News: Perth Fashion Festival

The Business of Briefs

By Lucas Spezzacatena

Here at JACK LEE Australia, we love hearing about local labels who share our passion of helping the wider community. ZAYN Underwear is one of those labels doing so whilst making your 'package' look oh so good - all at the same time! We sit down with the man behind it all - Jarryd Haefele...

So, tell us a little bit about Zayn Underwear?

I've developed a brand of underwear called Zayn. It's all about looking and feeling comfortable whilst at the same time, giving back and knowing you’re doing a good thing!

The idea came about one day by purely wanting to be my own boss and also creating my own brand identity. I'd read articles and read some really fascinating stories on origins of other major labels. I knew it was something I wanted to do, and from that moment it was a dream I haven't let go of.

I began researching ideas to creating my own business, and knew I had to start off small. I found underwear to be fascinating with the different styles, colours and materials and thought, I'll give it a go. I sat down and sketched a few ideas in my bedroom, asked my friends what they liked wearing, and then I was off!

 And how did this great idea of donating to beyondblue come about?

The next step I wanted to achieve was to be able to give back to an organisation that was close to my heart. I didn't just want to make money, I wanted to give back. Having had family members diagnosed with depression and anxiety, I chose beyondblue. 

 


What's the design process in creating a pair of Zayn undies? (I don't think it's as easy as everyone may think!)

Having had NO experience in fashion design, I had a lot to learn. From different materials, to different cuts, measurements - practically EVERYTHING. I can cheekily say that Google was a big help! But I consider myself a fast learner, and one of my favourite things to do is teach myself something new.

I have a degree in graphic design, so I knew my way around Photoshop and Illustrator which came in handy when creating the mock designs to send away to be produced. To me this process was the best part! (Apart from receiving my first samples and holding the product in my hands).

 
What makes a 'good' pair of undies?

I find the best pair of undies need 

  1. Support
  2. To look good 
  3. Most importantly - comfort.

Zayn can be worn all day, fits snug around the important areas... and doesn't ride up like most brands. I think I've converted a few guys to wearing Zayn underwear!

         

I'm sure it can be incredibly satisfying and humbling to see the funds from this collaboration at work in the community. What kinds of initiatives do the funds raised go towards supporting?

The money that is raised for beyondblue is directed towards funding their programs, research and campaigns which in turn increases awareness of depression and anxiety, reduces the stigma that comes along with it, improves help-seeking and facilitates learning, collaboration, innovation and most importantly - research.

And let's finish up with a quick fast five!

1. Best underwear ad of all time?

The latest Calvin Klein commercial with Justin Bieber. It's not the best of all time, but it definitely had people talking about it, which was the intention, no doubt!

2. Favourite stiff drink?

I do like Vodka.

3. AFL Team?

North Melbourne!

4. Most inspiring person?

Walt Disney for sure, he has so many great quotes but my favourite is "If you can dream it, you can do it."

5. Sydney or Melbourne? 

Having lived in both, I have to say Melbourne. 



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You can 'Like' Zayn Underwear on Facebook by searching Zayn Underwear

Follow Zayn on Instagram with @Zayn_Underwear

 

 

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Sports - Luxe or just Lazy - Luxe ?

By Lucas Spezzacatena

With the Australian open well into full swing (yes, we’ve noticed all that neon – Nadal we’re looking at you!), sporting icons once again take centre stage and so do their get – ups as they simultaneously become icons of sports – luxe style. With a wave of new, young designers offering their take on luxury sportswear, it’s a modern trend that definitely has no intention of disappearing anytime soon. But with the fashion world divided, is sports – luxe really that luxe or just another cheeky excuse for plain lazy dressing? Well, let us take you through it all and ensure you’re not subject to any half – time disqualifications…

 

Up on top

Remember the old school deliberately oversized rugby jumpers you once wore? Well the notion has trickled down into sports luxe with an emphasis on boxy, over – sized style sweaters and jumpers. Let minimalism reign supreme with simple motifs or slogans (flocking is all the rage) stamped onto the front of your sweatshirt, paired back with looser, slouchy pieces. Sports – luxe has also seen a revival of the classic bomber jacket – though ditch your 90’s polyester option and veer towards the new trend of washed satin with contrast coloured cuffs. Perhaps five years ago it was a mandate for hoodies never to be worn outside of the confines of your own house but their reinvention has seen a polished and stylish take on the much loved basic. Hues of rich blue and purple are the colours of choice, slightly more tailored through the body and paired back with fitted trousers and sneakers. When it comes to sports – luxe up on top, just please keep away from that oversized rugby jumper from back in the day – despite all temptations!

 L-R: Frankie Morello, Kenzo, Dsquared2.

L-R; Frankie Morello, Kenzo, Dsquared2.

Givenchy, MSGM. 

