Hemi Pou runs a really cool boutique off of Cuba Street in Wellington, New Zealand and he recently fielded some questions from us.We really enjoy interacting with people from all over the world through your orders, your online comments and opportunities like this for some one-on-one Q&As. We get to discover different style trends and preferences for various regions around the globe and find these “question and answer” segments invaluable opportunities to unearth varied ways people see the world. Here’s that recent session we had with Hemi.
Z: Where are you originally from?
HP: I was born and bred in Wellington, Aotearoa. My dad is from the Nga Puhi tribe in the Far North and my mum is Pakeha and grew up just outside the city.
Z: What do you like most about Wellington?
HP: The people. We're fiercely proud and protective of our city and its vibrant culture, throw in some of that small town community spirit and a touch of denial (in-joke relating to the weather) and you’ve got the perfect Wellingtonian.
Z: When did you first see Zuriicks and what were your initial impressions of the brand?
HP: Two years ago on some fashion blog that I can’t remember. I was drawn to the clean simple look of the shoes and the good people behind the brand.
Z: How has your view of the shoes changed as the brand has matured?
HP: It hasn't, I love the shoes now (old and new) as much as I did when I first saw them.
Z: What was the first favorite Zuriick you owned?
HP: Beata Canvas - Black
Z: What is your current favorite style?
HP: Rueben - Saddle
Z: We can see you wearing those in the picture you sent us. They look great! What designs sell best in your city out of both boots and shoes? Damien, Shug Mid, Shug Low, Reuben.
Z: What is your favorite color, in general, and if you had to classify your sense of style in everyday dress what would it be?
HP: Indigo. Flash workwear! I'm obsessed with heavyweight denim, flannel shirts and good leather shoes.
Z: Can you talk a little about the store you’re selling from now?
HP: I run my own business because I want to realize my dream and I saw a gap in the market for a store that caters to the man on the other side of puberty but not yet in the grave, possibly 10 - 15 years out from his mid-life crisis. In fact, the store has become a sort of support group for men seeking brotherhood and a shoulder to cry on.
Z: What do you like about the store/area?
HP: That it’s mine and I get to meet and exchange ideas with all kinds of interesting people. Like the young lady who walked into the changing room one day and lifted up her dress, announced her sex addiction, offered pleasures of the flesh, pulled the bible out of her bag and then got taken away by the Police, just another day in the life on Cuba Street.
Z: Where do you go to eat/hang out when you’re in your favorite area of the city, and what area is that?
HP: Pan De Muerto is owned by my good biker mate Tic and is the place to go for wicked no-frills Mexican food served in a dim, loud restaurant that morphs into a nightclub after dark.
Lyall Bay is a rugged coastal suburb next to the airport and 10 minutes south east of the city. I spend a lot of time here with my kids at the beach, surfing, eating, hanging out with friends and taking shelter from the cold, southerly storms that charge through the strait. I live just around the corner in Miramar also known as "Wellywood"... home to Weta Workshop and Peter Jackson's film empire. In case you didn't know they made Lord of the Rings, King Kong some weird sci-fi hippie flick called Avatar and a heap of other movies.
Z: What local music/band and venues are good in the area?
HP: Kora are an amazing band originally made up of four brothers who grew up performing in local pubs. They were playing instruments before they could walk and are one of the best live acts to come out of Aotearoa. San Francisco Bath House just up the road from my store. My dad worked on the door 25 years ago when it was a rough gang bar now all the cool kids go there to see acts like Peaches and Mos Def.
Z: What is a typical weekend night like for you?
HP: My favourite time of the week is usually spent sitting on the lounge floor eating fish & chips with my good lady and two kids, watching the Rugby League and fighting over the TV remote.
HP: I’m a bit slow on the social media stuff but I can confirm that I am a Zuriick Facebook FAN, I will follow you on Twitter and I don't know what Tumblr is.
Z: Well Hemi, here’s a link to our tumblr, besides that, thanks for the great answers and we’d love to meet you sometime. Hopefully we can see this Wellywood you speak of someday.