From AFL to music and now fashion. What sparked your interest to move into this line of work?
Music has always been a true love of mine throughout my various career paths and now has become my focus through my band KAYEX. I love that fashion and music work in very close synergy, whatever the current music is there is a fashion movement that is closely aligned to it. This is a trend that can be seen in every music era and has made many of them iconic.
You’ve worked with David Jones in the past. What was your response when they asked you to collaborate for Wool Week?
I was thrilled, being involved with an iconic brand like David Jones has been a dream. It makes it that much more special that I am able to be involved with Wool Week as it resonates with me so much. Being able to support a campaign I know about from a grass roots level to see the final outcome has made me and my family very proud.
You’ve mentioned that your father works in the wool industry. What sort of connection do you hold with the industry?
My father represents a company that sells animal health products to sheep and cattle farmers. Having been a part of this for over 30 years, we have close ties to many sheep farmers who use our products to get great production benefits. I know what a campaign like this means to the community.
Do you believe its these memories that have allowed you to really appreciate the process?
“Healthy sheep means better wool, this has always been the end goal for farmers. I saw this during my time driving from farm to farm with Dad and meeting the farmers. They were always so happy and welcoming, the respect I saw between my father and them has taught me a lot of life lessons.”
Why do you think it’s important that there is more education surrounding Australian wool?
Australian Wool is one of the biggest and best maintainable exports that our nation has. We supply merino wool to the finest fabric companies and fashion houses in the world. I think now city and country living in Australia has a huge divide which is unfortunate, many people don’t understand the process of sheep shearing, sale and manufacture to the jumpers and clothes that we wear. It’s an incredible product that we provide to the world and also for our economy, it’s something that we should be proud of and further educated about.
What sort of benefits come from wearing the fibre?
Wool is an excellent temperature regulator; it’s breathable, comfortable and durable, it’s one of the best performance fabrics on the market.
Do you have one wool piece that you can’t live without?
Merino wool jumper that my grandmother knitted me, throughout my travel as an AFL player and now as a musician I take it everywhere with me. More recently I have purchased a great Country Road Merino crew knit jumper that I have been wearing almost daily. Country Road are also a huge supporter of Australian Wool and are allowing customers to have full visibility of where and how the raw Wool materials are farmed.
What’s next for you?
KAYEX are currently on a National Tour and we are excited to release “Warrior Games” our new track out now. I have also recently been announced as an ambassador for the suicide prevention charity RUOK?, this is a charity that means a lot to me and I strongly support. I am currently working with them on a lot of their activations and hoping to aid in sharing the important message of asking your friends and loved ones if they are ok.