stolen girlfriends club is turning 10...and you know there's going to be a party
We speak to the Creative Director Marc Moore about hitting a decade, his love of surfing and the moment he fell in love with fashion.
Stolen Girlfriends Club is approaching its tenth anniversary with no signs of slowing down. What started off as prints on tees by friends Dan Gosling, Marc Moore and Luke Harwood has expanded to women and menswear, eyewear and even jewellery. To celebrate, i-D have teamed up with the label to celebrate the happy milestone. We spoke to Marc, creative director of the brand, on his need for the event to be more than a show, how locations are always super important (their show last year was held at night at a racetrack) and how their Spring 2015 collection, Township Rebellion, was inspired by girls living in rural areas dreaming of escape.
Congratulations on your tenth anniversary. How do you feel?
I feel tired [laughs]. I haven't really stopped to smell them roses. The fashion industry is so fast paced, we're always looking ahead into the future and sometimes we don't get time to dwell on the present or where we are. I always say it's like this treadmill and if you get off it then everyone else leaves you behind.
How would you describe Stolen Girlfriends Club in your own words?
Youthful, rebellious, industrious, friendly, warm-witted, inclusive.
I've always said that if Stolen Girlfriends Club was a person it would be the 'life of the party'. We're a fashion label with rock and roll roots so we are obsessed with music. While we are pretty obsessed with making products that matter, we are still relaxed and self-aware enough to know that fashion isn't going to save the world.
Is there a particular show, or experience, that has been particularly special to you so far?
Our launch event! It was 2005 and we hired this shit hole carpark in the Britomart that was infested with pigeons, before the Britomart was developed. Basically we made a short film about nothing that we showed a big group of people who had no idea what Stolen Girlfriends Club was. To be honest, we didn't know what it was either but we thought we'd just do this launch event and let the market decide what we were [laughs]. When I think back I can't even believe that it worked and that people showed up. Oh, how I miss that youthful bravado that makes you do stupid shit like start a fashion label. If I had to go through that now I don't think I'd even start.
I read that your new collection, Township Rebellion, is in reference to Huntly in New Zealand and the idea of living in a small town and leaving the place you grew up.
I grew up in nearby Raglan and drove past the Huntly power station so many times. On my way to somewhere else, either on a surf trip up north or just going back to Auckland to see the 'big smoke'. Growing up in a small town is so good in so many ways, yet can be stifling in other ways. I thought about those people that can glance out their windows wondering about the big world out there, because I used to be like this. I remember when I moved from Raglan to Auckland, I got so inspired by all the people I saw walking around the streets, how they dressed and expressed themselves. It was amazing! I fell in love with fashion at that moment I think. So this collection was inspired by that small town escapism that lots of people go through. This collection is quite moody and sombre and I get this vibe from Huntly quite often too. Forget Paris, Milan and New York, it's all about Huntly.
How do you believe being in New Zealand informs your label and aesthetic?
The isolation forces you to be pretty unique I think. Our aesthetic is quite often dark, perhaps a reflection of our colder climate. We love to layer apparently, this is what Australian buyers tell us [laughs]. Stolen does have a very sexy side with the womenswear, I've always been attracted to beautiful things so when I'm designing a womenswear collection I always have this vision of this insanely beautiful woman wearing our brand, not only in New Zealand but worldwide. But she's always got this androgynous side or a big 'tomboy' to her vibe and has this humble side, perhaps the New Zealand thing coming through right there. I do believe you are what surrounds you, so New Zealand is a big part of the label's aesthetic.
What can we expect at the party?
Well obviously we are previewing our latest collection but I really wanted this event to be more than a show. Since we began, we have always strived to entertain people with our shows and we want people to relax and enjoy the show. So it's going to be as much as a party as it is a catwalk presentation. There'll be fashion, there'll be bands, there'll be lots of people and there will hopefully be our own version of the 'Miami wine cooler'.
What's your creative process like with designing a show?
Shows are my favourite part of my role I think. Once I find a venue the rest comes pretty easily - the venue inspires the show and the music. Then there's the casting which I also love! I'm really looking to create this 'gang' when I'm casting. Each season the gang is slightly different in line with the theme of the collection. The shows are all about the senses for me; I'm trying to appeal to people's sight with the casting and the lighting and the venue, and then the soundtrack to really captivate them. I want to take people away for 14 minutes, whisk them up in our collection/ theme and immerse them in our world.
Besides fashion, what else do you love to do?
I love surfing so much. This is what I grew up doing in Raglan. To the point where I was a full time surfer competing and travelling for a meagre living. This is how I met my business partner, Luke Harwood. Surfing keeps me grounded and is great at washing all the stresses away, excuse the mega pun. I've met some of my best friends through surfing and now have all the joy of watching one of my mates compete at the highest level on live TV every month, such a buzz.
I'm really into music too and have been DJing for about eight or so years. We've played house parties, we've played small clubs, big clubs, rhythms and vines, support acts for bands like Bloc Party and The Rapture, and corporate earners that go under the radar. Always a buzz having the ability to make people move physically. That shit is powerful.
If you're in Auckland on Wed 26th August, come to the Stolen Girlfriends Club show and party. Tickets available here.
Text Claire Le