Interview: Bad Luck Zizzy

Ambassador for all things street, skate and beer, Haylee Evans is the woman behind the Melbourne via Torquay based skate wear brand Bad Luck Zizzy.

Emerging onto the scene last year with a vibrant, yet grounded collection that encapsulates the relaxed philosophy of the brand and its creator, Bad Luck Zizzy has continued on to prove that what begins with a Rex Manning appreciation T-shirt can become something great. 

We caught up with Haylee to chat about grazed knees, good times and everything in between.

How did Bad Luck Zizzy (BLZ) come about?

I made my first T-shirt when I was 14 years old, it said ‘Happy Rex Manning Day’ and I wore it til it fell apart. From that point on, I developed this weird obsession with tees, collecting and creating them constantly. If there was a T-shirt that I thought I should have but it didn’t exist, I just made it. Eventually, I had a light bulb moment, that maybe if I was so stoked on these tees, other people might be too. That’s how BLZ started.

Why skate wear?

You know how they say, ‘write what you know.’? It’s like that. All of my friends are skater babes and absolute legends, I’m so inspired by their attitude to life that it just felt like skate wear was the way to go.

Seeing as you’re the head honcho of a skate wear brand, can you skate?

I like to think that I can. I was wearing a pair of jeans the other day with a big rip in them and some chick came up to me and said ‘Oh my god, I love your rip! Where did you get it?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I tried to drop in on a massive ramp and almost died. That’s how I got this rip.’ I’m not that good… but I still skate every day.

What’s the BLZ ethos?

Beers, Babes and Boards. It’s all about having fun, going on adventures, not taking yourself too seriously and at the end of day, cracking a beer with a few mates and just having a good time.

Do you run the business alone?

I’m currently the designer, creative director, publicity, copywriter, shipping director, Big Kahuna of the entire business. It’s a solo mission but I have a good crew behind me in different creative collectives that help out whenever I become too overwhelmed. I’m currently sharing a workspace with some lovely ladies who are starting up a magazine down on the coast, that definitely helps me to get those creative juices going.

What’s the best part about being your own boss?

There’s no one to tell me that the stuff I’m doing is too weird. Last season, I brought out a print of Princess Diana that I tie dyed, and called it the ‘Tie Dye-ana’. I can’t imagine there ever being a business that would let me do something like that.

And the worst?

It’s a lot of work for one little lady. I still work full time making lattes for the masses so ever since I started it, I’ve just kind of given up on sleep. It would be great to have an extra seven hours in every day but at the moment, I’m just stoked to have come this far.

What’s your design process? Do you design the products on your own?

The concept comes to me at some point, and depending on how I see the design, I either sketch it out or find an illustrator to collaborate with. I’m lucky that I’ve constantly been surrounded by beautifully creative people, so I have access to some of the rawest artists around. Once I’ve found an illustrator, we discuss the concept, how it should look, how it should feel, and we go from there.

What about the manufacturing process?

All my tees are printed in Brunswick by a massive legend by the name of Josh from Killer Merch. He puts up with my late night texts about certain shades of pink, caffeine driven rants and my knack for always showing up with a slab of beers just as he’s trying to get work done. The tie dyes are all hand dyed in my backyard, which then results in me having blue hands and red grass for a week.

Who is a major style influence for you and the brand?

The people that wear it. I don’t look towards other clothing labels for what’s cool or coming up, I look to the parties and the streets to see what skaters and surfers are wearing. They could be wearing fluoro on the catwalks but if the boys at the local ramp aren’t wearing it, it doesn’t mean a thing. Whenever I have new designs, I send them to my crew and see what they think. If it gets a good response then I print, if it doesn’t… back to the drawing board.

You live on the coast but have previously lived in Melbourne, do you prefer the urban or coastal fashion trends?

There’s such a difference down on the coast! People dress more for functionality rather than to be seen, and trends seem to stop at the edge of the city. I absolutely love Melbourne for its fashion, it’s so cutting edge and fun but nine times out of ten, you’ll see me in a flanno, ripped jeans and no shoes.

What’s the most important factor to a good tee?

Length! There’s nothing worse than having a tee that constantly rides up while you’re cruising along on your skatey! And also a bad ass design and lastly good design placement.

What’s coming up in BLZ’s future?

I’m working on expanding the company and creating a ladies street wear label, as well as an arts collective and possibly a jewellery range… I’m sure there’s a limit to all of this, but I haven’t found it yet, and I don’t intend to for a while.


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