In what exactly is a goal-kicking move, Melbourne-based footwear label Bared has collaborated with AFL superstar Josh Gibson for just two shoe designs.
Bared founder Anna Baird teamed together with the sportsman to produce a 1960s-inspired Chelsea boot for the Beatles-meets-Jagger salutation and a couple of Designer Shoes for lovers of sport luxe modernism.
It’s a design move that coincides with the opening of the footwear brand’s newest, inner-city store that can offer a bigger focus for the well-shod men about Melbourne.
“Expanding into the city having a store is an excellent means for us to create this product more attractive towards the male customer,” says Baird, who launched the company in 2008 having its flagship in Armadale.
The first kind Manchester Lane venue is turned into a high ceiling, timber embellished Ny-inspired warehouse delight that’s got unisex on the brain.
It’s filled up with a good amount of green plant life [it is in the basement in the end] and showcases new footwear designs on metal shelving with hints of velvet and leather – large library windows, tall steel shelving that’s totally hooked on old glamour and modern interiors.
The fit out took six months time to perfect and Baird worked closely with Lucienne Hemingway from Curious By Design, Cod Build, Tooltime Engineering with mirrors by David’s Glass.
There’s a nod to the jazz past having its brooding cool, but Baird is considering writing her very own soundtrack throughout the new premises.
Off of the beaten path
“We started working on Designer Shoes four in the past and it’s an expanding side of your business roll out,” says Baird.
“At the beginning, I didn’t wish to accomplish men’s shoes since their shoes overall aren’t as harmful to your body’s posture as women’s stilettos are,” says the first kind podiatrist who started designing shoes to give comfort to the dance floor.
“High-end British constructed shoes that sell for $500 a set aren’t that comfortable to wear until about 12 months of using them in,” says Baird.
“With that in mind we wanted to be the missing link between that high end as well as the comfort brands like Ecco and Rockport. At the same time we don’t wish to be a comfort brand that looks superior to other comfort brands, our company is a fashion brand that’s good for you,” she says.
“Josh came to the Armadale shop about 08dexspky yrs ago and bought some shoes,” says Baird.
“He went back to Hawthorn FC and told his podiatrist about the shoes he bought. Ended up the podiatrist knew me along with been talking up my shoes for quite a while,” says Baird.
“Josh is a very generous person and asked whenever we could perform some shoes together. He is a good guy who brings plenty of soul and identity on the brand. The collaboration should really light-hearted and fun,” she says.
The official opening night party kicks off with a guest list which includes Gibson and fellow Hawthorn teammates Jack Gunston, Ryan Schoenmakers, Liam Shiels, Melbourne Football Club player Jordan Lewis, Neighbours actress Lily Van Der Meer, Lydia Schiavello and former Bachelor contestants Lee Elliot and Georgia Love and the like.
“We would like to demonstrate that we make Designer Shoes with support, they’re made to be great for you,” she says. “They’re not correctives but we concentrate on being fun, modern and give you something cool in turn.”