His Master's Voice


Top designers chose their favourite pieces – those sunglases , tees , woolly shirts and sexy pants crafte  by their own hearts and minds…

Kip Arnete , Electric (US) (pic above)

Chosen piece: The Lead Specs, $230
Age: 36 or 37, I don’t like to keep track of these things at this age.
Time with the company: Started it in 2000 with partner Bruce Beach. Been there ever since.
Inspired by: Sixties biker exploitation films, early Clint Eastwood films, 70s Godzilla flicks. In all these films, I always love to see the heavy chunky black wraparound sunglasses the characters wear. Getting to work with creative freaks like Ozzie Wright, Peter Line and Bam Margera doesn’t hurt the creative process either. Did I mention music? Shitty garage rock always helps the soul. I’ve always just tried to design products that are original. I don’t like to fall into any one category. I hate products that are labelled into any one single trend. I want to create original pieces that address
current styles.
Design Background: I went to design school but actually learned everything working under my father Greg Arnette. I was head designer of Arnette sunglasses from 1994 to 1999.
The Lead is an icon of style and design in our range with its huge oversized lens, its super clean metal frame and saddle-stitched leather temple tips. I wanted to see how far I could push the classic aviator style in size, direction and appearance. It’s the most technical piece in our line with all the engineering, design work and metal tooling it took to produce this frame. It still has a very streamlined and clean look to it and tons of attitude without looking over tech. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing in that it’s well thought out and calculated. As a good friend once said, “these glasses take you back to when your Les Paul and your aviators were the only back stage pass you needed.”

Jack Bailey, Electric (AUS)

Chosen piece: Electrovolt Hoodie, $100
Age: 30
Time with the company: One-and-a-half years.
Inspired by: I draw inspiration just getting from A to B. I’m lucky enough to’ve roamed the globe, gathering ideas on trips. Living in Byron is also a great place to see trends emerge and die as we get crew from all ends of the earth floating through town. Music is also a big influence – it’s a part of everyone’s life and can’t be divorced from fashion. I seem to decide what to listen to depending on my state of mind and that’s reflected in my design. Rock and Roll = Black, rough, raw. Electro = clean, colourful pop. Also, been getting into my Psychobilly. Do your ears a favour and check out some Tiger Army! Oh yeah, Minus the Bear are really good too.
This is a custom zip hood with a discharge yardage print, a slightly longer waistband/cuffs, and a Volt zipper. I chose it cause zip hoods are a great staple, you can rock em anywhere, anytime! Throw a Yardage print into the equation and you’re good to go. Using the iconic “Volt” in a repeated pattern drives the Electric message safely home without fisting it down the customer’s throat.

Robie Russo , Insight

Chosen piece: The Pervert Flanno, $60
Age: Somewhere between 26 and 27.
Time with company: Four years. Started here as an artist working on t-prints and advertising, in between drawing garment silhouettes, detail ideas and travel. Currently senior menswear designer working under the wing of George Gorrow, Drew Down and working with my narrator Jodia (men’s
accessories designer) concepting, designing, art directing for menswear. Inspired by: The space around me, music – anything from Os Mutantes and Cody Chestnutt to the Battles and the Mars Volta, oh and late night Rage clips. Artists: Haring, Hundertwasser, Artemio Rodriguez and my crew under the Insight banner. Mi negrita. My family. Producing music for my group, “The Radicalistics”. Stars and anatomy and homeless people. Travel is my greatest resource.
The Pervert Flanno was an easy choice – the flannel shirt has always been a favourite of mine. It almost didn’t even get sampled, but I persisted and got amazing feedback. I chose it because its a great trans-seasonal/layering piece, has a fresh colour combo, simple styling, nice fabrication and a great cut. We released the first Pervert in our winter collection where it was offered in toned down tougher colours. The style was loosely inspired by the mid-90s Seattle grunge scene. This spring, we took it somewhere else and went fresh and bright. There were a few flanno shirts in the market and
on the street (including ours), but no-one had pushed it far enough for it to be original. There needed to be a style that really stood out in our collection and on the street. The Pervert is the one!

