Face Of The Label: Kai Devenish of Zanerobe

  • Life
  • Style
posted by James Willmott

He’s one of few fronting faces of leading streetwear label Zanerobe, he’s also a photographer, traveller and surfer, though there is so much more to Kai Devenish than first meets the eye. Born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, he eventually made the move to Sydney to chase the dream in front of the camera which since has taken him all over the world allowing for endless exploration, many valuable life lessons and unforgettable experiences, all while building his bank account along the way.

Though his life might sound loud, exciting and full of action, Kai’s humble and focused approach to life is evident the minute down with him. We wanted to dive deeper into what it’s like hanging out with the Zanerobe family and life outside the studio so pinched him for a quick catch up on his last visit to SurfStitch HQ.

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Kai, thanks for stopping into SurfStitch HQ! Give us a run down on who you are and what you’re about.
Thanks for having me! Well, I’m based on the Sunshine Coast at the moment and I’ve been modelling for three and a half years. I’ve moved to Sydney for it in the past, and it’s also taken me to California, Singapore, London and Milan for Fashion week. I sort of found my feet eventually in the industry and decided to dial back a bit, and now I operate out of my own business as a sole trader. I’m a vegetarian and believe strongly in sustainability. I like to treat my body right, but everyone knows we all slack off here and there with that! I don’t always measure myself up as a model now either, because I have three other jobs. I also believe heavily in morals and treating people right. Oh yeah, I’m also really addicted to coffee.

It’s good to not have all your eggs in one basket though! Right?
Absolutely, I mean you never know when something life changing could just happen and your path could just change.

Summed up well Mr. Devenish! What’s been happening lately?
I’ve been hanging at home up the coast lately. I just bought a van, so I’ve been cruising around in that lately. I just came back from a two week trip actually, where I went from the Sunshine Coast down to the snow for a few days. It was just full of good times too, hanging with my mates, skating heaps. I even ended up having about ten days to myself which was nice. I was just spending a lot of time chilling out, though looking back at it I needed to, because then I cruised into Sydney and partied with the Zanerobe crew.  They always like to lead me astray!

Sounds incredible! Tell us what it’s like hanging out with the Zanerobe crew?
Yeah it’s sick, they now refer to me as part of their own family. No ask is ever too big and they are all really good friends of mine. The office is in Melrose Street in Rosebery, just out of the city and it’s a cool spot. I remember shooting one afternoon and we were all hanging out having Corona’s and Yolanda Be Cool was playing right next to me. Chris and Luke, the designers, are absolute legends and Jono and Leith, who actually own Zanerobe, are fantastic. No one has a big head in the company, it’s all a very even playing field vibe with no bigotry or anything like that.

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Tell us a typical day when you work with them?
Generally they’ll fly me down and put me up in a hotel to start with, which is always epic. I’ll then either go to the studio or the office, depending on where we are shooting. We’ll then nail out 200 plus outfits for a full day, maybe some creative shots too. Generally a full day is from about 8-5pm. Depending how much has to get done, I’ll either stay for the night and then repeat the process the next day or grab a flight back up the coast that same day. Busy, but I love it. Like I said, the guys are like family. On my way back from the snow I actually just stopped in say hello and ended up having a two hour lunch with the crew. I originally just wanted to ask about what the they thought of me getting a haircut and we ended up hanging out for ages to finally get the ‘yep do it’ answer at the end of lunch. The guys really are fantastic to work for, I couldn’t be happier.

Apart from modelling you are also a keen photographer. Like we said, never keep all your eggs in one basket, right! Can you describe your style and tell us what equipment you use?
Yeah for sure! Well at the moment also do work in a photography store which I love. I’ve got a 5d Mk 3 and some L series glass. I just bought a 35mm Sigma art series lens which is beautiful, so clean and so crisp. I mainly like shooting landscape stuff, or if I’m shooting people, it would be individuals I’m really close with. At the moment it’s a hobby, but that 35mm lens is definitely going to come in handy for portraits. Yeah, hopefully portraits and stuff soon but I definitely want to keep the art side of things to make sure I produce the style I really want. I‘ve seen how mass produced some stuff is through my modelling and I want to steer away from that, that’s why I want to follow the more arty side.

Where would you like to see your photography one day? Would you want to take to the exhibition side of things?
Yeah, for sure. I think a website would be the first step to really start showcasing my work and getting it out there. Obviously there is social media too, especially Instagram, which I am currently so bad at updating so I’d have to get on top of that. I don’t like using filters or lighting or anything, so I’d still have to steer clear of that unless a circumstance came along where I would want that effect. I use a few of my grandfather’s camera’s that he left behind for me too, and I love keeping that dream alive. He was a professional photographer, screen printer and artist, so even practicing the art itself pays tribute to him.

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