Meet Your Maker: Xavier Davies of Modom

  • Style
posted by James Willmott

We caught up with the man behind the magic of Modom, Head of Design, Mr. Xavier Davies.

Read on and get further insight to the design process behind surf hardware, how he first got into design, what he gets up to outside of Modom and much more.

Xavier, thanks for catching up mate. You recently returned from a trip to Japan. What were you doing over there?
Hey no problem, thank you! Yeah, I just got home from a trip to Shibuya gathering inspo from the stylish folk in Tokyo town, followed by the Greenroom festival in Yokohama which is a pretty mental surf/art/music/film fest in a picturesque part of Japan. I also hung with some pals that work over there.

Where’s Modom HQ?
Torquay, Victoria, Australia.

Walk us through a typical day as a designer at Modom.
Ideally sneak out of the house early for a wave before meeting the rest of the team in the office, fire through a few emails to suppliers, surf (‘more product testing’), nail some traction/graphic/leash/photoshoot depending on the season then shoot home in time to hang with my young fam and tuck them into bed.

Tell us a couple of strange/quirky things that takes place behind the scenes at HQ?
We have weird visitors daily that just like to hang out with us in our new office, from older surfy types with endless hours of stories to frothing young shredders to WSL surfing royalty.

Describe the Modom crew in 3 words.
Sexually. Active. Males.?

Walk us through the design process for Modom’s new surf hardware collection?
A lot of planning, development and working with our factories goes on behind the scenes and each team rider has a lot of say in what they are using – most send sketches, some photos of their 90’s wardrobes, and go over every detail with us – once that is sorted we work out how to make it happen with our suppliers – sampling and refining designs – shooting catalogues – before releasing the stuff out there into the wild for everyone to enjoy.

Where do you draw inspiration for the designs of Modom’s surf hardware and other bits and pieces?
Specifically no other surf or surf hardware brands where possible. Progressive. Modern. Fresh. Innovative. Is our little mantra. We try to look at everything differently… Cat walks, footwear design, bloggers and websites that are completely disconnected to surf for colour and design inspiration.

What tail pad will we see on your board?
It’s hard to go past Blackness ii or iii, both look amazing on any board, but the new Freestone is a personal fave too.

You also do a bit of freelance work. Who for? What’s involved?
Yeah I’m lucky enough to have done some stuff for buddies at Critical Slide, Patagonia, Glide Fins and a few others as well as Reef and Modom. Its a juggle but much fun to be had creating.

Give us the brief history of Xavier Davies.
Born a while ago, currently living.

How did you first get into design? Let alone something as niche as surf hardware design?
At a critical point in high school I got some advice – ‘get a gig doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’, I’ve always loved drawing and had a passion for surfing which lead me to graphic design and creating artwork for apparel and that merged into surf hardware design a few years ago when Modom Top Dog Jack Perry asked me to come on board and help put together a range of traction for them.

What is your ideal Sunday?
Not being hungover on a Sunday is pretty good, I’d settle for that.

What do you get up to outside of Modom?
I do a bunch of art and other projects with some buddies, guys like Trent Whitehead, Otis Carey, Ozzie wright, Tom Milledge, Lee Vaiese and many more under the collective ‘Wax Off’. ‘Fin’ was a super fun show you may have seen? Held at Thalia St in the USA, More to come in the future. Also fortunate to be hanging with a mad posse consisting of my beautiful wife and legend children. Our adventures take up every other minute of downtime.

What’s playing in your headphones right now?
I generally annoy the entire office and don’t use headphones – ‘Cause I’m a ma’aaan woman’ by Tame Impala is playing right now.

The last place you travelled?
Japan – Shibuya – Yokohama.

Next stop?
Somewhere warmer than here with a peeling righthander out front.

What’s next?
Lunch. You mean with Modom? We have a killer hardware range coming out next summer, building on our previous wins, a couple of really cool colabs with other brands we are digging, Modom world domination becoming ever closer.