It’s a Japanese and American inspired clothing label hailing from the UK.
Quite a bit to take in there, but that’s the recipe of its success. Plucking classic American heritage and mixing in the bold and innovative flavours of Japan’s culture and approach to style, and garnishing with the fine touch of British craft makes Superdry a very unique offering.
Superdry’s first flagship store landed in the heart of Auckland’s busy shopping mecca, Queen Street in April and I was fortunate enough to get an invite to the launch gig to celebrate. Being up close with the brand again reinvigorated my love for it, as it had been many years since I’d seen their product in the flesh. The last time was back when I was doing my UK junket circa 5 years ago. I got the chance to visit the Piccadilly Circus store to grab a few essentials like crew neck tees and a pair of cargo shorts to create my European Summer uniform. Cargo shorts you say? Yip you bet ya, dads have been setting trends since way back, we’re only just now realising it!
One of the things that surprised me, or maybe I had just simply forgot, was how good the prices were. They’re very reasonable when you match it with what you’re getting; good designs, quality construction & fabrics, and a global brand. When you’re wearing the clothes, it feels like a premium brand without that premium price tag. A welcomed change that’s for sure.
For my Superdry shoot, I’ve kept it fairly simple by just showing off a few key hero outfits, from a casual weekend look in cargo track pants, to a look that’ll brave the coldest of days on the street. And I tell you what, I could have easily grabbed another 20 items while I was browsing the store, but it would have become a full day of shooting! From puffer jackets, vests, jogger pants, plaid shirts, thick cotton tees, trucker and leather jackets, coats, a denim bar, snow apparel and loads of accessories Superdry has it covered.
You can literally go in and come out with a fully stocked wardrobe, kitted out to take on anything from the street to the snow.
Back in 2014 I went travelling through Europe, a classic jaunt many of us Kiwis make as part of our OE. One of my stops was experiencing the sensational Spanish city of Barcelona to see the likes of the incredible La Sagrada Familia, a modernist impression of a church which began construction way back in 1882… and is still going!
Now being a tourist, I travelled with a classic Kiwi trope, a 50L Kathmandu backpack, stuffed with all my personal belongings and strapped over the shoulders and clipped in secure around my waist. TOURIST HELLO! Lugging this around on the daily definitely helped me get match fit as an aspiring tourist, but having that heavy weight on the feet was getting tiring and sore, and this was merely days into my month long trip!
Needing no excuses to afford a new purchase while on holiday, I stopped in to a local footwear store on the way back to my AirBnB and quickly came across a line up of awesome looking canvas built boots. After reviewing the selection, a classic black boot was delivered by the shop assistant. While trying on the boot for size he revealed Palladium boots have a great story behind them, rooted in French history as they were first created for the elite French Foreign Legion.
With these Palladium boots road tested by the brave soldiers of World War II there’s no doubt these boots were going to be street worthy. Oh no problem sir.
Palladium are a fairly new name on the New Zealand scene, so when I got wind that Platypus Shoes were stocking them, it was an unmissable chance for me to check out the updated range and introduce my feet to a new, but familiar, pair for the Winter months.
Platypus on 162 Queen Street is my local. It’s a hustling storefront on one of the busiest shopping precincts in Auckland that you can’t help but stop and cruise into due to the vast array of colourful sneakers & footwear on display - not to mention the banging beats and bubbly crew all there to welcome you in too.
While chewing the fat with Rach, the Queen Street manager about the Palladium line up on offer, my eyes were immediately attracted to these white & orange detailed boots. Made up of waterproof nylon material and constructed with their famous Palladium quality materials and lightweight feel I knew these would do an excellent job of profiling this brand. Plus being waterproof too gave me a level of comfort that having white boots in Winter wouldn’t be complete madness.
Pampa Lite Waterproof Boots
Now for another crazy fact about this brand.
Palladium actually began cutting their teeth by making airplane tyres.
No shit, the rubber on your Palladium boots is the same stuff that stops planes when landing at over 300km/ph on the tarmac. These days Palladium throw back to the old times by using recycled rubber from used aircraft tyres to construct your boot’s soles. Brilliant.
I got my new pair of Palladium Pampa Lite boots a week ago and I’ve worn them nearly every day since, even to a casual day in the office. Style doesn’t listen to rules!
