Unfortunately I have still been working on my other 16 jobs (not really 16, maybe like four, but still, FOUR). A major New Years’ resolution for me was to cut back on all of the different things I do and narrow it down a bit.I did get to steal a few beach days and most definitely put the laptop away on Xmas and New Year’s day, so it’s not all complaining.
To get everything back into the swing of things, I thought it might be a good idea to start with a fantastic interview I did just before my weee break.
Which brings us to the latest instalment – and very first one for the year making it extra special – of ‘Cool People Doing Cool Stuff’.
I went and saw Liam Sharma, at the brand-spanking newModern Mannersshop in St Kevin’s Arcade on K Rd (Auckland) and we had a pretty inspiring conversation, to say the least. Liam comes from a pretty awesome fashion pedigree, his mother ownsRUBY(Which is one of NZ’s most well known and successful designer labels) his sister is the head designer of the same label (recognise the off-shop label Liam from Ruby? Yup, same Liam!) and his father comes from a background with iconic NZ men’s label Little Brother.
So needless to say, fashion is literally in his blood. Although, the young entrepreneur wasn’t all that interested in simply following in his family’s footsteps. At only 20, Liam has a degree in Marketing – which becomes apparent very quickly in the awesome way he markets the branding of Modern Manners.
Some cool key facts to know:
– Modern Manners clothing are designed to be completely androgynous. All of the clothes can be worn by either sex.
– Kanye West’s collections are a key influence, beautiful, minimalist fabrics are the major design factors (which did surprise me, because as everyone probably knows I’m not the rapper’s biggest fan, but as Liam puts it, Kanye focuses on simple pieces that are amazing quality – so how can you argue with that?!)
– His goal is to make the brand sustainable without him; after all he feels like it’s a group effort, and if he takes of and travels anytime soon, then he Modern Manners can cope without him.
– Impressively, the young creative has used his background in marketing to completely win at the Instagram, facebook and general marketing game. A self-proclaimed ‘tumblr kid’ all of the marketing is painfully on point. The images are always so very cool, they could be right out of the portfolio of a Brooklyn up and coming photographer.
– Indie hip-hop superstar – Theophilus London has been seen in Modern Manners (Woah!)
– Not bad for a 20 year old from little old NZ! (Yes, this made me feel incredibly insecure about my achievements, especially at 20, I was half way through a lazy B.A getting Cs or something).
As with all of my interviews, I ended with asking Liam some advice for readers: What would he recommend doing for someone who wants to take the plunge and start their own shop or label? He states that the best piece of advice he can give is to be nice to everyone. Everyone who you come into contact with give them a chance – they might bring something amazing to your life or business!