BRAND WE LOVE: MCMLX
On the hunt for cool printed yet simple tees for both men and women? If so, Australian label MCMLX is the brand for you.
Leon Shore and Tom Joyner are the masters and creative force behind the MCMLX label. These unisex tees are the result of their individual and combined passion, hard work and determination to start the label. “We planned each element of our plan meticulously, gathering quotes from across the country and making endless charts, lists, diagrams, graphs, sketches, cups of Milo, coffee, tea, cordial,” says Tom. “Creating our website was also time consuming and we wanted to make sure we had everything just right before we launched.”
Leon says being in the design industry comes both naturally and by one’s own interest. “I studied design in college and am now studying Textiles and Graphic Design at University,” he says. “We kind of figured out the screen-printing thing ourselves through some practice and tips from my mum. Both of us have always had an appreciation for design and clothes and I think when you surround yourself with it then you naturally fall into it.”
Their current collection lacks in colour but for good reason. “We keep it simple and distinctive, we believe that design doesn’t have to be in your face to be noticeable and focusing on the details is the most important part” says Leon. Tom agrees, “We were always set on black and off-white. We knew that colour wasn’t something that readily appealed to us, at least for our current line.”
The images on their tees are inspired by both reality and dreams. “Inspiration for me comes from the idea of appropriating older iconography,” says Tom. “For example, the ‘Lonely Heart’ tee was inspired by old medical sketches from a Victorian era medical handbook, and the ‘Jack Rabbit’ tee was inspired by old portraits of politicians.” Leon finds inspiration in the most unlikely places, saying “It could be a scribble on the back of a bus seat, wallpaper in a café or just day dreaming during a uni lecture”.
MCMLX may have never been born had it not been for Tom and Leon’s plans to travel, due to which a little project was started to raise funds. “The project was ‘Owl Vs Pig’, which began in 2010 during our gap year,” says Leon. “Back then, we were screen-printing all our designs on pre-made blanks and selling them through some limited stockists on various market stalls.”
Leon says that even after coming to the realisation that their estimated profit margin may not happen, they still decided to continue what they were doing purely for the enjoyment it provided them. “We learnt a lot through that experience and managed to breakeven and still have enough money to travel,” he says. “After travelling, we scrapped the whole label and decided to start fresh, taking on board all we had learn from Owl Vs Pig. That’s when MCMLX was born.”
How did the name MCMLX come about, you ask? “Choosing a name was difficult for us, but we eventually settled on MCMLX (1960 in roman numerals), not because of its intrinsic meaning, but simply because it read well on paper,” says Tom. “Other contenders were ‘Big Bird Millionaire’s Club’, ‘Naughty Grandma’, ‘Meatlovers’, and ‘Swag Swag Swag’”.
When asked about what is next for MCMLX, the boys had their own answers:
Leon: “We dream big so it’s hard to say!”
Tom: “I’ll be frank, shirts that button up.”
For more information and to shop, visit: http://www.mcmlx.com.au
Words by Angela Palo.