Shock And Awe!: Shock Mansion Interview
Hustlin' straight outta BNE by way of Canberra, Shock Mansion is leading a new generation of Australian street entrepreneurs right to the bank. With more tattoos than Fantasy Island, Jake Hollywood along with brothers Sean and Kieran Mansion have spread their radness far and wide, collaborating with brands such as Globe, Monster Energy and now Osiris. And that's all off the back off their ever-growing online presence thanks to ShockMansion.com. We were so intrigued by the trio we had to find out more and get the downlow on their newest triple pack of kicks due for release by Osiris later this year... welcome to Shock Mansion.
Hey Fellas....welcome to Sneaker Freaker! Tell our readers a little about yourselves and just what Shock Mansion is...
Cheers, thank you for having us, we really appreciate it. Shock Mansion is one of the fastest-growing online entertainment sites both here in Australia and around the globe. We offer what we believe is some of the best online entertainment the internet has to offer each day. The 'Mansion' is maintained by our three larger than life characters, Jake Hollywood and brothers Sean and Kieran Mansion.
Over the past few years Shock Mansion has grown exponentially, thanks to growing support from like-minded people from all over the globe. Most of the heat comes from the US, Australia and UK are right behind.
It's funny in the beginning no one would give us a hand or even take the time to hear us out, nowadays Shock Mansion is hotly sought after for collaborations, public appearances, editorials and behind the scenes business ventures. With numbers comes a change and with that change we were given an opportunity with Osiris Footwear to release our own signature shoes. We have also worked with some other notable companies such as the homies over at Famous Stars and Straps, Monster Energy and Globe. We have also been fortunate enough to interview people like our good friends the Madden brothers, the homie Tommy Lee, Crazy Bam Margera, the very sexy Ruby Rose, UK's very own Tinie Tempah and many more. Recently we launched into the street wear game with Shock Mansion clothing and accessories. Currently we are working on a full range to be released online and internationally early 2012. But for now you can find some artist colab tees and some fresh clothing accessories on our online store at www.shockmansion.com/store
Growing up in the streets of BNE, how did you guys aspire to change the face of Australian street culture?
Hahahah to set the record straight we all actually grew up in our nation's capital Canberra, it wasn't till late 2008 that we all decided we needed a change and upped and moved to the gorgeous city that is Brisbane. We weren't thinking too much about changing the face of street culture. We all skated, rode dirt bikes, surfed, got tattooed and kicked it with our friends, all while watching the internet on our downtime. We were heavily influenced by what we saw online - things we couldn't seem to find in our own country. This frustrated us so much that we just decided to start our own label 10 years ago called Crooked Uniform and deck ourselves and our friends out in what we thought was the dopest shit around at the time. Since then we morphed that brand into what u see today... Shock Mansion. I guess you can say we started our own culture.
For real! You've all got that incredibly hungry ‘business man' ethic, working 24/7 to create the dream that is Shock Mansion. How did the entire website come together?
Shock Mansion's life was spawned from one of the lowest and darkest moments in our business career to date. Our previous clothing company ‘Crooked Uniform' had grown to a stage where it was time for us to leave our local manufacturing and venture overseas in preparation for much larger orders with faster turnaround. To cut a long story short we invested almost all of our money into a large new range. Unfortunately, even after close inspections of well made samples, our entire range eventually returned to our shores looking like absolute shit! We were devastated and tried to get a refund but the guys who made it had vanished. We flew lawyers over to battle them in court but our remaining money trickled away and we were left with nothing.
With our backs against the wall, we had lost our money, our product, and had nothing left but our website and our loyal following. Many sleepless nights and coffee fuelled meetings passed before we finally decided to do what any entrepreneur would do, dust ourselves off and get back on the horse. We changed the look and the name of the company to Shock Mansion and used our old website platform to launch our new site into cyber space. We still had love for the clothing industry but it had left a pretty bad taste in our mouths so we steered Shock Mansion away from the game never to look back, or so we thought. We sunk our teeth into the online news and entertainment side of things. Celebrity interviews, the latest in sports, music, automotive and so on. After a year or two of really hard work our presence grew and business opportunities began coming our way. Sure enough, the clothing industry knocked on our door again. We had travelled full circle and welcomed it back with open arms and smarter minds. These days Shock Mansion is expanding in many areas that we first thought wouldn't be possible. Expanding our online network for starters with LA photographer and skateboarder Pep Williams joining the ranks, working with amazing companies like Osiris Shoes on collaborations, working with new artists in the music industry and expanding our online store to offer all the brands we love and giving them to our audience. Our goal is to stand on top as Australia's largest entertainment website shattering the online corporate image that rules Australia as we know it.
