VANS Custom Culture Competition - Last days!!

You've had a while now to make a run at the VANS Custom Culture Competition, and we've seen a lot of you getting busy since our last post announcement. Shout out to all of the local artists who've submitted designs so far - it's been super impressive to see!



If you're yet to submit your sweet VANS Slip On design for the Custom Culture Comp, you'd better get a wriggle on because there's only 4 DAYS remaining to have the chance to be full foot FAMOUS.

Don't know how to enter? You can suss our last blog post with step-by-step instructions, here.

We’re seeing some super fun stuff shine through from Straya, but one artist in particular that we’re really vibing is MUCHOS, from Adelaide. We caught up for a little chat with this optimistic aerosol artist while he was in Brisbane to see how his shoe steeze is stacking up.

Tell us, who is MUCHOS?
Your friendly neighbourhood painter!

How would you define your style in a few words?
Fun, bold and happy. It's always about being happy.

What makes you want to create?
It's just something I've always done. I guess it's kind of like a necessity.

You've been in our neck of the woods, hanging out in Brisbane lately. What have you been up to?
I've been floating around Brissy working on a bunch of little projects for The Culprit Club and Ironlak for the last few weeks. It's been a lot of fun! Lots of painting and good times with good people.

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Why did you submit to the comp?
I heard about it at the last minute and being a big fan of Vans I thought it was worth a shot. And plus, a free trip to Asia definitely wouldn't be bad!

Tell us about your custom culture slip on design:
It's pretty much a continuation of the work I've been doing lately. I have a bunch of reoccurring objects that I stack into situations together. Then I just jumble them all around until I like the look of it!

How would you feel if people around the world were walking a mile in your shoes?
As a long time fan of Vans, it would be really cool to work with them and have my own shoe! Doesn't get much cooler than that.

Enter Vans comp here.

See the full Muchos shoe design here.

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.