We’re all connected. The Common Thread Between Us is the anti-influencer movement that progressively aims to challenge the tried and tested formula of campaigns, their themes and how they’re shot. SurfStitch is for the everyman and everywoman, we’re inclusive, and we want people to feel that–no matter their standing or background–we’ve got them catered for.
It’s hard to form an emotional connection with models. Ditto with influencers. We’re just too aware that the transaction between them and the product they’re so stylishly pushing is, well, a transaction. The Common Thread Between Us is our fresh campaign that’s anti-influencer, and it progressively aims to challenge the tried and tested formula of campaigns, their themes and how they’re shot.
It’s not models on a paid gig, it’s real people wearing the products they love, curated and shot by them. As an example of the cross-section of everyday men and women, we’ve plucked a select few from our vast campaign, and put their style to the test. Check them out below!
27-year-old Bec Solman has worked in the same hardware store for the last decade, but her voice really lights up when she starts talking about music. Bec’s a long-time Newcastle resident, and for years she’s been deeply-immersed in the city’s live music scene. After volunteering at Newcastle’s singular female-only live music venue, Bec ended up taking the reins for a number of years, until the fun police (home owners, noise complaints, the Council…) sadly forced the doors to close. Bec still works the door and helps with ticketing around town at local venues, and her love for live and loud music occupies the majority of time outside hardware hours. Bec has also recently re-discovered her love for the skateboard that used to see her pushing all over town in her younger years, and she spent the most recent weekend indulging her main passion, shooting photos of her friends’ band in Newcastle.
What dictates what you put on in the morning? I basically live in Dickies and platform Vans or platform Cons. Something tidy but loose, comfortable and work-friendly. A t-shirt tucked in, jacket jumper if it’s cold, and always my keys locked to my pants.
What is the greatest sartorial fail of your life? 16-year-old Bec in your typical walk-in Supre or Jay Jays gear. A t-shirt with a stupid slogan, coloured skinny jeans (purple or red) trashed cons that have been drawn all over, holes everywhere. I look back and think my gosh, how did that happen.
What is the piece of clothing you’ve always been too scared to buy? I’ve always wanted a really good quality windbreaker, a North Face, black-hooded velcro one. Whenever I’m on public transport in the winter, or on tour with one of the bands in Melbourne I always think that I should just get one, but I end up buying a cheap one that doesn’t quite fit and that I don’t really like and regret it.
What is the piece of clothing that you most deplore? I find it hard to get a jumpsuit. I’m really short, four foot nine, and they’re too baggy up top or too restricting, but I wouldn’t say I really deplore them, or anything else. Everyone has their reasons to wear something.
Which living person’s style do you most admire? Gwen Stefani’s always been a big one for me. Or early Drew Barrymore. I think any of us who lived through it loves the nostalgia of the 90s.
What is your greatest fashion extravagance? Just lots of Bonds underwear, Vans and Converse. If it was one single thing then it would be Chuck Taylors. I’ve always loved the look of them and no one’s going to beat them.
What’s your single favourite item in your wardrobe? A Harrington jacket. It’s black and has a single inside pocket for cards and phone. I wear it everywhere.
What’s the piece of clothing that you wear the most? The Black dickies that I have on right now. I haven’t washed them for two weeks, but they’re work appropriate and go with anything.
What would you wear to your own funeral? I wouldn’t want to be in a big frilly dress or anything as it’s not my style. Just a smart, simple loose black pencil skirt, a comfortable plain black jumper, sneakers, a tote bag and bright patterned socks.
Brandon Cullimore is a 21-year-old Kiwi with a dry sense of humour. Post growing up in the land of the long white cloud he’s relocated over the ditch to Wollongong, but when we contacted him to fill in our sartorial questionnaire he was in Hamilton, Nz, taking a break and catching up with his family. He was easy-going yet quick-witted on the phone, in classic New Zealander fashion, and admitted that his last weekend was spent with his Grandparents, drinking a little too much ale at their pub. When back in Wollongong Brandon rakes leaves selling trucks to the kids at Kingpin Skate Supply, and his free time, when he’s not skating himself, is spent filming his mates or shooting portraits.
What dictates what you put on in the morning? I usually just go from pants to shoes and then work out what’s going to match from there. Whatever pants look good for the day is the start and then the rest falls into place.
What is the greatest sartorial fail of your life? Man, I used to be into high fashion and wear some garbage hoodies. Ones where the hood was longer than the torso, and then some other stuff I don’t even want to talk about.
What is the one thing you’ve always been too scared to buy? One thing that had been plaguing me for ages was a new camera, a Contax g1. I’ve wanted one forever, but I actually just bought that, so I guess that doesn’t really count.
What is the piece of clothing that you most deplore? Pants that are way too big piss me off, similarly pants that are too tight and long. Tall tees and tight pants is just a terrible look.
Which living person’s style do you most admire? My friend Jordan Marsh. His pants aren’t too tight and he always wears good shoes—Air Jordan 1s, and they’re actually pretty good to skate in.
What is your greatest fashion extravagance? I bought a pair of Valenciaga triple S. I paid $1400 for them and it’s by far the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I sold them on and barely got half the money I paid for them back.
What’s your single favourite item in your wardrobe? My olive green, Carhartt Carpenter pants.
What’s the piece of clothing that you wear the most? My Vans Era Pros, purely because they’re comfy and so good for skating in.