Blair Heath , Volcom

Chosen pieces: 2X4 D.I.Y Rinse Blue. $100; 100mph leather jacket, $300; Jim Phillips F.A tee $45
Age: Twenty fifteen.
Time with Volcom: It’s10.03am Friday, so that means coming up on four years.
Design inspirations: My mum is an amazing artist and my dad is a muso, so growing up I was always pushed to be creative and follow what I felt. I loved drawing aliens and robots cause no one can tell you what they look like, so of course that led to clothing. I try to stay fluid in my outlook for inspiration. Some seasons it’s music or a cultural movement. Sometimes it’s travelling and getting caught by new surroundings. Sometimes it’s coffee with Campbell Milligan.
The 2x4 jeans are a functional fit to skate in, cruise in, or hang at the pub. All rounders. I seriously have two pairs and it’s all I’ll wear and I’ll just keep circulating em till they fall off. They were a fit from Volcom USA. Then we tweaked it, developed it here, then executed it in Hong Kong at
our denim vendor. They came about via a backlash to tight wetsuit-black jeans. It’s either tight or straight now and the 2X4 is a great median. Not everyone wants to look like they’ve stepped outta an ‘80s film clip, I reckon. The leather jacket? Hell, it’s a leather jacket, nothing comes close. The Jim Phillips tee is amazing, I constantly copied his art as a grom, screaming hands on everything.

Mark Iskra, Ezekiel

Chosen piece: Conway flannel, $80.
Age: 25
Time with company: Many many moons.
Inspired by: T-shirts, Russian constructism, useless facts, Olivia Newton-John, friends and family, typography and the Church of Scientology.
Everybody loves a flanny. So we tricked it up with a bit of Ezekiel class. Good winter colours with a soft cotton feel and satin lining inside the cuffs and inner back neck. Enjoy.

Lars Sverdvik, Zoo York

Chosen piece: Supreme Snorkel Jacket $190.
Age: 34
Time with the company: Ten years.
Inspired by: New York, military surplus, architecture, friends, skateboarding, music, fine art, nature, typography, the original Soul Artists of Zoo York, the change in weather, Monique, Mia, Team Food.
In New York, the snorkel jacket is a staple in everyone’s wardrobe, from school kids to senior citizens. When those Arctic winds come down from Canada and ice up the city you want to be sure you’ve got the right jacket. It’s an ongoing and evolving style from winter to winter, based on the N-3B Extreme Cold Weather parka used by personnel in the Arctic. Zoo York has had a Snorkel jacket in its winter range since the beginning. Its evolution has been constant and the styling timeless. Tech-wise, it’s nylon, PU-coated for water resistance and has a faux fur hood trim and lining

Rama McCabe, Globe

Chosen pieces: Laces boardies, $70; Laces Tee $54.95

Age: 24
Time with the company: Three perfect years.
Inspired by: Bob Dylan is someone who I have taken a little inspiration from. He has a timeless sense of cool steeze. I think this reflects in the way I approach designing through making garments not so trend specific and more about timeless pieces. I like catching a glimpse of homeless people to see how they mismatch and layer their threads. If you look closely, those guys are the most onto it people you will find. Give them a little scrub and they would slide right on into So Ho without the door men giving them a second look. My fellow Globe designer Dave Snow (base player from Blue Line Medic) inspires me daily with his fresh take on graphics and is probably the fastest wit you will ever come across. The guy is a genius. If you ever get to meet him ask him his Octopus joke.

The Laces tee has been panel printed with the graphic before construction, then had a softening garment wash to make it smooth against the skin. The Laces trunks are a panel print style as well. The leg length is a slightly revealing 19 inches so you might want to tan those pegs of yours before you slip into these. Also, due to Globe being founded as a Shoe company, there is always a link between the shoes and apparel. Sometimes it’ll be yardage prints, fabrics or technical details that merge the gap. This time it was a simple thing like the shoe lace that made the connection. These particular little numbers were developed while the brush turkeys were rummaging through my Coles trolley out the front of my Burleigh cottage. Due to the turkeys hard at work eating my finest rags I needed to develop some new ones. The Laces gear was the best I could come up with.

