It is with great sadness that I share the news that Equmen’s founder, Gavin Jones (47), died at his farm in Goulburn (New South Wales, Australia) on July 12 this year.
As a long-time advertiser and friend of UndershirtGuy.com, the company notified me of their tragic loss in late July, and out of respect for the Equmen team and Mr. Jones’ family, I held off posting the news until there was more information to share.
In the Australian community, Gavin was most known for being the Aboriginal Founder of the Deadly Awards, an annual celebration of indigenous achievement, though he was the champion and creator of several other initiatives.
Mr Jones started the Deadly Sounds music and culture radio show at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative in Redfern in 1993. That spawned the Deadly Awards – the 20th celebration of which, at the Opera House, was to be screened on SBS and watched by as many as seven in 10 indigenous Australians.
Mr Jones established the Deadly Vibe Group and Gavin Jones Communications. Much of his work, including on government programs, focused on healthy lifestyles and anti-drug messages.
The Deadly’s lost federal funding worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and reports state that Jones was devastated after learning of the cuts in June 2014.
As of early September, many of Gavin’s businesses, including Equmen Pty Limited, have entered administration (
Several reports show that Equmen (founded in 2007) had incurred startup losses of around $3 million.
David Levi of Levi Consulting was appointed administrator. Levi indicated to SmartCompany Equmen had incurred startup trading losses of around $3 million.
“In my experience, it is common that startups incur losses and that has been the position in relation to the company,” says Levi.
Equmen had a team of four employees and was based in a rented premise in Sydney.
On its website, Equmen lists four Australian retailers as stockists including David Jones, as well as high-profile international stockists including Saks 5th Avenue in the US, Selfridges in the UK and Brown Thomas in Ireland.
The company did not engage directly in design or manufacturing of it products and housed its stock in third party warehouses, according to Levi.
Another report on the Sydney Morning Herald goes into some additional detail about the company being unable to pay staff and creditors since July, and stock in the US has been frozen since late July for “non-payment of warehouse invoices”.
A meeting with creditors was scheduled on September 11.
Gavin Jones and the team at Equmen should be duly credited for making “shapewear for men” commercially popular. While other brands offered compression gear well before Equmen, it wasn’t until Equmen was initially dubbed as “Spanx for Men” in late 2008 before it [the men’s slimming undershirts/shapewear category] became a product subject-matter that was openly and actively discussed by the media.
It’s unclear what will happen with the Equmen brand and its products after this liquidation event, though my hope is that all is not lost.
Equmen has been a long-time friend and partner. I am truly saddened to hear of this tragic news and it’s with mad respect that I want to personally wish the very best to Gavin’s family, friends, and to fine team over at Equmen.
9/15/14 – Status Update
Just received this update from my main contact at Equmen:
Thank you for holding off in writing this story. Late last week EQUMEN was appointed an Administrator and therefore we are not in Liquidation. The future of EQUMEN is in the hands of the CEO who will retain the brand and IP. I will provide you more information as we have it.
We appreciate your ongoing support.
Sounds like promising news…I’ll share more info as I receive it.