I try to keep tabs on local brands that pop up here and there, always interested in what they are bringing to the table. I like that more New Zealanders are following their passions and dreams in the clothing industry by starting up something and seeing where it goes; great success stories have broken through the notorious tall poppies of our small nation. Those like as I Love Ugly and Icebreaker have become recognised on a large scale overseas, while remaining New Zealand companies.
One brand that I have had my eyes on for awhile is ‘Standsure Co.’ (their short form name) who are currently producing quality, simplistic headwear in New Zealand. The outfit is run by Shaun Anderson, out of Auckland. Personally, I do not wear a lot of hats anymore - mainly because I can never find anything that I like; everyone either labels their awful logo all over it or the print and pattern are far too loud. This is why I found sudden interest in Standsure Co. The clean aesthetic, backed by quality fabrics, is a great reminder that less is more. I found some time to put together a small interview with Shaun and talk all things about his brand and their vision.
Tell us about what you do Shaun:
I do all that needs doing here at Standsure.
What gave you the idea to launch Standsure Manufacturing Co.?
I’ve always gone after those industries that I love. I’ve spent nearly 5 years in the specialty coffee industry, and 10 years in the music industry before that. Fashion was another industry that I loved. So here we are…. Going after it. At its most basic level – SSM is an outlet for creativity. Creativity is always the goal – no matter what I do.
Who are some of your current inspirations within the industry?
NZ labels I love are Commoners, Assembly, Kowtow and I Love Ugly. Overseas labels I’m digging at the moment are Ouur (an offshoot of Kinfolk Magazine), Aime Leon Dore (NY), and of course Norse Projects always keeps it tight. I also draw a lot of inspiration from people I see on the street. Especially people that aren’t trying to make any sort of statement. I particularly love the style of old dudes. They’re not trying to impress anyone – but they impress me.
The brand is still in early stages, but where do you see it going long term, and what are some of your goals?
I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t pigeonhole SSM, to allow for a broad scope of content. So that at a very basic level, I could create whatever I wanted and have it still fit into the brand without muddying the waters. So the goal, if you like, is to build SSM to become a continuous and ever-expanding creative outlet. I’m also here for the long run. I want my children to take over when I’ve lost my marbles (which ain’t too far away).
Why clothing and apparel?
I love it. It’s also an instant ‘connect’ for people to identify with (a part) of what you’re about.
There is a strong intent on design, photography and typography, how would you describe the brands style and vision?
‘Intent’ and ‘Restraint’ are two words that roll around in my head when I think about design and SSM. Intent sets the direction, and the purpose for heading in that direction, while restraint keeps you from veering off the path and doing stupid shit.
So far you’ve previewed caps and beanies. What other items can we look forward to down the track / what items would you be wanting to get into further?
Whatever I’m getting energy from. We’re about to drop more headwear soon, but I have plans to get into more accessories. I’ve started working with a manufacturer based in Wellington for our clothing too, which is exciting.
How much of a challenge is it to produce in New Zealand?
It’s hard and unfortunately it will only get harder as globalisation flexes its muscles further. We are in a fortunate position where we’re still small, so chasing margin and volume is not a top priority for us at this stage. I’m sure the bigger you get,the more you look offshore. I’d love to support local manufacturing for as long as
it was sustainable for everyone involved – including the customer.
Who would you love to stock with?
We haven’t chased stockists as of yet. We’re just trying to build and keep it tight.
When can the public pick up some Standsure Manufacturing Co gear?
Good as Gold in Wellington currently are stocking product. Peeps can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for some direct trade.