Taking the ‘double date’ concept to the next level, two couples fused their passion for creativity and functionality in the form of timepieces; AÃRK was thus born in a whirlwind of minimalist quirkiness.
With their latest collection making its debut in April, Co-founder and Creative Director of AÃRK, Auver Cedric Austria, says that there was something about watches that had always intrigued the four creatives.
‘Timepieces serve a functional purpose but at the same time they are also a form of adornment, so they serve an aesthetic purpose too,’ Auver says.
As Auver explains, there wasn’t a whole lot of competition in terms of Melbourne-designed watches at the time of AÃRK's conception, as most other labels tended to take existing moulds and rebrand other off-the-shelf products.
‘As an object, we knew that this was something we could put our twist on and have fun with,’ Auver says. ‘Taking time to explore concepts is what is fun and exciting for us.’
The small team, also comprising of Company Director Sara Su, Marketing Manager Celia Austria and Project Manager Karla Magayanes, drew inspiration for their latest collection from space and new material combinations.
‘It is our goal to inject our personality and quirk into everything we do so people notice something distinct about our work,’ Auver says. ‘If you look at my working files there are iterations upon iterations of a single model. Each sketch takes me on a journey of it’s own and you can see how the idea progresses.’
Auver’s design process is simultaneously organic and considered. Spontaneity may typify the initial sketch, but the three, holy ‘R’s’: refinement, refinement, refinement, characterise AÃRK's holistic design approach.
‘There are so many variations and directions we can take with each design, so we take the time to explore all corners of an idea,’ Auver says. ‘ This then brings us to deciding materials and finishes and really analysing the range as a whole. This is quite a lengthy process.’
Fascinated by NASA’s ‘golden record’ time capsule, Auver and the team explore traditional shapes punctuated by temporal motifs in their new collection. Quality of the timepiece, however, is in no way sacrificed on the alter of innovation.
‘For this range it wasn’t only about trying new ideas, but also about improving and maturing the brand by introducing premium components such as Swiss Movement and American Horween leather,’ Auver says.
Working as a team often allows the quintet to predict what will do well design-wise and what will not. Nevertheless, Auver is adamant that listening to instinct is more important than what the group feels is ‘safe’. This is why AÃRK's latest collection is solely unisex.
‘We believe that all types of people should be able to wear our watches – this should be a reflection of your style and personality and not your gender,’ Auver says. ‘Being flexible and not labelling who should wear what encourages freedom of expression.’
With many female customers choosing to wear the larger, stereotypically ‘male-styled’ watches and many male customers choosing to sport the peach-hued timepiece, AÃRK's androgynous approach reflects a new era in fashion characterised by a breakdown of the traditional ‘rules’ of masculine and feminine aestheticism.
With a redesigned website, a new design collateral and updated product packaging, Aark is taking Melbourne by storm
‘Our brand is very much us; we grow and we change with it,’ Auver says.
To see more from AÃRK click here to check out there website.