Since selling off DEAD, Sam Moore has been busy working on his newest venture – PYRA STUDIOS – a brand, in his words, that is :

“designed to unite your outdoor experience with functional designs that can withstand the elements, fitting seamlessly into everyday life with a noteworthy presence in the realm of contemporary streetwear.”

Having been a fan of Sam and his work at DEAD from back in the day, I thought it’d be nice to check in and see what’s happening with PYRA STUDIOS, why he’s launching a new brand and what’s the future hold. Have a read, it’s something a little different then our regular surf chatter.


Empire Ave – Grew up where?
Sam Moore – In Hawkes Bay, the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

EA – First surfboard?
SM – Retro fish twin fin swallow tail, with a super colourful spray

EA – Early jobs?
SM – Working retail at the local streetwear store.

EA – How did those jobs define who you are now?
SM – I have always been interested in streetwear and branding from a young age. I remember being in school always coming up with brand names and logos. I was super into skiing then, so they were mainly based around that.

EA – What does your day to day look like now?
SM – I get up at around 6am, and take Zumi, my dog, for a walk along the coastal cliff track in Dover Heights, I come home and meditate for 15-20 Mins. Check emails, and then dive into the day. Whether that’s, branding, designing, marketing, production, talking with China Factories, photoshoots etc then I’ll try fit in a surf in the late arvo or Yoga / Gym.

EA – How did you get into fashion?
SM – I did a BA degree in Graphic Design, and when I moved to Sydney I worked for a company designing their skateboard and surfboard graphics, I then did a quick internship at Volcom, and worked for a few other brands like Mambo, and then eventually ended up being head designer at General Pants which really rounded me as a designer and exposed me to a whole new world with epic travel opportunities, and basically just working with all your best mates. It was great times, and also a really creative hub. It’s funny because a lot of us all left at the same time to start our own brands. Dan / Lee – Assembly Label, Pip PE Nation, Benny The People Vs, and me Dead Studios.


EA – How did DEAD come to existence?
SM – I started it on the side just as a creative outlet making Tee’s. It then got some great momentum and I was eventually able to step away and work on it full time from a little retail store in Bondi.

EA – Was it just you, or partners?
SM – It was just me at the start and then I brought on an angel investor.

EA – How many names and brand marks did you go thru before deciding on this one?
SM – Well, it was actually called Dead Castle Project, and then I just shortened it to basically Dead.

EA – Highlights of DEAD?
SM – When Kylie got papped in our tights it was crazy for us it went viral because the tights were see-through! We sold out in like 20 Mins, and then I decided to just put stock levels at unlimited. We eneded up doing $30K overnight, and we had to try and rush production, so customers had to wait a month!

EA – Lowlights of DEAD?
SM – With the pains of massive YOY growth, comes with cashflow problems. This was the most challenging part, trying to fund the growth.

EA – Distribution wise, did you get better sales via .com or bricks?
And who was the best wholesaler’s to deal with?
SM – We always had a fairly good e-com business from the start, which basically organically funded the brand. But as we got bigger we picked up more and more majors. (General Pants, Culture Kings, Glue, The Iconic, Urban Outfitters, Myer, Style Runner.) It put more stress on the business because we were growing so fast our cash-flow cycle became longer. Wholesale was a big part of Dead Studios.


EA – How would you compare and contrast the DEAD experience versus setting up PYRA STUDIOS?
SM – Dead just evolved into what it was without to much thought into the brand DNA, Vision, core values etc.  With PYRA STUDIOS we have a clear vision of where we sit in the market and who we cater for. We are looking at the bigger picture from the start. As I said above we want to inspire people to get back outside into the Elements by shooting amazing campaigns outdoors, connecting with real people via storytelling. We are catering for the everyday people who can wear our technical jackets from the mountains to the street. We designed luxury quality at affordable prices, and make the best products to last beyond the season.

EA – Why bring a new brand into the fashion/apparel market where it’s super crowded and competitive. How do you separate yourselves from the others?
SM- PYRA STUDIOS  sits in the niche between sportswear and streetwear with alpine functions. We also have sustainability at the forefront of vision. We may not be perfect, but each season we aim to get better and better and consider our effects on the environment. We use all biodegradable packaging, we use 3M Insulite in our puffa jackets instead of Goose Down, we use ECONYL which is recycled plastic waste in some of our Nylon windbreakers, and use organic cotton in our tee programme. We consider our environmental impact on all decisions we make. Our sustainability journey is to always improve where we have been in the past.

EA – What’s one mistake a shocking number of other brands continually make in your eyes?
SM – They chase hype trends. We are all guilty of it, but you need to stay true to your customer.