There’s a stack of options on select, including different colour ways and best bet is to get instore to see the full range. The white ones above took out my top spot, but were closely followed by an all orange pair of the same style. Orange being another impact colour for the second Winter season in a row.
Definitely swing by your local Platypus or check it online and join the streetwear army wearing these bad ass Palladium boots.
Thanks to Platypus for gifting the Palladium boots and Rach from Queen Street for helping me out with the right size.
Shout out to Dalong for his constant photography talent, always finding fresh spaces to shoot and show off the looks I pull together.
Like clockwork, as soon as Summer waves a little hello to say ‘I’m arriving’, we instantly celebrate by getting out the BBQ, throwing on some sausages, chugging a few cold beverages and just when you’re third saus deep in white bread you realise - crap - this Summer gig means I’ve got to get ship-shape for those hot days at the beach, in my tight shorts.
My relationship with exercise has been a turbulent one - probably the classic storyline for many of you too. The journey to what seems like Everest has been filled with beautiful moments of optimism, celebration & body fat percentage drops. Then there’s been doses of struggle, frustration and blocks of Whittakers chocolate. It’s been a yo-yo for sure, but that’s just life right?!
And of course without getting too Tony Robbins on you, when you’re faced with what appears to be a monster of a wall (not as tough as this proposed Mexico wall however), like wanting to lose that spare tire around the belly, all that may be required is a motivating push to get up and over the wall and doses of consistent encouragement to stay up. This can be hard to get in a typical gym environment where you’re often left to do your own thing, unless you’re booked into group classes or hire a personal trainer. So many times I’ve heard people say they ‘just don’t know what to do’ or ‘get bored of the same workout’ at the gym.
That my friends is one of the critical ingredients of the relatively new F45 format of high intensity training. The prep work is done for you, you’ve got to simply commit, turn up and go hard. No work experience required.
For those peeps that personally know me or been following for a while you’ll have seen the odd (and now to be more frequent) early morning Insta stories of me turning up to F45 Training Newmarket. F45 - it’s not some type of super-fast aircraft from the military, but it’s not far off from being military in theme.
F45 stands for Functional 45 minute Training. To break it down simply, it’s a high-intensity-interval circuit made up of a number of stations, which each require you to perform a specific exercise for a set period of time. Sometimes you’re on for 30, 45 or even 60 seconds. While each day will have a theme, like cardio, resistance or strength, no two workout routines are ever the same. It’s keeps the body guessing so it never gets complacent, which helps drive better results.
There’s two hurdles most fear when it comes to any form of committal exercise. Firstly I hear ‘I’m not at all fit enough to do HIIT’, then in a close second is, ‘I haven’t really done a workout routine before so don’t know how to do the exercises’. Well let me tell you, F45 was designed to sweat these crap-as excuses out of you (and me!).
You don’t need to know it all and you certainly don’t need to be a Nike sponsored athlete to jump right on in. No matter your age, fitness ability or reason for being there. Not only does every single session kick off with a live demo by some class act instructors like Chris, Rhys, the two Renees, James & Mu, there’s also screens you can refer to anytime to see what’s going on at each station when you’re busy trying to catch your breath between the rotations.
Now I’m not going to give you the roses view on getting match fit. It’s tough work. It’s fairly simple math right, go hard and get hard results. Go average - get average. If you are serious about hitting your personal fitness goals, whatever the motivation; weight loss, toning up, building muscle or getting better at doing burpees, then there’s no doubt in my mind F45 is the place you’ll want to sign up to.
Just recently my two school mates Mark & David, dropped 10kgs of fat alone (not weight, pure fat!) in just 8 weeks and are continuing to show up and do the tough work. It was a real motivator to see these pals turn up very early and the morning and sweat it out. It actually gave me a boost when I was out of routine and needed to get my ass back into a regular rhythm at the Newmarket studio.
Classes are made up of all walks of life, ages, abilities and it’s brilliant. Some of the most impressive results have come from the more mature F45 goers and it goes to prove if you turn up with the right attitude, follow the advice of the trainers, commit to turning up and eating healthy you too can make a transformation. How much of a transformation relies on how many times you turn up, how hard you go, and how clean you eat - eating good and fuelling the body is mission critical to success.
