A New Breed

Up­start brands tak­ing on the heavy­weights.

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - LESSONS EARNT -

So­cial me­dia has pro­vided the per­fect plat­form for smaller brands to build a fol­low­ing. Mel­bourne Watch Com­pany be­gan in 2013 by crowd­fund­ing and is now sold world­wide. Fur­ther afield, MVMT, again crowd­funded, and again es­tab­lished in 2013, plays to the lower end of the price range, with pieces start­ing at just US$95. The LA-based com­pany’s min­i­mal­ist pieces look more ex­pen­sive than they are. The savvy so­cial me­dia strat­egy of SevenFri­day — started in Zurich in 2012 by en­tre­pre­neur Daniel Niederer — has amassed the brand 260,000 fol­low­ers on In­sta­gram, where its quirky de­signs play well. And Nick Warner — a New Zealand-based South African who makes watches in Hong Kong — launched Uhuru Watches, again with the help of crowd­fund­ing, to cre­ate a watch that re­flected the moder­nity of South Africa: not just wild an­i­mals and tribal life. The de­sign takes el­e­ments from his home and re-imag­ines them into a watch that has global ap­peal.

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