Mark Mitchell couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The Australian designer honed his craft at several corporations before launching Urge, the contemporary, Australian footwear line that is making waves around the world. “My family has been in the leather goods industry for over fifty years,” explains the Northern Beaches resident. “It’s in my blood.”
Inspired by Sydney street style—and endless global travel—the brand has been offering both men’s and women’s wear for over a decade. These are designs that merge the best in craftsmanship, style and fit, a winning combination that has seen them become one of Australia’s most successful footwear brands.
The company headquarters are based near Mitchell’s home on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, which has its own unique coastal culture. It’s an endless source of creative insight for Mitchell and his team, one that helps shape the brand’s aesthetic and visual identity. “We have a contemporary yet relaxed design aesthetic which is relevant in many international markets,” says Mitchell. “There is always a mystery attached to foreign designers and Australia has a feel-good vibe at the moment.”
There’s no denying geographic positioning can be a definite advantage in the global footwear industry. A consumer’s desire for something new, something exotic often provides a competitive edge for independent brands. Being Australian, is something Mitchell views as a strong differentiation point for the brand, one he hopes, will continue to propel Urge on the path of international expansion.
“I feel the U.S. consumer really connects to the quintessential Aussie lifestyle we portray, and it’s showed through some strong orders,” says Mitchell. “We are launching in Japan within the next six months which is another really exciting market and we’re investing a lot of time to perfecting our website and e-commerce so our customers continue to receive the very best service. We also have some great activations planned in Australia that I’m really looking forward to.”
As summer winds down here in the U.S., Mitchell is gearing up for some fun in the sun in Australia—with a possible mobile store in the works. In the meantime, we highly recommend giving into the Urge. You won’t be disappointed. UrgeFootwear.com.au — A.G.