I recently had the wonderful privileged of interviewing Tom Guerin of morning theft, an incredibly adventurous man behind a great line of menswear from Australia. Let’s meet Tom:
Tom, it is a pleasure to meet you. Give us a little background….
I’m a born and bred South Australian boy. I grew up in a low-socio economic suburb but was a proud local because of my family history in the area. This is what shaped me most in growing up: family. From my parents making sacrifices and working hard to supporting my two brothers, sister and me to having a large family network always there for support. I was always provided a good education and encouraged to search and pursue things that truly made me happy.
How has that affected you?
I’m fortunate to have the ability to appreciate everything in my life but at the same time not settle for anything but the best. I love the position and place I am in at any one time, but know I can only move further and strive to do so. This helped me to have the mindset that everything is easy if you want it to be, but work hard to achieve that. Three essentials in my life are family, friends and the arts, particularly music.
So where do you live now?
Still living in South Australia, but in a historical building, prestigious street and high-socio economic suburb. I find inspiration in this particular place. It’s a place I grew up wanting to be and am fortunate to be where I am. The tree-lined streets, the story behind the buildings, the parklands and the culture inspire me and motivated me to keep moving.
Do you think you will stay there?
I’m looking to move overseas next year to continue to ‘look and find’.
So how did you enter the fashion industry?
I’m a teacher. When going through university I had some positive experiences with business, money and fashion. It was a no-brainer to get involved somehow. What I wanted in-terms of clothing lacked in South Australia and Australia. It was that point I decided to get things together and simply do it. Throw myself in the deep end with no business or fashion education and background. This all happened 4 years ago.
Any additional factors that led you to this decision?
Family and music. I was fortunate to have money to take some risks with. This felt good and fun. My family told me to just do it. It was music through artists like Jeff Buckley and Brandon Boyd that taught me to pursue things that truly made me happy and I would be rewarded in many ways. It was also the belief to not question things. Just run with it and see where it would take me.
Well, now that you have taken the plunge, what defines your style?
It’s hard to pin point. It’s effortlessly a picture of that moment in my life. I prepare little. Things just happen, and I find it all coming together, and to me it reflects what’s happening or has happened at that time. Places, relationships, beliefs, thoughts and music have been inspirations for collections so far. The names of the items then represent that, which is again found through music, lyrics and poetry.
Do you hold to any overriding philosophy?
Yes. My philosophy is to not think too much about it. If it’s meant to happen, it will. If not, then I’ll move on and learn. I have had many people ask me many complex questions about morning theft. I give them little, because I truly can’t tell them. I know it’s mine, and it’s all me. But I simply don’t have many answers. I don’t think my philosophy (or lack of) is reflected in collections, as people assume there is a lot of thought and preparation in the designs and collections themselves, when truthfully, there is not.
Tell us more about morning theft….
Morning thef its very much traditional designs and styles, with some minor differences in detailing. Sometimes something so small can make a big difference. So to sum up, I guess it’s different…. But not. Follow? No? Either do I.
I know little about the Australian fashion scene….
I take more notice in men’s fashion. I’m sad to say it’s not very diverse. Not very experimental. Not many risks are taken. This saddens me. My home city is not very open to change in my opinion. Slower than other states and cities in Australia, and it seems most people are unaware of what happens in fashion worldwide or they are too scared to move away from the ‘norm’
How does morning theft fit into thise picture?
I hope to slowly change the ‘norm’ in Adelaide. I don’t care if no one buys morning theft. I just hope people are aware of what is out there, and if THEY like it and it represents THEM that they will represent it, no matter what others think. There are so many talented and diverse men in my home town. I hope to see them come out more.
Thank you, Tom, for your time and the best of luck to you!
The complete autumn/winter 2013 collection will follow soon!