EA – Where do you see PYRA STUDIOS evolving to, ending up at?
SM – I want PYRA STUDIOS to be a leader in the premium streetwear space, leading the way with innovation, sustainability and designing a quality product to last beyond the season. 

EA – Whens launch?
SM – Today!

EA – Apart from online, where will it be available on launch?
SM – We have launched through Culture Kings, Urban Sporte, and our PYRA STUDIOS online store.

EA – Price points?
SM – Organic Tees $89, Technicall Hoodies $180, Cordura Nylon Windbreakers $280, 3M Insulite Puffa jackets $400

EA – What’s the end game objective?
SM – I’m still young and love what I do, I’m not looking at a quick Exit anytime soon.

EA – Can we talk about the partnership with Culture Kings? Did they invest? Lend distribution opportunities? Order early to get the cash flow going?

SM – I have always had a great relationship with Culture Kings, they have supported PYRA from season 1, and will continue to do so if they product sells!


EA – What are the top 3 essential design elements that go into making a good piece of outerwear?
SM – Is it functional, does it fit our customer, will it last beyond the season and for a life time?

EA – What’s one thing not many people know about designing a jacket that may be interesting?
SM – Zips are key, if you don’t use seam-sealed zips, this is were wind, moisture/water can get in. Even if the shell is waterproof, if your zips and seams are not sealed, you’ll still get wet.

EA – It seems PYRA is taking on a lot more environmental considerations in product development, give us the low down on the approach/es…
SM – We consider our environmental impact on all decisions we make. Our sustainability journey is to always improve where we have been in the past. We need to be a leader in the streetwear space. there is a massive movement in fashio at the moment, which is great but I feel that streetwear is the one been left behind. We want to be a leader in our industry and create change and start conversations. We only get 1 planet, and if we ruin it, then what good it is for all of us!

EA – What are your starting points when designing for a new season, in particular, the forthcoming launch collection?
SM – I usually start with colour pallete, and then go into silhouettes that are key for the season.

EA – You take inspiration from many facets of design, how do you apply these inspirations to the design of your collections?
SM – I take a lot inspiration from the 20th-century design principles that forms follow function.

EA – Do you have particular artists or designers that have been of interest to you lately?
SM – Ambush, Reece Cooper, and Patagonia for there sustainability leadership.

EA – The textiles and designs used in PYRA’s debut collection have unique characteristics. What is your process for selecting fabrics or designing cuts/fits?
SM – With a core value that we design the best quality garments, we need to consider the fabrics that live up to this. We use, Cordura Nylon, Polartec fleece, ECONYL recycled plastic for Nylon, 3M Insulity and Primaloft in our down jackets, and certified organic cotton in our tees.


EA – What do you listen to while you work?
SM – I listen to a lot of Podcasts,. How I built htis, Glossy Podcast, Gary Vee, What you will learn, Business of Hype, Tony Robbins, Girl Boss radio.

EA – What are you currently reading?
SM – No Mans Land, Where Growing Companies Fail – By Doug Tatum

EA – The best advice you’ve ever received?
SM – From my father. You only have an age bracket between 25-35 to take risks, where you don’t have much responsibility in terms of Kids, Mortgages etc, now is the time to take risks and start your business and make it happens because the consequences if you fail are a lot less impactful, and you can easily re build if you need to.

EA – What apps, software, tools can’t you live w/o?
SM – Audible, Podcasts, Shopify, Insight timer (For Meditation)

EA – Where do you love to travel, and what won’t you travel w.o?
SM – I love going back home to New Zealand and also love Japan which I have been too 13 times.

EA – What is the most important thing you’ve learnt about being a successful entrepreneur?
SM – To trust your self, and have a lot of perseverance. Also listen and learn from other people, surround yourself with people who are own the same journey.

EA – Looking back, what do you think the biggest factors were that got you to where you are today?
SM – Hard work, determination and passion. I love what I do, I think if I didn;t theres no way I would have put myself through that much stress!

EA – Hacks for the aspiring entrepreneurs on the move
SM – You are who you hang around with, connect with inspiring people and learn from them. Business is 80% relationships, don’t burn your bridges.

For more around the topics we spoke about on PYRA STUDIOS, hit the below links :
*PYRA Online Store
*Old interview with Sam

Of if you’re chasing some more interviews, hit the below:
*Jun Jo on In4mation, Vast and the Momentum Generation
*Sam Coombes from TCSS on STAB, Art and MTV
*Bosko talks shooting Film, Sports & the Surf Industry