I recall when I played Rugby League back in my late teens that the coach would use me to boost the morale in the team, injecting me into the game at the right time. The way he put it was that my enthusiasm was infectious. I feel like I’ve always been that way for the things I like and the things I am interested in. As I have been working out more and more lately and working on getting back into shape, some of these memories come back to me of those days of that infectious enthusiasm. And with that, I can win the day. Exercise gives me that boost of energy, so I can be at my best and my morale and enthusiasm are up to the task. In some ways, it is a shame that I didn’t take the path of playing Rugby League and veered course at the age of 20 to pursue what I believe to align with my purpose here in fashion. I don’t regret it by any means, but the lessons I learned from a work ethic standpoint and discipline standpoint stood me in good stead and gave me an advantage in whatever I was gonna do in life. If you speak to anyone that played with me, they would probably tell you I was a hard worker and very dedicated to my footy. That’s the way I was and that is who I am. Dedicated to the goal I am striving for. Fashion was seen as a total opposite to a career as an athlete, but I approach designing like it’s a sport and like I am an athlete with that same dedication. So it’s only right I get in shape, so I can be the best version of myself.
I still find that there are a lot of parallels with fashion and being an athlete, especially the way we do it and the athletes we work with. That wasn’t at all intended from day one but was an organic thing that developed over time, and it is definitely so fitting. The way I approached the game of Rugby League was very serious and professional, and if I had my time over again, I would try to enjoy it more and play it as a game. But the professionalism I honed during my time in the sport can be seen in the way I approach a garment. When we did drills, we went around every cone; we didn’t cut corners. My perspective was you’re only cheating yourself. When I approach a garment, I don’t look for the easy way. I don’t look to cut corners, and I do the thing that may be difficult because the end result is going to make us better and have people coming back for more. It’s in these small details that add up to something big. I believe that. And back on that infectious enthusiasm, I believe if you are sold on your vision and your product, it’s quite easy to sell others on it. It’s not something you can fake. People can see through that. For me, I am fully committed to my vision and my goals, and I know we will reach them. That is what keeps me going. Some days are harder than others, and there are many ups and downs in business as there are in life, but it’s all worth it in the end. But happiness lies in that journey and the game. Life is a game, and designing is a sport.