Porter James Sports Newspread


(PJS)
Hey Zayyar, welcome to Porter James Sports. Now there’s probably a few ways in which we could describe your line(s) of work. What is it exactly that you do?

(ZWT)
Thanks for having me Josh. It has been amazing connecting with you over the past few years. Now to see your own ideas come into fruition through Porter James Sports is immensely exciting and I am proud of what you’ve achieved thus far.

As for myself, I work in Digital Marketing & E-Commerce. I also run Newspread, an independent media platform that shares ideas, stories, concepts and frameworks relevant to aiding communities and the people within them. Personally, I consider it as an avenue to educate and better yourself.


(PJS)
Tell us about Newspread, how did it come about?

(ZWT)
Originally in my early 20’s Newspread began in PDF format. The PDF was sent via an email that was sent to our database on a monthly basis. This “e-magazine” contained images, videos, original written content and links to anything of value to culturally inform others.

Today, we’ve evolved into a full media platform that focuses on topics such as fashion, design, entrepreneurship and self-development. We action this by primarily creating original written content and interviewing like-minded individuals from around the globe.

Porter James Sports Newspread



(PJS)
What have been some of your proudest moments and biggest lessons during your Newspread journey?

(ZWT)
My proudest moments are always when I engage with people who read our stories, purchase our products or are even aware of what we do. The support from people you know (or don’t) with regard to something you are passionate about speaks volumes and I am forever grateful to them.

One lesson I abide by is to go at your own pace. Slow down if you have to, speed up if you can. Newspread is a passion project to me. The infrastructure and business model I have built allows for us to work to our schedule - not anyone else's. Most importantly have fun, if you lose the joy and attraction of doing something it becomes a chore.


A life well-designed to me is freedom and contentment. The ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want with the people you care for most.


(PJS)
From Tyrell Winston to Caleb Flowers of Hathenbruck, you’ve really built a global brand. How have you managed to do this, network and remain consistent in your execution?

(ZWT)
You have to have no fear. If I showed you my email outbox there would be a minimum of a hundred influential names I’ve contacted. Those who end up featured on our website are just the small percentage of those willing to share their journey on our platform and have something meaningful to contribute. For us it’s all about quality not quantity.

In terms of remaining consistent with what we release I always think to myself - “Is this something I would want to read?”, “Does this give me value?”. Answering these questions ensures we don’t derail from who we are and what we are trying to produce.

Porter James Sports Newspread Porter James Sports Newspread


(PJS)
Tell us about the objects and apparel side of Newspread. What inspires your work and connects all that you design?

(ZWT)
Our in-house merchandise and product delivery is a natural extension of our thinking but in physical format. It is a way we can connect with our digital audience through tangible goods and for them to bring a piece of Newspread into their homes.

Themes we pay close attention to are circled around education. Books, reading, schooling, self-development and so on are all relevant to our audience and we consider that the best investment we can make is to ourselves.


(PJS)
Now on a personal note, I know you have a deep love for watches. How did this come about?

(ZWT)
When I was growing up I had a Casio W-96H-1A, it was my everyday watch and was with me through primary and intermediate school. It had an alarm, stopwatch and dual time functions. From there I graduated into a few other brands such as Citizen and Tissot.

It wasn’t until I finished university that I started to look at watches differently than mere timekeeping tools. Treat them well and they’ll last a lifetime. Furthermore thanks to the Internet my interest grew and I went down the rabbit hole of educating myself on horology - the brands, the mechanics and the variations are all fascinating. The collecting aspect of watches remind me of sneaker culture multiplied by 100.

Porter James Sports Newspread Porter James Sports Newspread


(PJS)
What is your favourite watch you own and your favourite you don’t yet have?

(ZWT)
My personal favourite is the Seiko SARB033, it’s the quintessential everyday watch. It pairs well with a variety of outfits and can be used in a range of situations be it formal or casual. It features a creamy almost ivory dial and the only complication is the date, this allows for a minimal aesthetic where less really is more. Personally, I wear it on a black leather alligator strap but it is equally refined on its steel bracelet.

As for what I don’t have yet, there are many watches I lust over (haha) and I look forward to growing my collection slowly. A particular piece that stands out for me is a Patek Phillipe Calatrava 3796G in 18k White Gold specifically made in 1995 - my birth year. While the watch itself is very simple it’s more about what the watch symbolises and would mean to me personally. Firstly it’s a Patek, arguably the greatest watch brand that exists on the planet. It definitely adds a certain aura when you have reached the pinnacle of horology.

Secondly, I don’t think a lot of people would choose a Calatrava model from Patek - you’d likely hear Natuillus, Aquanaut or a Grand Complication variant, that to me makes this specific watch even cooler as it flys under the radar. Finally, I resonate with having a piece created the same year as I was born, it unequivocally evokes a deeper connection to the item and hopefully lives a long and prosperous life with you. In a few years time maybe it can be a 30th birthday present to myself.


(PJS)
What does a Zayyar Win Thein weekday and weekend ‘uniform’ look like right now?

(ZWT)
Weekday: This varies from day to day and weather permitting but generally speaking - a polo shirt, wool trousers, Common Projects or chocolate suede Penny Loafers if I want to dapper it up.

Weekend: Stick to basics and keep it comfortable. Uniqlo plain t-shirt, black Nike shorts, Dri-Fit socks, Air Force One’s or some variation of a Nike sneaker.


(PJS)
Lastly, what does a life well-designed look like to you?

(ZWT)
A life well-designed to me is freedom and contentment. The ability to do whatever you want, whenever you want with the people you care for most. If you achieve this then I believe your life is well-designed and you’ve won the game of life. Your prize is indulging in the greatest asset - time.

Porter James Sports Newspread

In Conversation with Zayyar Win Thein of Newspread