Woah, well that's a massive undertaking right there! I know most people will look at you guys and want to talk all about your tatts, and your press page is predominately from ink mags, but we're more about the bottom half... what are on ya feet! What are some of your favourite silhouettes to rock?
Well, you really can't go past classic like Shelltoes, Air Maxs or Pumps. I'd say they would all define eras in our pre-Shock Mansion days. But of course having a long history as skateboarders means mostly our shoe game revolved around skateboard shoe companies such as DC, lakai, Axion and Vans. I guess that's why Osiris was such a perfect fit for us.
Yeah, let's talk about that - how did the collaboration with Osiris all come together?
The initial connection spawned from mutual business associates a few years ago in Brisbane. We were lucky enough to meet with the Osiris owners one day as they were visiting Australia. We hit it off instantly and began discussing the potential of working together. I guess we were lucky enough for Osiris to believe in us as much as they did because we decided to take our relationship to the next level and bring out a full collection of Shock Mansion x Osiris shoes. Working with people in different time zones is always a little tricky - late night Skype meetings and 3am phone calls, but we got along with each other so well it didn't feel like work at all. Those guys are our good mates and we are really pleased with the end result.
Tell us a little about the footwear designs and what inspirations went into each shoe...
Our aim was to create a shoe that represented the personality associated with Shock Mansion - tattoos being obviously a hugely recognisable part of that, and still create something that is wearable and matched the level of maturity in our own styles. On the inside lining of each shoe is a tattoo inspired pattern with an individual colour wash. Please note this is not some ED HARDY tattoo bullshit, these are actually our tattoos. The outside of the shoes are all murdered the fuck out because we all agreed it was the perfect contradiction to the colourful inlays. Imagine a heavily tattooed dude wearing a plain black tee. We wanted to present this in a way that wouldn't be seen as tacky and I think we have done it perfectly. We've had a lot of older and younger cats approach us and express their love for them which is a really dope sign. We wanted that mature shoe with a splash of rad.
There's pretty much something for everyone with a low-fi cut kick and two killer high top bangers. How much detail went into picking the styles and what were some of the requisites into making a killer Shock Mansion collabo?
The most important factor for us was that we made shoes that we actually wanted to wear. This collaboration wouldn't have gone ahead if that wasn't the result. We try to apply that kind of motivation to everything we do, but this collab was extra important as it would be on such a grand scale and introduce Shock Mansion to a huge number of new people. So of course to try and show people who we are as best we could, we went with our personal favourite models. It's actually hard to decide which one we would call our favourite of the three. I guess to anyone out there that's looking to cop a pair, BUY THEM ALL ;)
How much leeway did Osiris give you guys when it came to designing - is it a true collaboration of brands?
The design process with Osiris was pretty easy actually. Both companies had very similar interpretations of how Shock Mansion could be transferred successfully onto a shoe, so when we came to Osiris with our ideas it all fell into place right away. The designs and details were all created by us. Some of the detailing we wanted to use is also integrated into our own brand, like the miniature lion head door knocker that really works haha! That type of control made is really awesome to work with Osiris. Once we worked our designs and theme into each model it was all gravy. These shoes are truly a Shock Mansion creation and we are stoked to stand behind them.
This isn't the first time you've collaborated with street brands, and it seems from reading your site, you guys are hotly sought after! Why do you think that is? What are you guys doing right?
Good looks, charm and charisma, hahaha or maybe our extremely well toned and tanned buttocks. No, we know that isn't the case! Our image is strong and extremely marketable in the correct industries but if you cut away all the bullshit and really look at it from a business perspective, it's because we have a large following - numbers don't lie I guess. It's easy to create a product or start a company, but to inject creative marketing and then place it in front of millions of people, all in-house, is not something everyone can do.
What's up next for Shock Mansion? Where will we see you guys in the next five years?
I guess the real question is ‘Where won't you find us'. We have worked really hard to plant ourselves solidly on the Internet. We are going to keep offering as much quality free internet based entertainment as we can and grow that concept. The other major project we are going H.A.M. on is our brand. As you might imagine, we are all straight up workaholics. Just put a fresh coffee in our palms and watch us get busy till we fall asleep, possibly three days later. When that happens just shove a funnel down our throats and insert more coffee. It would be nice to say that in five years we will be having a nice little holiday somewhere, but truth be told you will probably just find us up in our office working on our next project. We see our contribution to online entertainment and the street wear as just the beginning of our creative output. Till next time, we hope you like the shoes and be sure to bookmark and visit us at www.shockmansion.com