out of comfort menswear worn by masculine-presenting model sitting on steps

Building the label OUT OF COMFORT was a natural transition for Shannon Thompson after working overseas as a menswear designer in London. Thompson explained that when she returned home to New Zealand, it was a now or never moment. “From there, the brand developed organically,” she said. One day Thompson was discussing with a friend about the comfort of being behind the scenes. She expanded on how she pushes through her comfort zone and how that makes her feel. “I loved the way it sounded and it stuck!”

OUT OF COMFORT is built on the idea that challenges conformity and embraces self-expression. Showcasing her latest collection, it focuses on relaxed silhouettes and exaggerated accents for added finesse. Thompson explained: “It is about having a conversation in those scary moments, defining a new space and facing your fears.” This collection was heavily influenced by photographer Jamel Shabazz’s work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. “I was instantly captured by his imagery, emotion, and overall vibe that carried through his work,” she said. “Jamel’s photographs had layers of depth and colour that made me research him further, especially his street photography.” It was how Shabazz captured honest moments that Thompson loved so much and inspired her to create memories within her garments. “I wanted to create a story with an authentic process whilst keeping the fulfilling substance that represented Jamel Shabazz and his work.”

Showing her designs at Vancouver Fashion Week, Thompson is excited to represent her culture and home on an international platform. “Having worked in fashion weeks for other companies around the world, being able to be at the forefront of it all showcasing my own work under my own name is a big milestone for me.”