Spring 15 sees Deadly Ponies rejoice the warmer weather and exult in the glory of their tenth anniversary. The new collection ‘Decadant’ maintains the brand’s reputation for striking design, both in its refinement of classic styles and the introduction of new shapes. Organic, innovative and timeless, the ethos behind the brand holds true ten years on. We sat down with Liam Bowden and found out more about the man behind the bags….
N.September 2015 marks Deadly Ponies 10th anniversary. Congratulations! What do you believe has been a key factor in reaching this milestone?
We try and create a product that is timeless, yet modern, it is a style that still seems to resonate with customers 10 years on so we are very lucky.
N.Tell us about your new Spring / Summer collection, Decadant. What inspired this collection?
We took inspiration from equestrian celebrations – ribbons, racing stripes and rosettes – then developed them into leather motifs.
N.Which is your favourite piece from the new collection and why?
The Mr Rosette, which we did six years ago, has been brought back for this collection to help celebrate the milestone. We already have a long waiting list for this item so seems like it is still as popular as ever.
N.If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
N.What would we find in your satchel / laptop bag / bag?
Very practical things. Diary, phone, sunglasses, reading glasses, measuring tape, padlocks, Vitamin C powder, and a few samples.
N.You’ve had some pretty famous celebrities snapped with Deadly Ponies bags. How has this helped to raise the profile of Deadly Ponies internationally?
It’s hard to say how it helps really, as we have so many things on the go and are usually working at least 12 months ahead so we might hear a celebrity has bought one of our bags but never see a picture of them wearing it. It is always very flattering for someone who can have any product in the world choose us.
N.Which style has been the most popular to date?
They change like the seasons – one will be popular for a week and then nothing for two months – and then the following week we will sell out! Our most enduring style is Mr Fill N Zip, he is almost 8 years old and still sells out every season.
N.You’ve recently opened a store on Osborne Street in Newmarket. How is it going?
It is fantastic. We have always had a strong following with customers from the eastern suburbs, but never a location where they could easily view the whole collection. We love that our customers have a place where they can get the whole Deadly Ponies experience.
N.What is Newmarket’s best kept secret?
The cheeses and baguettes at C’est Fromage!!
N.How has blogging and social media changed the way you work?
It has given us the ability to talk to our customer directly, which has been amazing. Hearing their feedback and keeping them in the know about what we are doing is invaluable.
N.Deadly Ponies products are all handmade here in New Zealand. Has keeping production in New Zealand been challenging? How do you keep up with demand?
Very challenging! It is the toughest thing about doing business here. But rather than up and move everything offshore we have had to figure out ways to work smarter to meet demand. Outsourcing production of some items while keeping our core products in house has been key. Our main focus is on high quality products made from 100% natural New Zealand materials.
N.Name 5 things that you can’t live without.
Peanut Butter – obsessed. My phone
My partner / family
Laughter (not necessarily in that order)
N.What has been your best fashion investment?
I think anything in leather is a great investment so probably my Timberland leather boots and my own bags of course.
N.And your worst?
I am usually pretty indecisive when it comes to shopping, but worst was definitely paying way too much for jeans that were shredded, ripped and patched (it was 2001) – they only lasted a couple of months so not a smart choice!
N.What’s next for Deadly Ponies?
We have a number of projects in the pipeline but in the last three months we have lauched a new store, a new website, a new collection, a dedicated mens range and are just about to lauch our 2016 Diaries – so I think what’s next is a nice long hoilday in the sun.