When I first began F45 in Newmarket in early 2017 I had the luxury of being self employed. That allowed me to run my own schedule. And I must admit there wasn’t as many distractions which gave me the ability to lock down a routine - another key to success. Skip ahead to the year 2018 and I’m back full time in advertising, and like you no doubt, you’re working hard and trying to balance so many aspects of your life which often results in your health & wellbeing needs falling to the wayside.
Reality is there are always going to be reasons why you can’t or don’t feel like turning up, and the trick is setting yourself up for success and putting the right preparations in place to do so. For me things like packing my bag the night before along with the prepping the drink bottle and protein shake ready to grab from the fridge when I get up. Then there’s setting an alarm on a phone that you have to get up to turn off and while you’re at it turning on the light are simple tricks to help drag your sorry ass out of bed. And for reals once you’ve completed your 45 minute workout, you never regret it and you feel incredible. Maybe a little sore but that only means the hard work is working!
Setting your benchmark and tracking your progress is again another important step in journey to fitness success, no matter what your goal is. A fairly new addition in the studio is the Evolt 360 body scanner which is designed to get a very accurate read on your body’s composition. Evolt connects up to your app so can track your progress throughout your journey. It’ll show you some important pieces to your body’s makeup - from body weight which is broken down by segment - your arms and legs, will outline your body fat percentage (a more important measure than overall body weight as it laser focuses on fat) and your visceral fat level. Don’t worry too much about the technical jargon - Chris and the team will explain what it all means and the key metrics you’ll want to focus on during training.
Fitness is my opinion is as critical as feeding the body with food. Exercise is not only keeping your body in good working shape, it’s doing the same for your mind too. The clarity, energy levels and endorphins are addictive feelings and you’ll notice the difference within days of hitting F45 Training Newmarket.
I encourage you to come give F45 Newmarket a whirl, sign up is easy online and once you’re hooked in you simply boo your sessions to fit around your daily schedule. With multiple sessions happening a day through morning, lunch and evening (most days).
If you really want to kick off with a smashing start to the year, I’d highly recommend putting your name down for the first 2019 8 Week Challengethat kicks off 4th Feb. If you sign up now, you’ll train for free until the 4th Feb so you can get yourself in the zone for the Challenge.
Would be great to see you at F45 Newmarket and if you do sign up make sure you come and say hi!
There we were. Us four lads - Glenn, Mike, Chris and myself, unwinding from our respective busy days at work with some Italian pizza and beer at the glorious sanctuary that is Haven in Takapuna. But we weren’t there to simply gasbag over some food & drink, there was a real purpose behind the midweek get-together. Whilst trying our best not to get pizza all over ourselves we were at Haven getting an important lesson on skin for dummies; learning about our skin's makeup, its complexities and importantly what can happen if you don’t respect it.
The session began by holding a fairly sobering picture - a face of late 50’s bloke who had spent many of his former years driving trucks through the harsh outback of Australia. What we saw was shocking. The truckie had extensive damage to one side of his face - the result from the sun beaming through the driver’s window. He looked like Two-Face from Batman. Now I totally get that this an extreme case of skin damage but it landed a critical message early; you've only got one skin and its something that we need to protect on the daily. Furthermore we need to be doing it now, not in years to come when you see more of those wrinkles and signs of ageing. By then you can only react, not pre-emptively protect.
Talking about skin might not be the manliest of topics, but therein lies the reason I decided to gather a few of my good mates. I wanted to tackle this silly stigma that it's 'soft' for guys to exert energy and money into caring for their skin and faces. It’s ridiculous to think this is something your girlfriend, mum or sister should worry about...and not you. Your skin is nearly identical, so what’s up with not seeing that they’re already miles ahead of us in the skincare game and really you're the one losing out.
It’s a fairly striking thought that we routinely look after our bodies, the hair on our head by showering and shampooing, and we even brush our teeth too - yet all too often we do sweet nothing for our face. It gets conveniently left off the should-give-a-shit list. By getting together with the boys, we were able to openly discuss what we knew and didn't about a topic that rarely gets tabled. By manning-up and ignoring any of the societal crap, we were empowering each other to listen, absorb and be open minded to why looking out for our skin is important. For us this little catch up was the opening to a new world of giving a shit about our skin and we're going to look and feel the better for it.
