The Very Vintage Day Out is bringing a little something for the gents this year… The Gentlemen’s Lounge!
One of the featured vendors of The Gentlemen’s Lounge is Mad Arab Industries. We asked Ayman from Mad Arab about their humble beginnings and what they’ll be bringing to VVDO.
“I grew up on a steady diet of punk rock, System of a Down and Bill Hicks- I was a kid who loved freedom, self expression and independence – I really hated being told what to do and I took the piss out of everything.
As soon as I left school I grew my hair out long and my beard even longer. My beard was a symbol of my liberty. My boss couldn’t persuade me to shave. Girls couldn’t tease or shame me into picking up a razor. I got called everything from a homeless person to a terrorist – I didn’t care, I was me.
I saw so many of my brothers -bearded or otherwise compromise who they were for work, for their partners or to just ‘fit in’ – a lot of them were depressed or on their way to depression. I wanted to encourage them to embrace who they actually were – to find their essence- to be authentic, unapologetic and most importantly I wanted them to take care of themselves and prioritise their growth and their happiness over pleasing others.
My signature product started as a simple Christmas present for my friends who’d grown their beards out like mine. A few of them had gone against their partner’s wishes in the process and I had to come up with a way to appease their ladies and give the guys something to turn their bristles into manes. My arsenal now includes: beard oils, balms, moustache waxes, pomades, aftershaves and shaving creams – all proudly handcrafted in New Zealand by yours truly – I only use natural ingredients because I’m a tree hugging hippie. My branding is all created by local artists – with each product uniquely packaged with puns, subversive humour and zany illustration.
The fruits of my labour over the past three years is a tightly knit community of brothers who‘ve got each other’s backs. We know how to have a laugh, we know how to look after ourselves and most importantly we’re empowered to be all that we can be(ard).”