Theseus is the creative project of Greg Stoner, a Melbournian who started the label in July 2016. In only a short time, Greg and Theseus have built a dedicated fan base not only in Melbourne but beyond, with famed sneakerheads, DJs and VIPS at Complex Media repping the gear. We caught up with Greg to discuss how he’s done it and what inspired the Theseus project.
First up, tell us about yourself and where the inspiration for doing something like this came from?
I grew up in the 90's, listening to Ice Cube and Nirvana, watching NBA and NFL and loving labels like Nike, Stussy, Cross Colours, Adidas EQT, Logo7, Starter, Nutmeg, Sports Specialties and Mossimo just to name a few. I was always jealous of my friends older brothers who had the latest Air Maxes and Stussy tees every week, whereas I was lucky to get a new pair of kicks and a 'brand name' (as Mum would say) t-shirt once a year.
So you could say I started Theseus (pronounced THEE-SEE-US) a little over a year ago, but it's been a fire that's been burning for many, many years.
The independent clothing scene is a tough market - what did it take for you to make that leap of faith and start creating and selling your own designs?
Basically, as I stated before, it was something I had wanted to do since I was a kid, I just didn't know how to do it. So I studied Graphic Design a number of years ago and became obsessed with Illustrator and creating vector images and had a number of ideas in my head that I wanted to see materialise, so I did.
I think it's important to have a creative outlay in life, be it art, music, even cooking - mine is streetwear.
I have always been drawn to the apparel appeal and wanted to be part of that world, to have people be proud to rep. my brand, my creations. Australia is really killing it these days with their independent labels and would be great to stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the other guys.
And the name Theseus? Is there a story behind it?
So, as I touch on in my lookbook, Theseus was the King of Athens and Son of the Gods. He was sent to the labyrinth to kill the Minotaur. He does so with ease, but he is not the real hero. He still needed to find is way out; thankfully his wife, Ariadne, had equipped the King with a length of string to help him retrace his steps.
Ariadne is the real hero here, and that's the underlining message of our brand, that NONE OF US ARE AS STRONG AS ALL OF US. And that's really what I am trying to create; not just a brand but a positive force in the world. Something to make people appreciate what they have. It’s an extension of myself, both creatively and to thank all the people that brought me to where I am today.
The designs are really based on 90's culture, from vintage sports to video games as well as skate and music culture.
What’s the vision for Theseus longer term?
Theseus is a lifestyle brand, and that is what I am trying to create - a lifestyle. I'm not looking to make a killing, I'm just looking to make a living. I would love for this to be my bread and butter, but these things don't happen overnight - they take time and patience. Right now I am just happy making the kind of clothes I've always wanted make, I'm only worried about the money in the sense of perpetuating the brand. Every dollar I earn goes back into the brand to create more dank garms; things have been slow of late but these things ebb and flow. If I get too worried about sales etc. I'll lose focus of what I have, what makes me happy.