Unisex Appeal

Business at the top, party at the sole. The essential sneaker shoe to up your day to night capsule wardrobe, any day of the week.

An interior / fashion design and an industrial designer get chatting at an industry gig. A new shoe range gets born.

This was the origins of Antonym, a new label created by Jack Flanagan and Sara Gaspar, whose first collection ‘Archi’ paves new ground for unisex, day-to-night apparel.

The duo bring some impressive design backgrounds to the project. Jack is known as one of Western Australia’s most in-demand industrial designers whose furniture collections are stocked with Cult and beyond.  Sara recently returned to the West from Melbourne where she worked for over a decade in fashion production for the likes of Country Road and Paul Smith.

They found natural synergy in their aesthetic and values as designers.

“I have to do things with right person,” Sara says. “With Jack and I, it was right. We both understood each other,” she continues.

Both Sara and Jack talk of their conventional design training and appreciation of traditional approaches, but a united belief that accepted design wisdom doesn’t have to be the only way. Thus through Antonym, they aim to explore unorthodox designs and approaches to what they create, hence the name.

“Antonym is about designing things that we want, rather than working to a direction, it’s very much us, just doing what we want to do, and believing that it will happen quite organically,” Jack says.

Both say sustainability and the ethos of quality over quantity is at the core of the collection’s premise.

“For Antonym that’s where it evolved from – buy once, buy well, multi-purpose, without having so much wastage, and having a bit of luxury in every day,” Sara says.

The shoes are made from 100% leather and designed for form and function. A shoe that is as comfortable as it is stylish, to look the part styled from day to night. (Or studio to party.) The aim was to design the ultimate shoe that would work across infinite outfits. The range includes five neutral, yet distinct colourways.

As a gesture to their hometown, Archi’s sole is inscribed with a map of Perth’s Swan River and coastline, and also Rottnest Island, the local’s paradise isle that is fast-gaining an international fan club for its friendly Quokkas.

“The sole design was just a way to put WA as a place of origin of the design, and Sara and myself. However, the shoe would be at home in any country,” Jack says.

Antonym’s Archi collection hit the market in June, with an impressive volume of the first release pre-sold. We’re told there are various new designs in the pipeline for the future, with a focus on one off pieces that find a perfect place between form and function.

“With Antonym, we design from our heart and cultivate people from that. In terms of fashion design, it’s nice to see a new scene in Perth starting. There’s fresh young designers coming out. Also a lot of unisex clothing. I think it’s a really exciting time,” Sara said.

Photography: Ellysia Burton for WADES & Thomas James Rowe for Antonym.