Published in The F:
Inspired by Australian shearing icon Jackie Howe, Sheep Shearer is the latest clothing label to hit our vibrant fashion scene. Taking it back to basics with a collection of singlets, t-shirts and hoodies made exclusively for men, the range exudes a modern and relaxed feel with a pop of subtle colour.
Previous to this launch party, I had absolutely no idea who Jackie Howe was. So for those of you reading this that are in the same boat, here is some background about the cultural icon. Jackie Howe was renowned as a legendary sheep shearer who rose to fame after breaking the daily sheep shearing record in Australia in 1892. According to legend, he was wearing a navy blue singlet when he broke the record, and as such his name has been given to the tops ever since, with some even crediting him as the inventor of the singlet.
And so was born the Sheep Shearer brand, with Founder and Director Johnny Szymanski wishing to continue Howe’s story with a fresh yet modest collection that hopes to pay homage to the legendary figure.
Upon meeting Szymanski, he is what you would call a ‘triple threat’. While being a down to earth and nice guy, he also has plans to further hone his skills by studying fashion and merchandising at RMIT next year after having studied public relations and marketing in the past. So with that being said, the man knows how to advertise and get his name out there, to which he certainly does very well. During the creative planning process of Sheep Shearer, he utilised the power tools of Instagram and Twitter to ask for public opinions about colours, seams and materials, allowing a connection to the brand to be established very early on.
“The fashion industry is bulging at the seams with new and exciting labels, so setting yourself apart from everyone else is vital. Having a quality product will only get you so far. Combining this product with a strong and relevant brand story and maintaining a connection through various channels such as social media can allow a brand to build a loyal following and healthy customer base,” he said.
What I personally love about Sheep Shearer is not only the intriguing history behind it, but the overall simplicity in the range. With the Australian fashion scene becoming more eccentric every year – from pastel coloured skinny jeans for men to bedazzled jackets to the point where we no longer recognise it as such – it’s a nice and welcome change to be able to wear something humble that won’t make you stand out like a deer in front of headlights. With 17 garments currently available, the ‘Legend’ collection includes classic colours of grey, black and white but also stronger colours such as yellow, green and plum.
See more at sheepshearer.com.au. (PS: For the ladies, check back regularly because Sheep Shearer has just announced that a female and children’s range is in the works!)