Modest vintage player is crafting beautiful and practical sports & recreation goods from fine leathers.
Modest vintage player is crafting beautiful and practical sports & recreation goods from fine leathers. The collection is handmade in small batches by artisans who have spent their lives learning the art of crafting. MVP is against mass production, but opts for exclusivity. Well, Auckland’s Modest Vintage Player mission is to bring class back to sport by preferring leather craftsmanship over mass production
Longevity has always been a must in the history of sport. Punching bags, headgear and gloves are just a few items designed to withstand whatever impact they may face.
Read about the drive of CEO and Creative Director Josh Carmody
“Naturally, leather was a huge part of the equipment used in these old school sports eras, which is the dominant material used with our products. Sourcing the best quality leather and finding the right factories to partner with was a costly process, but we have established some really strong partnerships in this space.”
How did the idea of creating such a brand come about?
I have always loved sports since I can remember, growing up with an older brother our days and nights were spent in the backyard duelling out a game of football, cricket, rugby, or playing catch ending only when dinner was called or one of us in tears over a disagreement!
I had a great hunger to create something unique, something aligned with my passion for sports, history & culture.
I came up with the MVP (Modest vintage leather) brand concept – a sporting goods brand to celebrate the players, equipment & culture of by-gone eras, from the ’60s to the ’90s. I am constantly inspired by the old school athletes who played purely for the love of the game.
I get a real excited re-living archived video footage of the big stars like Michael Jordan, Maradona, Tiger Woods, and Muhammad Ali in their prime – outfits & of course the equipment they were using.
How do you do this creative research, bringing current references and aesthetics within the leather universe to so many different sports and places?
Our understated and casual gear reflect our attitude toward life & how athletes used to go about their business.
“We tend to favor neutral leather Pantones with clean colorways & simple natural logo deboss which is very much against the grain with today’s more flashy designs and company logos.”
When working on a special project, this is where we can be more creative and experimental, evident in our recent collaboration with artist Kehinde Wiley, in which we created a full-color leather basketball in the same design as one of his most celebrated paintings.
“There is no real limit on what we can achieve in the sporting goods space, which is why we get so excited when we get approached with cool projects.”
Is there a difference in how you design, treat, and think about leather for each sport, for example?
There is definitely a lot to consider when producing leather products for each sport – for each of our product niches, we will use specific cuts of leather, different gauges, regarding the thickness and also different types of material, from cowhide to buffalo.
“Each leather has certain properties which suit different products. Most of our products are made with full-grain cowhide leather as this type offers strength, durability, and workability for most products.”
But for example, our Golf Gloves are made with a high quality sheep leather which has a beautiful soft texture and provides enhanced grip for the golf club, and our balls are made from a special bison hide which provides a rugged and authentic look & feel. Our product development team is constantly experimenting with different types of material and tanning techniques to offer something unique.
What are Modest Vintage Player plans for the future?
The future for MVP is exciting, we have just signed an official licensing agreement with arguably the world’s biggest sporting club which we hope will get us in front of a massive global audience. We are also looking to delve into clothing offerings. Simple, clean high-quality staples after the hugely successful launch of our first range which sold out in a matter of days.
Lastly, we would love to open up a flagship retail store where we can really engage with our MVP fans, and where our products can be touched, used – and smelled.
“Leather products really are better in person as each item is a little unique, something that e-commerce can’t really show clearly.”