Native Brand

If your music taste skew to heavier side of spectrum then the name Joel Birch should be familiar if you have been exposed to local success story turned international juggernaut, The Amity Affliction. It is projects outside of music though which give Joel the opportunity to flex his creativity without the bounds of a microphone and stadium lights.


Native Brand is one of those projects. The name may ring a bell from our feature on Milan Chagoury in Issue 8, who was a partner in the business at that point in time. Since that article Milan has moved on to other projects while Joel stayed aboard and now steers the ship under a new vision and renewed vigour the make it work.

Under the slogan, “Dream Forever”, Native Brand’s new direction is single minded in tangibly articulating Joel’s view that there is beauty to be found everywhere, everyday. And if you think about it, operating under that guiding principle implies that, really, anything is possible. All you need is a dash of everyone’s favourite secret sauce, imagination, to uncover it. The label’s latest range is the most literal distilment of this to date.


Under the slogan, “Dream Forever”, Native Brand’s new direction is single minded in tangibly articulating Joel’s view that there is beauty to be found everywhere, everyday.

This fondness for the little things seems to stems from Joel’s innate affinity with nature and, aesthetically, this is where the label leans heavily on as a source of inspiration. Yet while nature is part of the label’s DNA, the designs themselves are actually intended as visual nods to the romanticism of travel and surf photography and the feverish excitement that comes with discovering new places.

Native’s newfound sense of purpose and self-confidence has come off the back of a number of significant learnings though. Notably, the need for simplification and localisation of the supply chain (Grand Scheme are close collaborators) and also unsatisfactory results from experimentation with street culture influences two collections ago. The latter was a particularly important reality check for Joel to reset and bring things more in-line with his feelings about nature and living near the ocean.


Perhaps most interesting though is the opportunity Native Brand has to further enrich its proposition by start leveraging Joel’s global perspectives from touring into future iterations. And from his point of view, the sky really is the limit when you’re dreaming forever so what that looks like is really anybody’s guess.


Vans Asia Custom Culture Competition is Back!

Continuing on from the success of last year, VANS is bringing back the hugely hyped Custom Culture Competition and it is once again making us wet with excitement.


How would you like to see your artwork printed on the classic Vans slip on shoe, and distributed throughout stockists across the entire Asia Pacific region? There would be hundreds of feet around the world quite literally walking a mile in YO SHOES! And that’s not even all the goods you’re in for - there’s also cash prizes and all expense paid trips to House of VANS in Asia up for grabs for the top 11 artists.


We wanna' see Australian artists really step up and put their heart and soles into these submissions, (see what we did there) so here's the run down of you need to do to give yourself a real head start in the competition. 

Here’s how you enter: 
1. Log onto the Vans Asia Custom culture competition site (CLICK HERE) and download the Vans Classic Slip On PDF shoe template
2. Either by digitally drawing, or printing the template and physically drawing - whatever you need to do, get your best mfuckin' artwork onto that shoe
3. Submit your design (you can submit multiple) via the website and see your 2D artwork transformed into a video preview of how the actual shoe will look (we’re crazy impressed about this part of the application - technology is coooool)
4. Send your crazy, customised shoe around to all of your mates via the unique link it’s attached to and get them all to vote for your design

What are you waiting for? We're almost out of idioms and there’s only a few weeks left to submit, so put your best foot forward and apply! 


mark ZeidlerComment
General Officer Opens In Brisbane

Barber, entrepreneur, dad; Luke Newman somehow manages to juggle all three things. As well as founding legendary Australian men’s grooming brand, Uppercut Deluxe, Newman runs two barber shops infused with old-school charm. Newman’s most recent hair-driven venture is his second barbershop – General Officer located in the bustling Brisbane suburb coorparoo. We linked up to get the low-down on all things hair and business...



Where did things start out for you in the world of barbers and men’s grooming?
The penny dropped for me when I was over in Portland in America about 15 years ago helping a mate building skateparks. At the time, I had just finished design school and was going back to Oz to look for a graphic design job. I walked past this cool barbershop one day and I was just like, ‘Thats it! Im going back to Oz and learning to cut hair!’.

I’ve always liked old school stuff so I think it just clicked, it was the perfect job because of the ritual of the barbershop and how it has such heritage as a trade.


"General Officer is like getting a haircut in your mates garage. No ego, just a good chat and hopefully a lot
of laughs."

-Luke Newman

What does a typical day in the life of Luke Newman look like?
I get woken up early by my youngest boy who is three, Stirling, asking me to make his breakfast. Then I make a coffee and try and get my head together for the day. I try and think about three things Im grateful for to make me start the day feeling thankful, then play with the kids for an hour or so before heading of to one of the barbershops. Then it’s just 8 hours of talking trash and having fun with customers before heading home to wear out the kids. We try and have a skate or go for a walk to the park. After dinner I try and read or just chill out with wifey with a cup of tea. We just try and keep it all pretty mellow and simple.

As a barber, we’re sure you meet plenty of interesting characters! Have you had any quirky style requests over the years?
Occasionally, the funniest one I had was a guy who showed me a pic of a budgie and asked for a haircut like that.

You’re the original founder of Uppercut Deluxe, a renowned Australian men’s grooming brand. What made you decide to make the change toward now running two of your own barber shops? Basically, we had kids and I just knew I couldn't do both. Uppercut was a rad journey and I loved building and doing all the graphic design for the brand but it just got to the point where I wanted to just cut hair and hang out with my family without the stress and travel of running a big business. I’m so proud of what Uppercut has become but my heart has always been with connecting and hanging with people.


Congratulations on opening your second barber, General Officer! Tell us a bit about what people can expect from the new place in Brisbane!
Barbering was never meant to be about a scene or trying to compete with other shops for the coolest fitout. General Officer is like getting a haircut in your mates garage. No ego, just a good chat and hopefully a lot of laughs.

How can people come and experience the magic for themselves? (eg. address, booking, etc)
You can book via our website or follow the link on our insta page @general_officer

Our new shop is at 252 Cavendish Rd, Coorparoo or if your up the coast drop into P-town. 3/10 Grebe Street, Peregian Beach.

Sea Walls Australia x Penlan Street Co: A Collaboration Donation
Frank & Mimi

Frank & Mimi

Over this coming week PangeaSeed Foundation will launch its first edition of Sea Walls Artists for Oceans Australia debuting in Cairns. A public art program that brings the message of ocean conservation into the streets around the globe. 

Along side a plethora of local businesses joining forces for the week long festival, Penlan Street Co have teamed up with Sea Walls Australia to release a two part Collaboration Donation.

Penlan will be gifting all artist and crew with Part One: “Cairns Crew” tee and Part Two: “Cairns” tee will be released to the general public through their brick and mortar location.     

The collaborative works were designed and printed in house at Penlan and boast bold, bright graphics, that pay homage to both their namesake brand and Sea Walls Australia’s nostalgic word mark.     

Sea Walls Australia’s official merch and “Cairns” tees will be available in store during the festival (27th April to 6th of May) and all profits will be donated back to Sea Walls Australia.
Sea Walls

Penlan Street Co
Shop 3/53 Grafton Street
Cairns, QLD, Australia 4870

Sea Walls Australia Cairns HQ
Canopy Art Centre
124 Grafton Street,
Cairns, QLD, Australia 4870

mark ZeidlerComment