Brands

MEET JAMES NOAKES (MERE)

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MERE is more than an Australian footwear brand. It’s a statement. It’s a stake in the ground. It’s a call to action to keep footwear pure. To keep art, passion, and quality part of its fabric. In the age of automation over personal touch, quantity over quality, and mass-machinery over hand-made mastery, MERE takes its stand in the dirt.

 Owner and designer James Noakes took some time out of his hectic schedule to answer a few questions about his design background, his inspiration and his “bloody great shoes”.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO FOOTWEAR DESIGN?

I ended up getting into footwear in quite a roundabout way. I was working in the warehouse of a wetsuit and skate shoe company for a few months to help a mate… and with my graphic design background ended up designing some ad’s for them which then turned into a full time gig as a graphic designer. From there I began to draw shoes and then started travelling to China and Vietnam to oversee production and help with product samples and collections. I designed footwear for them for about 3 years before deciding it was time to fly the coop and have a go at my own label.

WHAT’S THE ONE THING OUR CUSTOMERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MERE?

The meaning behind the name and the way to pronounce it I guess. We get a bit of confusion as MERE means a few things in different languages. But it is just meant to be the humble word MERE is –  being nothing more or better than. They are just shoes after all. Bloody great shoes… but just shoes.

SOUNDS LIKE: Beer

HOW IS MERE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BRANDS?

Because we can not be pigeon-holed. MERE is versatile. MERE is preppy, punk, smart, casual, dressy, out there, safe and different. MERE doesn’t fit in a single category. Our shoes can be worn a number of different ways and looks, and by a range of ages. There aren’t too many shoe brands that can say that.

WHAT INSPIRES THE SHOES YOU PRODUCE?

Initially I was inspired to design shoes that I wanted to wear that I couldn’t find anywhere…  but now… 8 years later, I am inspired by the brand and our customers. What we have done, what finishes we haven’t done, what our customers say they are wanting. There are so many avenues to walk down when it comes to shoes (pardon the pun).

CAN YOU DESCRIBE MERE IN THREE WORDS?

Violently Humble… counting is not a strength of mine.

WHAT’S THE ONE MERE SHOE EVERY GUY SHOULD HAVE IN THEIR CLOSET?

The Bluto. Whether in the cup sole, leather sole or sneaker sole the Bluto is the first shoe I designed for MERE and is still by far our best seller to date. It’s simple, classic and can be worn in so many different ways and looks. It’s a versatile killer!

 

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