Denim Live Lettering at Universal Store

For Vogue Fashion's Night Out, I was invited to customise denim purchases on-site at Universal Store in Melbourne Central.

We love being able to add a special touch to any kind of event, and it's even better when we can physically be there to do so! Live Lettering has quickly become one of the most popular services we offer at F&F, and I'm not complaining. Taking part in a Vogue (!!) fashion event at one of Australia's leading clothing stores was definitely a September highlight.


A week before the event, Universal kindly sent me this amazing black denim jacket for me to play with, as well as a bunch of Ironlak paints!

At first, I was thinking I'd do a large design across the back. But after staring at the jacket for a day or two, I started noticing all the different placements available to me that were a bit more subtle. Inspired by strategic tattoo placements, I painted small designs onto the collar and above the pocket. I was quite smitten by how it turned out.


1. "can you not?" cheekily written under the back collar in silver / 2. Close-up of me painting by my studio mate, Leona Fietz

What I love about Live Lettering is all the different ideas that come in from the PR & marketing teams that dream them up. To date, I've written on leather, perfume bottles, marble, and canvas tote bags.

I was a bit nervous about this one, as it requires a bit more layout work beforehand - and because it's someone's clothing, which is so personal. Definitely want to make sure they are happy with the end result. After experimenting with the jacket a bit more, I felt confident and ready to tackle customer requests at the event.


The event itself was way bigger than I expected. I arrived at Melbourne Central (one of the shopping malls in the city) and there were stalls set up all over the atrium indicating a special activation - I was in good company, with Georgia Perry creating drawings for Kit Kit customers, and the Letterettes customising products as well! Each store participating in Fashion's Night Out had pink balloons and a pink spotlight at their entrance.

I was set up almost like a "live mannequin" in the window of Universal, so I had many curious passers-by watching me. Thank goodness I was put to work right away, with a few pending requests from before I showed up.

1. Cute fluoro pink request from "Swish" - the owner's nickname / 2. Photo by my friend Zoe Calulo

The shop was bustling and I was kept busy with requests for most of the evening. Because each item was different - from jackets, to jeans, and even hats - I had to plan out the placement and design for each one individually.

Smaller designs (i.e. the foliage) took me about 15 minutes, while larger pieces (i.e. the custom lettering) were closer to 30 minutes, start to finish. This includes adding several layers of paint to make sure it's fully opaque, especially for colour combos like neon pink on light denim.

1. Copper lettering on back pocket of jeans / 2. View from my workspace

I loved working on all of the different and creative requests. It made me smile when someone mentioned they bought a denim piece specifically to have it customised! A couple of Vogue editors came by the visit and take photos, which I was nervous and hopefully not super awkward for.

Thanks to Universal Store for having me, it was truly a pleasure! If you or the company you work for would like to hire us for an event, definitely get in touch.



  • Tags: customisation event live lettering special events


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