What’s the best thing you’ve bought in the last six months? My Fucking Awesome hat. It’s olive green and matches the pants.
What would you wear to your own funeral? Just a clean, classic black suit. With a red tie.
Cold calling strangers is often an awkward affair, other times it’s like talking to someone you’ve known for ages. Jacqui Martin is a 21-year-old from Wollongong and a gifted conversationalist. Her banter is breezy and humorous; just the right amount of self-deprecating. Jaqui is in her last semester of a Visual Arts degree at Wollongong University, and she works as a receptionist at a Medical Centre to fund the operation. When she’s not studying, socialising or working, Jaqui likes to art, in particular sketching nudes, which she states is a cliché, before adding that she doesn’t care because she loves it. Recently she’s been experimenting with oil pastels, and her typical weekend consists of a morning swim, a little sun, money work, uni work, and nearly always going out for drinks with friends.
What dictates what you put on in the morning? I go for comfort first. I’ve become an avid op shop shopper in the past two years, and that’s where the majority of my shopping money goes as I’m a big fan of sustainable fashion. So I’ve got a lot of clothes to choose from, but it all starts with comfort. I take inspiration for my outfits from hip hop artists, as that’s the music I listen to most, and I also used to work for Bec and Bridge, so a bit of that gets thrown into the mix too.
What is the greatest sartorial fail of your life? Three quarter cargo shorts, and I used to have a really awesome batgirl t-shirt which I thought looked great as a pre-teen. And having a fringe—bangs are always a bad idea—all three combined was an interesting look.
What is the piece of clothing you’ve always been too scared to buy? I know there’s some things I just can’t pull off, but if I like it then I generally buy it. Having said that I’m always scared to buy expensive sunnies as I’ve got a bad track record. There’s a pair of Gucci sunnies that I’ve had my eye on for ages, but I’m not sure I could cope with the trauma of buying and subsequently losing them.
What is the piece of clothing that you most deplore? I used to hate thongs and think that they were the ugliest footwear ever, but I’ve since come around to them. I’m not about to wear a pair, but I’m not disgusted anymore.
Which living person’s style do you most admire? I really do love Kali Uchis. I’ve definitely gone through her Instagram and then shopped for things that I thought looked similar.
What is your greatest fashion extravagance? I spend a lot of money on handbags. I’ve got ridiculous amounts of them—it must be around 20-something and I never use them all. I just see them and I can’t help it, it’s become a bit of a hoarding issue.
What’s your single favourite item in your wardrobe? It was—until it got ruined—a really simple Golf Wang tee in a cute shade with a bumble bee on the front. I washed it with a pair of blue pants and it didn’t work out well, and they don’t make them anymore.
What’s the piece of clothing that you wear the most? A classic pair of black pants that are so easy to wear with everything. They’re crepe fabric, high-waisted black pants and they go with absolutely anything.
What’s the best thing you’ve bought in the last six months? I really struggle to find jeans that fit really well, but my roommate got a pair from the op shop that I traded a pair for and they’re perfect. So I didn’t really buy them, but that’s been my biggest win recently. They’ve got a little tag that’s got a four leaf clover so they’re extra lucky, medium blue and they fit like a dream.
What would you wear to your own funeral? Sunnies and hat to not freak people out, a classic little black dress—nothing too wild—a handbag for sure, little kitten heels and my gold jewellery as always.
26-year-old Cameron Cooper lives a double life, part steel worker, part rocker, with a few retail shifts in between for good measure. The Dapto resident spends his days grafting in the Port Kembla steelworks, and by night he’s the drummer of an up and coming punk band called Birdshow. Cam lives for music, and his weekends are usually geared around where Birdshow have gigs. His last weekend was spent working his second job at the Quiksilver store, but his last memorable few days off were spent at Wollongong’s Yours and Owls festival. Cam’s highlights were Skeggs—despite having seen them multiple times before—and iconic Aussie punk band (and certified Birdshow inspiration) Frenzy Rhomb for the first time.
What dictates what you put on in the morning? It depends on where I’m going and what I’ve got planned, but it’s usually just a band merch tee with jeans or shorts. I’ve got a lot of band tees, so they’re pretty hard to go past.
What is the greatest sartorial fail of your life? I went through an emo stage, so it was all black everything. I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair unfortunately, but I always had the emo fringe, which in hindsight wasn’t a great look.
What is the piece of clothing you’ve always been too scared to buy? Definitely a fur coat, but I don’t reckon that I could pull it off. I kind of wish I had it in me to rock a full on knee-length, leopard skin fur jacket.
What is the piece of clothing that you most deplore? Three-quarter length boardshorts.
Which living person’s style do you most admire? Mainly just a lot of guys in bands. If I had to pick one then it would probably be Joel Birch from Amity Affliction. He always has sick gear on.
What is your greatest fashion extravagance? A lot of black tees, endless black tees, many of which are black band merch. I’d easily have 15-20 band tees.
What’s your single favourite item in your wardrobe? Probably my Misfits tee. Just the classic black one with the white skull print.
What’s the piece of clothing that you wear the most? It’s not very exciting, but definitely chinos. Mainly black, as they go with just about everything.
What’s the best thing you’ve bought in the last 6 months? A new drum kit—it’s a Tama Superstar kit in birch wood with this flame detail in the wood. It’s looks sick and makes an amazing sound.
What would you wear to your own funeral? Probably a pink suit, with a pair of Back to the Future shoes.