The creators of Modern Manners come from opposite backgrounds. Ewan studied design and majored in textiles, and Liam studied marketing and management. They met through Liam's father, Vere Sharma, and both entered the fashion industry immediately after finishing their degrees.
The pair saw a gap in the New Zealand fashion industry for young Kiwis creating gender neutral clothing.
"We wanted to invest heavily in social media as it was something we both understood and could easily control. We were bored with everyday streetwear, so we wanted to sell what we would want to wear. The goal was always to create a movement."
Liam's earliest fashion memory, at around five-years-old, was watching his sister teach other girls how to sew. The first piece Ewan made was self-taught hand drawn studded jeans during high school.
The two-person team creates samples that get sent out to manufacturers.
"We believe we are as ethical as possible. All our styles are either produced or sourced from local suppliers. Our brand's motto is ‘from little things, bigger things grow'. For us making mistakes is almost more important than creating success, we want to learn and this is only done by failure."
Modern Manners has a flagship store, but the focus is on creating a wider international customer base. "We would love to find new stockists around New Zealand and abroad at some point in the future. We are also doing some cool collaborations in the next few months, and NZFW. We have been inspired by past collections by evoking nostalgic feelings, like early sunrises or late night sunsets."
The duo made the Modern Manners website with the help of a few techy mates.
"K Road is such a unique street and it is entirely different from Ponsonby just around the corner, we realised this very quickly and that's why we started displaying young artists work and doing events like free tattoos in store. Our online store is just as important for our brand as our physical store, being able to connect with our customer base on a more personal level 24/7. We have over 11,000 followers on Instagram, which is epic for a very young New Zealand brand.
"For sure it would be so cool if A$AP Rocky wore a few of our styles, but that's not the end goal. We honestly just want to see strangers loving our brand."