New Zealand label, Commoners was first introduced with its debut collection in 2010. Featuring a small collection of basic t-shirts, unnecessarily large pockets, and a whole lot of raw hemming, it was hard to envision exactly where this brand would go. Fast forward to 2014 and you’ll find that Commoners serves as one of New Zealand’s leading, premium basics labels, offering an array of quality designed garments that never stray too far from the brand’s timeless image.
We spoke with Commoners’ Founder and Creative Director, Jae Mills. Check out what the designer himself had to say below.
Commoners’ AW14 campaign shot by Zachary Handley and styled by Elle Packham.
Commoners emulates quite a specific look, where do you draw most of your inspiration from when designing a collection?
At the moment, it seems to be a lot of sportswear inspiration as well as really pared-down design elements like minimalist furniture & architecture.
What would you say the best part about your job was?
I enjoy receiving new samples from our makers and trying them on, that is my favourite part. Receiving great positioning within press and media is also a great.
I remember purchasing a tee from your very first collection back in 2010; it’s crazy to see how far the brand has come since then. How would you like to see Commoners develop in the years to come?
My vision is to continue on this path, however, my goal is to add new categories to our offer – footwear and jewellery for example. Womenswear is also something we’d like to focus on, moving forward.
What are three brands you swear by?
That’s a hard one… I’d say the only brand that I’m totally loyal to would be Apple.
Do you prefer Winter wardrobe or Summer wardrobe?
I do like both, but if i had to choose, it would be Winter. I enjoy layering my clothing and wearing heavy coats.
Founding and creatively directing a label is a big job, was this always the plan?
Yes and no… I actually worked for two other well known New Zealand labels as a designer prior to creating commoners. It wasn’t until an eight month round the world trip when I decided it was an itch I needed to scratch.
Finish off these sentences:
I’m never not… thinking about Commoners.
The last place I went on holiday was… Fiji.
In ten years I see myself… older / wiser.
What I’m really looking forward to right now is… Summer.
Commoners most recently opened its very first brick and mortar store in Ponsonby, Auckland; a sign of many more exciting endeavours ahead.