 

 Down below

It’s definitely not about your grey marle, hardly washed track pants which once had a functional elastic waistband that is no longer! Instead, look out for the emergence of a modern athletic trouser bearing traits of super-soft, loose fitting (but still cleverly tailored) and elasticised ankles. If you consider yourself a little more daring then take the plunge with a tailored drop crotch style paired back with buckled ankle boots or high top sneakers. When it comes to trousers, it’s all about the finer details, be it a tapered, elasticised ankle cuff, clean cut zippers or fancy pockets. Sports style shorts also see a revival on the runway with slightly more tailored, above the knees styles in thicker jersey cottons and super slick perforated fabrics. Keep them fashion – forward with classic low top sneakers, sans visible socks.

 

 

The Sneaker

Undeniably, the classic sneaker has become the shoe of choice amongst the fashion world, regardless of one’s view towards the sports – luxe fascination. It continually manages to epitomise that casual, understated comfy – cool which defines men’s fashion as of late (particularly Australian gents). Do keep in mind to separate your functional sneakers from your ‘fashion’ sneakers – this is a must lads. The scuffed, worn kicks you take to the gym aren’t the kind you’ll be wearing out on Friday night. The low top is a more conservative and classic option, paired back with both trousers and tailored sports shorts. Sleeker, slimmer styles in luxe European leathers are our recommendation, particularly the Achilles style offered by cult sneaker label Common Projects. High tops are the trend of the moment, particularly those with embellishment as seen by both Givenchy and Buscemi. Pair them back with your athletic style trousers, either tucked into the high top or casually cuffed and sitting on the top edge of the shoe. Whilst canvas sneakers are abundant and usually a slightly less pricey alternative, we stick to our recommendation of all - leather kicks, particularly for sneaker newcomers.

 

Whilst sports – luxe can easily be confused with and mistaken for lazy – luxe, when executed thoughtfully it has all the potential in the world to emulate a modern, nonchalant casual – cool. And knowing the way in which most Australian men approach fashion, we don’t think this trend will be disappearing anytime soon!

 

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New Year's WHAT?!

By Lucas Spezzacatena


With 2015 well and truly into full swing (sitting at your desk and blissfully day-dreaming of still being on holidays), we’ve all most likely broken one or even all of our New Year’s resolutions. Yes, yes, those same pesky resolutions to which we solemnly swore to keeping just days prior. Broken. Shattered. Non-existent. Embarrassingly so, probably.

 

Though never fear! We at JACK LEE Australia appreciate your first-world hardships and so have sat down and etched out a handful of realistic, sustainable resolutions which you’re welcome to embark on for the coming year but hey, no need to thank us!

 

Smile More

Possibly the most simple and modest of our suggestions, it is widely recognised that merely smiling (even forced smiling!) can move you to being happier and healthier. According to the science, the act of smiling activates the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine that in turn, help reduce stress and elicit positive emotions, as we start to actually feel happier. Strangely enough, much like yawning (which to quickly note, is not one of our thoughtful suggestions), smiling is actually contagious. Studies across Northern Europe show that humans can’t help but mimic the facial expressions of others which in turn influences their emotions! When you smile, you automatically appear more attractive, inviting, relaxed and sincere to those around you. The main takeaway: work your smile a little more – if you’re not sure how to react in a situation, a smile never hurts! Amy Cuddy provided a fascinating TED Talk on the profound impact of body language, including smiling, on our lives – give it a watch below.


 

Set Aside Personal Time

It sounds easy enough right? Well then how do we find ourselves never having a minute purely alone? Funny that! In an age where we are inundated with social media platforms and tech, it seems almost impossible to not be socially connected 24/7. Well, in 2015 we’re making a point (and perhaps, so should you!) of purposely setting aside time on our lonesome at least once a week. Lock up the Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, even your LinkedIn (don’t fret, those lucrative job connections will still be there after an hour) and be fearless in kicking your shoes off and enjoying the company of someone you haven’t for quite a while – you! Hey, you may even decide to revisit an old hobby from years gone by.

 

 Uphold a regular health & fitness regime

Be gone with the funky diets and Biggest Loser – esque boot camps! It’s more than safe to say that we've all experienced these doing far more harm than good. Or is that just me? Anyway… the positive effects of simple routine and simple exercise are widely known – put them together and you've a foolproof way of sticking to a regular fitness regime. Whether it be regular jogging, walking the family pup, yoga (be sure to check out our Yoga blog in our archives) or even just running around the kids which counts as exercise in itself,  you’ll see a steady reduction in stress as well as improvements in energy, mood and sleep. In fact, studies cited in the Harvard Business Review cheekily point out that healthy – looking individuals are perceived by others as better leaders than even ‘intelligent – looking’ people.

