Thom Sussex of Thom Morison

Thom Sussex talks about his upbringing that shaped his career path and creating a brand that handles everything in-house.

Thom Sussex of Thom Morison

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand Thom Morison.

My name is Thom Sussex and I was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I am a menswear designer who studied at Auckland University of Technology. Founded at the end of 2020, Thom Morison is an independent contemporary studio focused on creating everyday pieces utilising the highest quality fabrications and manufacturing processes whilst being produced within Aotearoa, New Zealand.

How did your journey start?

It's a bit of a long-winded story. So without going into too much detail, I've always been creating things ever since I was young. I do view myself as a multi-disciplinary designer, but I think I just fell into fashion due to my Pop having a career in menswear (in the 60s-80s) and my Nana working as a teacher at Singer Sewing Machines in the UK.

Sometimes, it's that familiarity aspect that gives you the courage to pursue something with confidence.

Can you share an interesting aspect of your work? Maybe a part of the product-making process or a unique work ritual you have.

Fashion is such an interesting space at the moment; with the rise of social media, it has become that a brand is as successful as it is popular. Literally, anyone can start a brand with no experience. Anyone from big names to micro-influencers persuading you to spend your money on a particular brand because they are seen associating with it.

We are looking to be counter to this narrative, focusing on the product and allowing it to speak for itself. It is a slow (and sometimes painful) approach to take in terms of business success, but I firmly believe we are creating products the world needs more of, not less. I personally look for deeper meaning in the products I surround myself with, Thom Morison is here for those individuals.

One of the ways we like to differentiate ourselves in the market is the way we go about producing our collections. All stages of the design process are undertaken in-house (at the moment, all by me), from initial concepts to physically sampling each piece at the studio. We do this to allow the Thom Morison wardrobe to be truly modular in its form and function. Each garment is made using the highest quality fabrications from world-renowned mills from around the world and is designed to allow for pairing/layering over one another with ease.

The only stage we outsource is our final production, which we do locally, not for the sake of being able to say 'Made in New Zealand' but for superior quality control. Producing in New Zealand gives us the ability to visit our factories at any given stage of the product and be quick to eliminate any issues that come up during production.

What are your plans and aspirations both personally and professionally?

I think my answer to this has probably changed a dozen times since opening up shop. For now, I like to keep my personal goals simple; each day, I just want to continue to challenge myself to learn more and become better at my chosen craft.

Wherever this simple goal takes me/Thom Morison, I am here for the ride.

Can you tell us about the upcoming Spacefor activation? What can customers expect from you, and why did you decide to do it?

Thom Morison is a very in-person experience; people visit our showroom and constantly tell us, "This fabric is amazing; I couldn't quite tell online". We try our best to display the product the best we can online (while remembering we are a small independent studio with a limited budget).

Our activation at Spacefor will hopefully allow some new people to discover us and experience what we have to offer.

Quick Answers

My favourite brands are: I love any brand that understands it purpose and creates products that create meaning in my life. It might be cliche, but I love what Hay is doing, making good design accessible to the masses.

An object or item I can't live without: I can't go without a good pair of leather shoes. Paraboot's if I could only choose one.

My favourite place to shop is: My favourite place is wherever I am. Exploring within my surroundings and finding the hidden gems each city has to offer.

Offline VS Online? Offline. Experience your community and enjoy that feeling of seeing the person your money is supporting.

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