Don't they look they're enjoying the pampering? After discovering the nuances of skin, dispelling some myths and learning about things we never knew, we all headed into our individual 30 min treatments, tailored uniquely for each person's skin needs by the specialist team at Haven. Because there was a real lack of a consistent regime or infact for one of the guys, no regime at all the treatments were centred around shedding the outer layers of dead skin, and hydrating the new born layers. This was a totally new experience for the guys, they’d never had a skin treatment, let alone embark on the homecare skincare regime with their new Ultraceuticals starter pack (which conveniently has the products numbered so you get the order right every time).
Here's what the guys had to say about their Haven experience when I asked them what they knew going in, what remained with them when they left, and to check-in to see how their new at-home routine is going.
One point that stood out to me was that we should wash our face with the face wash twice during morning and night, once to get rid of the impurities such as oil and dirt and the second time to get into the pores. This step alone has made a huge difference to my skin, I find it less oily and clearer. The other step in the daily routine that I wasn’t currently doing was the night time step, I thought washing my face once a day was enough but the 3 step process at night has made a noticeable difference. Most blokes know we should wash our face but we don’t really know why or how. It’s not hard to make small changes but when you do it makes a big difference to how you look and feel.
Still getting into the habit of using the SPF moisturiser every day but loving the actual face wash too after a day in the office or the gym – end up feeling and looking a lot fresher! Will for sure keep up with it and am heading back to Haven for some top ups!
The lovely Chloe sat us down and walked through all the science behind your skin and how it is affected by day to day activities making me realise I should have paid more attention in high school. Far removed from the standard supermarket facewash I got the full skincare experience using some really cool new technology. I came out far better off from the experience and could physically feel the difference in my skin. When I got home my wife instantly saw the change, which is saying a lot since she never notices when I get a haircut.
While the guy's faces were shining, the night wasn't over. Our good friends at Morgan & Morgan in Takapuna popped in to give us a demo on how to style our hair - something very dear to all us dudes. Kane one of the lead stylists took us each through our face shape, hairlines and structure to show us a few looks we could pull of with a few key products from Redken. A go-to for a sharp look for me is the classic slick-rick with the help of some moulding clay.
Us four guys went into Haven not knowing a great deal about our skin, but we came out with a great head start in the new journey towards helping our skin thrive and the tools to do so. It's not hard either, just like any habit you've just got to find ways to ingrain this into your routine. I have a cleanser and moisturiser in my bathroom and another set in my gym bag for the days I get ready at the gym so there's no way I forget it. I also have a travel size SPF moisturiser in my car so when I'm out and about I can throw more on when needed. Old dog can learn some new tricks.
Make sure you check out the men’s menu from Haven, and shout yourself. You know you deserve it and your skin does too.
Thanks to my good mate Dalong for snapping the evening and Renee from Haven for putting on a successful evening for us fellas. We're looking and feeling all the better for it.
What happens when you take three fashion friends Vlad Tichen - a Russian born men's stylist with attitude Tori Hayley - a fashion photographer who you can fit in your pocket, and myself - ad man by day & fashion blogger by night and smash them together? Well we’re calling the result nothing short of genius, but also more officially The Fashion Outfit our creative collaboration we launched at New Zealand Fashion Week this year.
So let me explain a little further…
In the lead up to fashion week, us three started talking about how we could combine our talents to create something fresh and unexpected during the week that has a huge spotlight on all things fashion. We thought why go about doing it all on our own, when since we’re all going we could have a riot working together. So that’s what we did.
While of course it was fundamental that we looked painfully fashionable every day at fashion week, there was a more compelling reason behind our collective ambition. We wanted to rework the longstanding perception that NZFW is only for a particular circle of people - let's call them the fashion elite. There's a number of people who believe NZFW is pretentious, you know a bit stuffy and high brow. And this leaves people feeling like they can’t be a part of the fashion week action. We can totally appreciate this view from the outside looking in - but it's really not how it is. So we set out to show our followers the real deal, by democratising fashion week, and getting under the garment of what goes on.
