life of mike

a really fucking long story
Here he is again…difinitely ‘99 then

Here he is again…difinitely ‘99 then

Cant remember the artists name on this, but was hell dangerous to spray walls in Tokyo in the 90’s dudes went to prison for ages if they were caught. Saw this on a Mambo trip to Tokyo ‘99 while checkin out the local fashion at the time.

Cant remember the artists name on this, but was hell dangerous to spray walls in Tokyo in the 90’s dudes went to prison for ages if they were caught. Saw this on a Mambo trip to Tokyo ‘99 while checkin out the local fashion at the time.

SEE THE WORLD

I will begin to explain all these random shots that will continue to appear….my first real design job was with Mambo in about 1998 back when they were killing it. After getting a foot in the door as an assistant I soon scored the job as European Menswear Designer….at that stage we had distribution all over.

It was on ! I couldn’t believe that I was suddenly being sent all over the world to look at and buy cool shit ! Company credit card and no limits…they were also real keen for us to meet cool crew and have fun, so we could go out and charge up as much as we liked ! Yeah it was too good !

So on these company financed jaunts around the world 3 or 4 times a year I took photos of street art and cool shit everywhere I went. Thats it…..I’ll explain more under each one from now on.

Lad below hand painted this ute. Like I said these photo’s are random points of interest till I get rolling with info.

Lad below hand painted this ute. Like I said these photo’s are random points of interest till I get rolling with info.

Mad Tokyo lads 1998 - dude on the left is an insane Von Dutch style pin-line artist - shop sells all sick 50’s style Moon Racing shit

Mad Tokyo lads 1998 - dude on the left is an insane Von Dutch style pin-line artist - shop sells all sick 50’s style Moon Racing shit

STUDY . LEARN . HUSSLE

Learn what you need to I say….skills are necessary. If you read the beginning of this adventure you’ll know that I was rejected for an art school and needed to hunt down my knowledge through work and from clever people I knew.

I was desperate for work once and a friend had a pattern-making job up for grabs with a successful women’s daywear and suiting brand. I had done loads of sewing and versions of pattern making I had made up to get stuff made for myself and of coarse was way over my head taking the job…even telling her that I wasn’t qualified. 

All I could think was “How hard can it be” …took my ass over to “East Sydney Tech” which at the time was Sydney’s breeding ground for Australian designers and a massive history of teaching all the industry heavyweight pattern-makers. I lied my way through the checkout at the campus store to buy all the books and tools that I needed and spent a week with my head down.

First week of the job I fast realised that I had spent more time learning about clothing than the qualified ladies I was working with.

All I’m trying to say is if you want to learn something then do it any way you can. If enrolling and studying hard is the way then do it then don’t go in half assed…make it your world and fucking own it. 

EVERYONE IS CLEVER don’t underestimate anybody. Trick is to learn the skills that make you the one. Drawing is learnt trickery, pattern-making is measurements and standards easy to learn, design is to study and present clever concepts. Which ever way you want to head: guide your skills that direction, if you need to find out how to do something then get into it and learn how.

New York City Soho wall from back in the day. I’m gonna keep placing random sick shots up until I’m loading informative material.

New York City Soho wall from back in the day. I’m gonna keep placing random sick shots up until I’m loading informative material.

YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHIC

Alright….We all hate to have a real hard look at ourselves, but in retrospect I could have saved myself years or confusion and hard work if I had really searched deep in the early years of my career !

What are “you” into….what do you love ? You need to work this out early ! Don’t bust your balls trying to design for people you don’t know or really understand. THere will be times early on when you take any job you can get, but seriously fight to get into a genre you believe in.

Personally I fucked around for years during one period trying to work for Marc’s menswear, and though the hourly rate was good, I had no clue what rich dorkes were into, and subsequently struggled to create the right product and definitely couldn’t agree with management.

I now know that my whole life I have been obsessed with skateboards bmx’s and sufboards and all the fun that comes with them. Mambo (12 years ago) O’Neill wetsuits (5 years ago) Electric (now) are all the right places for me to work….I understand the customer and I wear the product.

Think what your favourite pass times are …..may well be going to nightclubs and partying, if so you’ll understand what the clothing and accessory needs are for crew that go out a lot ? milk the lifestyle and drive it into where and what you work on.

Gotta run…more later 

Who are you and who is your customer ?

Who are you and who is your customer ?

TO TEACH

Well… I do want this to grow as a story of my life, but really nobody gives a shit, and the only way this exercise will have any reason is if this becomes a way to learn about clothing design and development. I’ll hopefully get to roll out some stories along the way. 

I did make a pathetic attempt at teaching about a year ago by meeting with management at the Kingscliff Tafe campus to talk about guest lecturing. All went well but I was working at Electric the days they had available and the buildings reminded me of suberban Canberra hell (not your fault Kingscliff). 

Alright….here it begins….sit tight design class.