Matt Boys, Rusty

Chosen piece: Aim Tee $50

Age: Thirty something
Time with the company: Four-and-a-half sweet years.
Inspired by: Travelling overseas is my biggest influence: the vintage shopping in Tokyo and LA are amazing. Also, hitting the town to see as many bands as possible when we’re overseas is a great way of seeing the latest looks.
This geometric yardage print tee is at the forefront of the current brand design direction for Rusty. Yardage prints are a massive look overseas and this has translated really well back into the surf market here in Oz. The look has been achieved using reduced inks on a lighter weight base cloth. Also, the lower neck line makes it a little bit cooler to wear. The geometric yardage prints allows us to bring a really fresh look and use bright colours and make it totally wearable. It’s a breakaway from the normal basic screen tees and it’s identifiable as Rusty without using a massive corporate logo.

Guy aka Sausage, Rip Curl

Chosen piece: Tropikilla boardshort, $80
Age: 27
Time with the company: 3 years.
Inspired by: The list for today is: www.blublu.org, www.superbad.com, www.brokendamage.com, www.phibs.com, www.niceproduce.com, www.fyxomatosis.com, www.anthonylister.com.au, Stayhigh149, Eric Brunetti, MASH San Francisco, COST and REVS, The Kingdom of Sad Machines, Robat Organ Metal, Steve Powers Street Market and Stillas.
These boardies were designed at home on the kitchen table one weekend with a HB pencil, sharpener and a piece of paper from the newsagent up the street. Scan it into a computer and put some colour behind it and you’re done. How unique is it to the brand? Nothing is truly unique. The sooner you
accept that, the sooner you can live with the fact that you will never do anything original. But you can sure have fun trying. l think when you get to see the short in store you’ll understand how it stands out. It’s nice too see some colour and art coming back. Long live the yardage.

Trent Willis, O’Neill

Chosen pieces: The Superfreak Series boardies, special edition $90; Inbound boardies $90; Newton boardies $90.
Age: Probably 30 by the time this makes it to print.
Time with the Company: Less than three months.
Inspired by: Music trends definitely influence fashion; political trends often affect music. I love my music. NZ is always a great source for inspiration. New Zealanders have a good understated style, a happy medium between being fashionable and wearable. I try to stay away from blatant large logos but of course in the surf world you’ve got to let your garments sell your brand as well as the clothes. I keep it low-key where I can. It’s been pretty easy with all the black going down over the past two years. Now everyone is back into brights, so coming up with new colour combos that work can be difficult.
The Superfreak boardshort series is the pinnacle area within our apparel line. We assimilate the Superfreaks more to our wetsuit line rather than the rest of the apparel. The “Dry=flex” is a four-way stretch that is light, flexible and durable. The neoprene panels give the short breathability. A velcroless fly for comfort and no inseam to prevent rash. It also has a locking draw cord plus wax-comband FCS key in the pocket as standard. There are only a few brands that truly produce technical and innovative boardshorts for surfing. O’Neill was the first and it is by far the most durable.

Tim Cochran, Hurley

Chosen piece: The Advantage boardshort, $120.
Age: 27
Time with the company: Two months
Inspired by: Nature, architecture, film, photography, music, surfing, snowboarding, travel, patterns, poetry, writing.
The Advantage Boardshort is, hands down, the best boardshort ever. It’s at the forefront of where Hurley is heading through innovation and is a taste of what we’ll be bring out in the future. Hurley’s patented Phantom fabric is the lightest fabric on the market. It has more stretch than we ever thought possible thus giving surfers the most comfortable boardshort to wear and surf in. The boardshort is a co-development between the American and Australian Hurley teams.

Occy, Billabong

Chosen piece: Surf into Summer boardshort $80
Age: 41
Time with company: A scratch over 25 years.
Billabong head men’s designer Mark Henderson notes: Who inspires Occ? Occ inspires us! Mark Occhilupo is the most stylish and enduring of modern surfers. And that comeback from his dreadful early-middle age nadir? Unparalleled in sport.
All the 80s history of Billabong engineered into one print, with a 2007 modern, youthful twist. It comes in a traditional leg length and also in a short leg retro leg length.