So sit back, grab a cuppa and be prepared to be entertained as we bring you a taste of what we got up to at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018. Hopefully your face will hurt after seeing it all.
The Fashion Outfit arrive at New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 - YouTube
The Fashion Outfit Go Shopping at T Galleria by DFS - YouTube
The Fashion Outfit Backstage at Turet Knuefermann New Zealand Fashion Week - YouTube
Historically Fashion Week has been designed to be a trade show where local designers can market their upcoming collections to potential global buyers. The interesting shift in the last few years has been the changing landscape and new audiences. No longer is it primarily about selling to retailers, it's about teasing upcoming lines to the people who buy of the retailers - that's you and me. I wonder with the increase in globalisation and online trade, does Fashion Week purely just need to talk those in the trade rag, or is it equally important to generate excitement and exposure through those who wear it and not sell it? I predict we will start to see NZFW as more of a festival atmosphere, where fashion takes on new dimensions, where it’s explored further by unique collaborations in different cultural spaces and it will be more than just models walking down the catwalk showing off collections.
For The Fashion Outfit the week was jam-packed full of shows, us talking our way to the front row, meeting our incredible local designers, multiple outfit changes, taking way too many photos, forgetting to eat, numerous late nights, and enough laughs to get us to Christmas. For anyone that has an interest in fashion and supporting our local creative fashion industry this should a week you get involved in - even if it’s purely being a spectator. This year was the first you could purchase tickets as a member of the public during the trade week (mon-fri) and I expect NZFW will continue to grow and improve this offering.
Stay stylish and hopefully see you at the shows next year.
New Zealand Fashion Week is of course a fairly big deal for those of us in the rag trade- whether you play in the deep end and are part of the industry full time or simply like to dip your toes in, it’s worth getting amongst the week where fashion is served up for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For us fashion blogger folk there’s a buffet of opportunity; from meeting new fellow fashionistas, rubbing shoulders with PR agencies, meeting the names behind the brands, sneaking into the front row, to being the subject of the many roaming cameras which are hunting down people with epic street style (obviously me).
This year was my second attempt at NZFW, last year was a teaser for things to come and with The Fashion Outfit NZ launching to coincide with New Zealand Fashion Week, Vlad (Russian stylemaster) Tori (dynamite photographer) and myself had to look instagrammable from every angle. Multiple outfit changes per day were mandatory and posing would be at an all time high.
Bailey Nelson is no stranger to my platforms. I discovered this rad Australian eyewear brand just under two years ago and we’ve had an ongoing relationship since. Bailey Nelson’s sunglasses and opticals are designed locally in Australia and are all individually handcrafted overseas. They’re made from the highest quality cellulose acetate in Italy, with hinges from Germany & lenses from Japan - you can tell they’re serious about quality construction. You can get the full detail from my previous post about how Bailey Nelson have adopted a smarter business model designed to give you an exceptional eyewear product at a fairer price. No fancy high-end designer label that hikes the price. And no you don’t pay extra for polarised, that’s just how they roll and their frames start from an affordable $175.
While The Fashion Outfit team were brainstorming NZFW content ideas over a cup of tea at my house, we had this funny idea of how we could make Bailey Nelson front and centre for the week, and it hit me in the face as I was looking at some outfit inspiration overseas with the likes of New York & Paris Fashion Weeks.
Celebrities are famous for wearing sunglasses as they’re being papped seated front row of shows. There’s no need for this. It’s not sunny. No course not, fashion is rarely about need, it’s about making a statement. So while we had our Bailey Nelson frames all that was needed now was to get ourselves front row and be seen in our Bailey Nelson eyewear looking ridiculously good.
The Fashion Outfit Do Front Row - YouTube
We also searched for an idea that could help us easily showcase Bailey Nelson’s extensive range of eyewear, from opticals to sunglasses, and do so in a very short space of time. So we set out to basically create our own mini fashion (no-runway-required) show while Vlad and I discussed something we noticed was missing at New Zealand Fashion Week which ended up igniting a nationwide search… well maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but hey, I’m the one telling the story here!
