In just what is a goal-kicking move, Melbourne-based footwear label Bared has collaborated with AFL superstar Josh Gibson for 2 shoe designs.
Bared founder Anna Baird teamed with the sportsman to produce a 1960s-inspired Chelsea boot to the Beatles-meets-Jagger salutation and a pair of Designer Shoes for lovers of sport luxe modernism.
It’s a design move that coincides using the opening of the footwear brand’s newest, inner-city store that will provide a bigger focus towards the well-shod men about Melbourne.
“Expanding in to the city using a store is a great means for us to produce the merchandise more inviting to the male customer,” says Baird, who launched the manufacturer in 2008 having its flagship in Armadale.
The previous Manchester Lane venue has become transformed into a higher ceiling, timber embellished New York-inspired warehouse delight that’s got unisex in the brain.
It’s filled up with an abundance of green plant life [it is in the basement in fact] and showcases new footwear designs on metal shelving with hints of velvet and leather – large library windows, tall steel shelving that’s hooked on old glamour and modern interiors.
The fit out took six months 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 its jazz past using its brooding cool, but Baird is planning on writing her very own soundtrack inside the new premises.
Off of the beaten path
“We started concentrating on Brand Shoes four in the past and it’s a growing side in the business roll out,” says Baird.
“At the beginning, I didn’t need to do men’s shoes because their shoes overall aren’t as damaging to your body’s posture as women’s stilettos are,” says the former podiatrist who started designing shoes to give comfort for the dance floor.
“High-end British constructed shoes that sell for $500 a set aren’t that comfortable until about 12 months of putting them on in,” says Baird.
“Bearing that in mind we dreamed of being the missing link between that high-end and also the comfort brands like Ecco and Rockport. As well we don’t need to be a comfort brand that looks superior to other comfort brands, we are a fashion brand that’s healthy for you,” she says.
“Josh came into the Armadale shop about 08dexspky years ago and bought some shoes,” says Baird.
“He went to Hawthorn FC and told his podiatrist concerning the shoes he bought. Been found the podiatrist knew me and had been talking up my shoes for a while,” says Baird.
“Josh is an extremely generous person and asked if we could do a little shoes together. He is an excellent guy who brings lots of soul and identity for the brand. The collaboration should really light-hearted and fun,” she says.
The official opening night party kicks off with a guest list that 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 among others.
“We want to reveal that we make Sexy Shoes Women with support, they’re built to be great for the body,” she says. “They’re not correctives but we center on being fun, modern and give you something cool in return.”