In just what 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 with all the sportsman to produce a 1960s-inspired Chelsea boot for the Beatles-meets-Jagger salutation and a pair of Sexy Shoes Women for lovers of sport luxe modernism.
It’s a design move that coincides together with the opening from the footwear brand’s newest, inner-city store that will provide a bigger focus towards the well-shod men about Melbourne.
“Expanding to the city using a store is a good technique for us to produce the item more attractive towards the male customer,” says Baird, who launched the company in 2008 featuring its flagship in Armadale.
The first kind Manchester Lane venue has become transformed into a very high ceiling, timber embellished The Big Apple-inspired warehouse delight that’s got unisex around the brain.
It’s full of 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 totally hooked on old glamour and modern interiors.
The fit out took 6 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 having its brooding cool, but Baird is considering writing her own soundtrack within the new premises.
Away from the beaten path
“We started concentrating on Designer Shoes four in the past and it’s a growing side of the business roll out,” says Baird.
“Initially, I didn’t need to do men’s shoes as their shoes overall aren’t as bad for 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 pair aren’t that comfortable to wear until about one year of wearing them in,” says Baird.
“Bearing that in mind we wanted to be the missing link between that top end and also the comfort brands like Ecco and Rockport. As well we don’t want to be a comfort brand that appears much better than other comfort brands, we are a fashion brand that’s good for you,” she says.
“Josh came in the Armadale shop about 08dexspky years back and bought some shoes,” says Baird.
“He went returning to Hawthorn FC and told his podiatrist regarding the shoes he bought. Proved the podiatrist knew me and had been talking up my shoes for a while,” says Baird.
“Josh is definitely a generous person and asked when we could carry out some shoes together. He is an excellent guy who brings a good amount of soul and identity for the brand. The collaboration should really light-hearted and fun,” she says.
The state opening night party kicks off with a guest list that also 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 would like to show that we make Designer Shoes with support, they’re made to be great for the body,” she says. “They’re not correctives but we give attention to being fun, modern and provide you with something cool in return.”