The Fashion Outfit wonder where Colin Mathrua Jeffery is at New Zealand Fashion Week this year - YouTube
With Summer on the horizon Bailey Nelson should be your new best accessory, particularly for us guys, as a pair of eyewear can instantly trigger some added style. Whether you’re on the hunt for opticals, sunglasses or both, you can visit the team in-store for a free eye exam and consultation. You’ll end up with a pair of frames suited to your face, so you’ll not only will you look great, you’ll also be doing your eyes a solid.
OUR TOP 5 FAVOURITE BAILEY NELSON FRAMES
Windsor Rim. Black. $205
Havana. 7 colours. $175
Black. 4 colours. $205
Clear. 11 colours. $175
Oak swirl. 3 colours. $205
Shoutout to our friend Emily for kicking it with us in the Bailey Nelson High Street store one Saturday evening so we could dance around to music, be silly and try on nearly every single frame. Much love to the wider Bailey Nelson family too for supporting our madness at Fashion Week! You guys all rock and we love our new family of frames.
It's my birthday week (let's be fair I'll try and stretch this out for as long as possible) which means I've got permission to reward myself for the milestone by purchasing some wishlist wants…right? Well in my mind a birthday is an unquestionable excuse to spend some money that should probably (definitely) be going towards more practical things like saving for a new car or maybe that fence I've somehow got to build by Summer. The latter doesn't sound fun at all, so I think I'll stick to getting some goodies delivered with my name on them. Nothing beats that feeling of getting an email saying a package has arrived at reception!
July 25th is the big day and it’s come around 32 times already. How did this happen so quick? I'm uncertain, but it felt like only last month that I had my 21st which ended with me having no pants on, not even blowing out the candles on my own cake, and being the first to leave the party. Long Island iced teas tend to see you off to bed by 10pm. So with another year down and hopefully, another one of The Caker cakes (seriously order one even if it's not your birthday) on order, what's left is to make sure I get the gift(s) I want. And to do this sometimes you've gotta play the role of Santa, minus the outfit and growing a beard and belly. Being Santa involves writing your own wishlist and deciding on what you deserve....and then clicking add to cart and well, you know the rest.
Being a fashion blogger a great deal of my disposable income (and I use disposable very loosely here) ends up being spent on fashion related items - so basically I'm wearing my $$. Yes it's a bit ridiculous, but what's a guy to do when fashion is his thang, you know? One of the dedicated men's fashion outlets I frequent for my fashion inspiration and purchases is East Dane. If you haven't heard of it it's the brother site to the very familiar female fashion playground, Shopbop.
East Dane is a men's fashion destination that appeals to guys who are more interested in developing their own style than following trends and are looking for quality construction over quantity. It's a place where you'll find over 250 designer labels, and to rattle off a few of my favourites, there’s A.P.C. , AMI, Adidas Originals, Frame, Illesteva, Penfield, Norse Projects, Rag & Bone, Saturdays NYC and the newcomers Public School - a New York duo featured on The Fashion Fund on Netflix which is a must watch doco if fashion interests you.
So what’s currently on my wishlist you ask? Coming in at top of the list is watches. I’ve become a collector of timepieces and I’ve probably got about ten or so and they’re not expensive by any means (no Rolexs or Tags just yet). So naturally I’ve been snooping up on East Dane to see what watches make me tick (soz for the pun) and I’ve found a number that I’d be happy to drop into my cart and maybe you might find yourself doing the same? Check out my top 3 watch finds below.
Then there’s bags. Oh yes what’s a man without a bag? I picked up an awesome Marc Jacobs man bag when I was shopping up a storm in New York a couple of years back so it’s high time I recruit another. There’s many a bag to choose from on East Dane and I’ve selected a few that I like across a few price points. For those of you who have a corporate job, or like weekends away so need to pack a duffle bag, there’s something for everyone and it was hard to narrow down to three!
No doubt you’re wishing it’s your birthday right now? Well we could pretend it is too? East Dane offers fast, free shipping worldwide in 3 days (faster than our domestic mail service!) and there’s free returns if it doesn’t fit. Even better if you use the code EDNC18 at the checkout you'll score 15% off your first order.
PLUS BE IN TO WIN A $100 EAST DANE GIFT CARD
But that’s not all folks, I’M GIVING AWAY 2 X $100 EAST DANE GIFT CARDS to two of my lucky followers. All you need to do to enter is let me know in the comments below your favourite item from my list or anything you’d love to snap up from East Dane along with your name. Think of it as a little birthday shout from me to you.
