With much anticipation, we headed to Motion Sickness Studio to interview Jon Thom, creator of Dunedin-based fashion label Moodie Tuesday. His studio is sunny, warm and alive with creativity as well as technology. Jon made us feel very much at home, as we settled on comfy couches to talk about his work. Jon’s artistic talent, passion for his label and drive to succeed is a winning combination. He is positively brimming with ideas.
Jon was born in Christchurch but spent most of his youth and high school years in Clyde. Five years ago, he moved to Dunedin to study at the University of Otago. He initially intended to become a doctor but did an about turn, ending up with a degree in design and art history, having enjoyed art at school. Design helped him understand the rewarding process of taking an idea and seeing it through to the final product – in his case, seeing someone wearing one of his designs.
The Moodie Tuesday label was established in 2012 and made its first appearance at iD Dunedin Fashion Week this year as part of a capsule collection. The label concentrates on well-tailored shirts, tees printed with Jon’s own artwork (frequently images of iconic figures such as James Dean and Jack White) and crew neck sweaters. The clothing is all made locally (utilising Dunedin’s skilled seamstresses) with an emphasis on quality and practicality. While Jon takes care of the creative side of the business, his cousin, Chris Brun, acts as managing director and production manager, dealing with the finances and working with the employees.
The above photo was taken from our post What We Love About Dunedin, Salisbury Boutique.
A new initiative is the production of limited edition dog bandanas (“we all have dogs”) each with its own leather collar – extraordinary value at $30 with 15% of each sale going to Paw Justice. These really are super cute! Dog shirts are in the pipeline – we can’t wait to see them.
There are some exciting new plans in the offing. The seamstresses may move into the studio rather than working offsite. Moodie Tuesday wants to move away from the traditional two collections a year. They plan to release eight limited edition garments every two months, essentially one a week. Another plan is to make garments for two weeks and then travel for two months, selling the items in pop-up shops in the style of Comme des Garçons’ ‘Guerrilla’ stores. Jon doesn’t believe in money tied up in stock but rather keeping the brand exclusive with small amounts of stock, but still accessible.
Jon still finds time to keep up with his own artwork (he doesn’t sleep much). From 27th July, he’s holding an exhibition called ‘Youth Knows No Pain’ at The Artist’s Room (2 Dowling Street). It will show young people in various emotional states. Jon now likes to produce some of his art with Moodie Tuesday in mind (what will look good as menswear) while keeping other ideas strictly for artworks.
When we asked Jon what he likes about living in Dunedin, he had plenty of good things to say: the landscapes (his latest collection is inspired by Long Beach), being able to walk everywhere, the sense of community and having friends close by. He doesn’t think the weather’s that bad either. We agree!
In ten years time, Jon would like to be known for being successful in his creative ventures and Moodie Tuesday to have an international presence. He would hope to have a big yearly art exhibition of his own work and would love to have travelled widely.
Not one to skite, he never let on that he was head boy of Dunstan High School, Class Act and a rugby star to boot. We are impressed! Thanks so much Jon – we really enjoyed interviewing you.
The Moodie Tuesday collection can be purchased from their online store. Select items are available at Slick Willy’s and Salisbury Boutique.