 

 

Don’t commit to unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions

Not to be tossing negativity towards the idea of New Year’s Resolutions – hey, some 45% of Australians make at least one each year – but what spurred us writing this blog was continually seeing myself, work colleagues and countless friends shamefully unable to keep to our resolutions each year! And then subsequently lamenting our woes to each other for the next week at least. Our tip is to keep your resolutions relatively broad and hone in on one particular resolution at a time. You may just find that the success of fulfilling one resolve unconsciously spurs you to fulfil another!

We’d love you all to share your own New Year’s Resolutions or even your hilarious failed resolutions on our Facebook page or Instagram!

And cheers to a resolutions – filled 2015!

 

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ART / FASHION / FUSION.

By Jacki-Lee Munckton

JACK LEE Australia was recently fortunate enough to be invited to Summer Rising – a vibrant, almost euphoria-inducing collaboration between artist Francesca Gnagnerella and Jess Pollitt of Perth – based label Ethel & Leo.

Awed by her tenacity and passion, we sat down with the bellezza that is Francesca Gnagnerella to discuss her past, present and future as an artist and collaborator.

So Francesca, tell us a little about your art background and how you came to be?

Well, I studied in Rome, where I'm from and I lived there until I was about 18. Sculpture was my first love when I was still at school and I created my first bronze sculpture under the tutelage of Italian sculptor Vito Pancella. When I moved to Paris to continue my studies at Sorbonne University, I decided however that painting was the area where I wanted to concentrate most of my artististic endeavours and it’s then that I started to develop my own painting technique. I started exhibiting in group shows in Paris in April 2006 and then had my first solo exhibition in Rome in May 2006.

Your artistic style is rather refined and very distinct – how would you describe it?


I create mostly large - format abstract paintings that reflect subtleties of colour, light, and luminosity. Most of my paintings are multi-layered and richly textured and they all feature 23 Carat gold leaf. I use bold, painterly brushstrokes and dripped paint together with thinned veiled stains to created shifting layers of colour. I am mostly inspired by landscapes, colours and experiences. I then reinterpret them in my mind into abstract form. Since I moved to Australia, my colour pallet has changed considerably and I find myself more inspired by the bright and cinematographic light of Perth and the natural elements that surround me here - the colours are so vibrant!

How did this phenomenal collaboration between yourself and Jess of Ethel and Leo materialise?


It was a matter of love at first sight when I first saw Ethel and Leo's creative dresses walking down the Perth Fashion Festival runway earlier this year. I loved every single piece of the collection and I didn't waste any time in getting in touch. I felt we needed to work together! Later this year Ethel and Leo dressed me for my exhibition in Hong Kong for the entire show, every day with a different outfit and everyone loved it! We knew we had to continue to work together and take the collaboration further. We found we have so much in common and the energy we share is amazing! It's really like our worlds are aligned. We didn't know each other before but we just fell in love with each other’s work and everything happened very quickly from there. "Summer Rising" was born!

Francesca with Jess Pollitt of Ethel & Leo, both dressed by E&L.
(Photo courtesy of Aimee Jones Photography)


We were fascinated by the innovative way in which the Summer Rising event was laid out – how would you describe it?

We have transformed my gallery apartment on the Swan River into a masterfully designed showroom made up of several spaces distinguished by various colour themes. For example, there is the beach - inspired paintings room, the geometrics and the nudes’ rooms. Having the exhibition displayed in my gallery apartment helps clients to visualise how the paintings would look in their own homes and having them displayed in a homely and styled environment definitely helps with the presentation. It also creates a really wonderful buzz and we all felt a much warmer atmosphere compared to the cold environment of some gallery spaces with quite a few people often embarrassed to ask questions or feel intimidated walking into traditional galleries - here I get to talk directly with all my guests and they love the personal approach in experiencing art.

What has been one of your personal favourite collaborations between art and fashion over the years?

It's amazing to see how much large fashion brands collaborate with artists to always reinvent their brand and always create something new and exciting. Most recently I loved the collaboration of Italian brand Furla with twelve Asian artists to produce exclusive designs for their Candy bags. Each bag was uniquely ‘artified’ for the #candycool project; I wish I was one of them!

With the success of Summer Rising, will we see you potentially collaborating further with Jess and Ethel & Leo?

Definitely! We all feel that this collaboration has to continue because it works so well. We are about to launch a limited edition dress using one of my paintings that was on show at the 'Summer Rising' exhibition. Called 'The Future of Now', it features bold pinks and oranges and will look amazing once transformed into an Ethel and Leo dress. It is only going to be produced in twenty metres onto the most softest of silk fabrics. I cannot wait to see it and to wear it! It will be perfect for hot summer festive nights! 

You can follow Francesca on Instagram using @fragnagna_art

You can also follow Ethel & Leo on Instagram using @ethel_and_leo.

Aimee Jones Photography is available on Instagram using @aimeejonesphoto

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