T&Cs: Competition is valid world-wide, and will close 8pm NZST Sunday 5th August 2018. Winner will be drawn at random and notified by 9pm same day. 1 Entry per valid comment. Enter as many times as you’d like.
Good luck everyone and can’t wait to see what you’d like to treat yo-self with from East Dane.
Happy Birthday to me!
This post was made possible thanks to a partnership with Nakturnal and East Dane.
As a Kiwi - a born and bred New Zealander, black is more than just a colour. It's a symbol that can unite a nation. It's often adorned to become a uniform of pride in support of our national Rugby team aptly named 'All Blacks' as they take the colour & what it stands for across the globe in battle against bigger nations than ours. Black is dear to our hearts, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's the colour that should dominate our expressiveness.
I don't think it's a farfetched guess to assume that black occupies a large space of any man's wardrobe and that's primarily because it's the easy option. Black tends to have no prejudice against seasons, trends or fads. It just works. But this colour also comes with a downside. It can make us comfortable and hate to say it - a bit lazy. We tend to revert to autopilot knowing the consistent look we'll get from black and so as a result we don't dare try on something else. Like for example the colour orange....crazy!
The great thing about this Alpha Industries bomber jacket which I completely forgot about was, that the orange inside lining wasn't just a detail, it could actually be the feature. It's a reversible jacket, one side black - the other this vibrant & striking colour. I had renewed my love for this bomber even after I've had it for quite a few seasons. Interesting too, the bomber has been around for a few years and shows no sign of slowing down either.
Getting some colour into your fashion regime doesn't have to mean you have to commit to going big or going home. You can start small, get a feel for it then push yourself to try a bit more. For some guys, starting with the sneakers is a good place to experiment with colour and even sneaker authorities like New Balance are tapping into this. These kick-ass Tritium 247 sneakers released this month are a prime example of giving you a taste of colour. I'm digging these as they've got the classic black and white detailing, with a stroke of purple along the heel. You may also notice I've pulled through some of that purple colour through to my fun socks, that I scored on sale from Zara for $7.50.
With Spring on the horizon, there's plenty of colour coming into season. I've seen hues of blue, green, oranges, yellows, purples and reds which all provide volumes of opportunity to try some colour on. Don't be afraid of it. Those who rule the streets, own what they wear and don't care what others think. That my friends is confidence, and a prime example of how fashion can empower and make a statement.
Enjoy wearing some colour and let me know how you get on.
Tori one of the most talented, humble and kind people you'll ever meet was behind the lens on this spread again and she never fails to deliver. Even when I'm such a goof on camera she makes me look like I have some idea of what I'm doing.
This is a story about my oldest brother Arron and how he followed a dream of his . But first let me start by going back to when we were youngsters growing up in the little seaside village called Devonport...right at the heart of where my brother's dream is currently playing out.
So I've got two older half-brothers. We've got the same mum, but different dads - but I've never seen them as half anything. While Arron and Arlo had their dad around for many years until he sadly passed, my dad was never on the scene since I was born. And, to be honest that's never been an issue for me. There hasn't been a moment where I felt like there's something missing in my life or the urge to track down my father. The way I look at it, you can't miss something you never had. And what I did have were my rad older brothers to look up to and admire.
These two ratbags Arron and Arlo entertained me daily while growing up...and still do. From my very young years, there are countless memories that continue to make me smile today at the age of 31. From learning to skate on our ramp my middle brother Arlo built in our backyard, to stealing chocolate from mum's hiding spot (she at the time was making chocolate lollipops) and staying up late when Mum was out and my brothers were meant to be putting me to bed. One of my favourites was when the brothers thought it would be thrilling to try out some new WWF moves they'd seen Hulk Hogan do on TV and DDT me on the couch. I think I've finally got those lost brain cells back.
I had such a blessed upbringing even in amongst a backdrop of challenging times. The reality was our incredible Mum was bringing up 3 boys all on her own, while dealing with some fairly significant health battles. Talk about strength. Mum did what she knew best, that was to make her kids her priority and even today, she lives a life of service to others. It's inspiring and she continues to make such an impact on humans wherever she goes. Just the other day I got a random message from two foreign flight attendants that met mum on the ferry, to which Mum offered to be their personal tour guide around Devonport. That humble trait of being at service has flowed through our whole family.
