perry himself gave the ‘nod of approval’ to your track pant designs. What was that like?
It was at this point that I realised, I really had a great product and it was just a matter of waiting for retailers to give it a chance. Being 18 years old at the time didn’t help convince retailers but, after meeting him, and then receiving a few emails from Alex himself, I was  determined to get the product out there and gain the support that I needed.

What’s the number one lesson you’ve learned in the industry?
To have a product that stands out from your competitors. The fashion industry is so competitive you can easily fall behind.

What’s next for the label?
We will be releasing our anticipated 2012 winter collection this month. It will consist of our urbans, hoddies and sweaters. It’s full of colour and contrast. We’re also working on some really cool tees for mid year, too.

What’s your advice for aspiring fashion designers planning to launch their own label?
Be fully prepared, and know what’s involved. Expect things to get hard but, in the end, it’s worth it.

Brothers Apparel can be found in all Globalize stores as well as online from May. Click here for full list of stockists.

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Take 2 Markets, Melbourne

Take 2 Markets is Melbourne’s premier recycled fashion event. Every two months, in the Melbourne and Geelong area, women who love fashion converge on the markets for a boutique-style shopping experience. Over 40 stalls showcase accessories and fashion that includes local and international labels, vintage/retro garments, shoes and more! It’s a win-win situation for fashion enthusiasts looking for a great deal on pre-loved pieces, stallholders looking to off-load extra stock, and charities that receive unsold clothes on the day as a donation.

The next market is Sunday April 29, Northcote Town Hall.

For more information visit take2markets.com.au

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