We all have dreams and they're such a precious and beautiful thing when they're new and still obtain the world of possibility. As time goes by however we let circumstance stop us from turning that dream into a tangible reality and that dream starts to fade away and we simply accept that as part of life. And it would be fair to say by-and-large, that's what happens. It's a bummer. But for those that hold on to it strongly and don't let it slip away, the dream becomes a matter of when, not never. It's about waking the dream up at the right moment.
Arron's ultimate dream would have been to be a professional guitarist, playing alongside the likes of Slash from GnR's. From the age of 12 Arron has been shredding the guitar and he's exceptional (I'll get a video up on my social I have of him playing Bad by MJ). But there's another passion of his. It's coffee. That liquid gold we all crave and need daily. For quite a few years now Arron has wanted to open a little space where he can serve up some brews to the people and it's been a test of commitment to the dream mixed with a good dose of patience.
Timing is often the trick and it just so happened an opportunity came up to take over a humble spot in Cheltenham that needed an injection of some local love and personality. Arron and his brilliant wife Emma were just the right people to do it. The Cheltenham Milk Bar takes its cue from the good old 1970's where it's all about the shakes, services, and sipping on hot coffee. Then throw in some homemade cheese toasties, fresh pastries, locally made breads, smoothies, classic kiwi pies and gelato and you've got a slice of paradise that everyone needs to have on their weekend adventure list.
The location is prime too, a heartbeat away from the sensational Summer spot Cheltenham Beach so I can't wait to go for a dip and grab a chocolate milkshake to cool off after, and let's face it I'll be working some of my weekends helping out, it's a family business after all and even our mum is involved. She told me the other day she's been doing a fantastic job of advertising the Milk Bar, but I'm still the better looking ad man. The cheek of her!
The great thing about a small village like Devonport is the people. The locals rally together and support local initiatives, and the Barnetts have been around for quite a few decades so I'm always blown away but the number of people that rock in during my visits who know the family and are genuienly excited by this little corner store and the colour it brings to the neighbourhood. And when you get the kids' seal of approval, you know you're doing a good thing.
It's hard yakka setting up shop, taking the risks, figuring it out, finding the balance in what people want, creating something unique, working at it 7 days - it becomes all-consuming. But it's all worth it and I know this because I can see how much joy my brother is getting from it all. His face says it all. I'm ecstatic he is giving his dream his best shot, and he's not going at it alone with loads of support from family & friends alike. I'm even on the roster to make the milkshakes.
Of course with such a vibrant spot on offer I took the opportunity to grab a coffee, eat some donuts, oh and shoot some looks in and around the Milk Bar. It just so happened too that some of the bright colours from the bar were mirrored in the fashion (check out the donut and my Guess tee to see what I mean!).
If you're into milkshakes, donuts, toasties, pastries, gelato, pies, smoothies, and coffee all served by a local lad - my brother - then do swing by for a visit. You'll love it!
No way, seriously more sneakers I hear you say? Well yes a man has to enjoy collecting something other than Playstation games...
I spotted these Nike AirMax 270s on Instagram and instantly knew we had to be friends. Ok yes I'm a bit of an impulse purchaser, but I knew these would be my go to sneakers every weekend and everywhere else I could pass them off inbetween, like casual Fridays at the office.
In terms of styling, I like the idea of mixing the casual tone of a sneaker like these AirMax sneakers alongside more of a sophisticated yet cosy look. In my approach for this shoot, I've got a Double Breasted Blazer from Barkers, with my Saturday's NYC Hoodie so it's not feeling too formal and of course rocking a pair of denim jeans. The star of the show, these bad ass AirMax 270 sneakers bring the attitude and the splash of pinkish-red colour in the heel makes them really stand out.
I'm always looking at what sneakers can bring to the table, and recently I've been introduced to these improvements in the AirMax family and while not only do they have oodles of the cool-factor but the comfort levels are insane. The air in the heels feels like a cushion for your feet and gives you an extra bounce in each step and a bonus added height to your swagger.