The meaning behind our magpies

The Shores magpies insignia has raised quite a few eyebrows since we integrated it into our branding. The magpie is a greatly misunderstood bird, with many myths and legends surrounding it, and it’s the bird that people seemingly love to hate. So why associate it to a brand?

I guess you could say at Shores we do like going against the norm, pushing against the consensus – but our decision to incorporate the magpies wasn’t done to be in any way controversial. We genuinely love magpies and the depth of history and speculation that surrounds them.

In the UK in particular magpies are viewed with some suspicion and indeed superstition. Many people still salute single magpies or say to themselves when they see one, ‘good day Mr. Magpie, how are your wife and children’. This behaviour allegedly dates back hundreds of years and has even been suggested was invented to ‘ward off the devil’. Others are still known to recite the magpie poem ‘one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told.’ Without wanting to pander to superstition we did decide to settle on two Shores magpies, well after all joy is always preferable to sorrow in our book!

Still too many conflicting stories exist regarding the superstitions surrounding magpies to ever get to the true origin, but it is interesting to note that in most of the rest of the World the magpie is considered good fortune and has no ill associations whatsoever.

Other common associations with magpies are of them collecting objects of all kinds and in particular shiny things. Although this fascination with shiny paraphernalia has been more recently and scientifically disproved, it is the borrowing and collecting of a wide variety of ‘stuff’ that interests us the most. Isn’t all creativity essentially a borrowing of other influences? In our Shores cosmic style book, Be You, (which is available for free download here)we talk about ‘stealing’ being the key ingredient cited by most of the great artists of all time as the key to their success. David Bowie famously said,
‘the only art I’ll ever study is stuff that I can steal from’.

Magpies symbolize the creativity that comes from bringing different things together from a variety of sources. That’s what we are doing at Shores. We are taking our jackets and collaborating with artists from all different walks of life and with very different artistic sensibilities and bringing them together to create unique, one-of-a-kind works of wearable or collectable art.

Also with magpies, they appear at first to be just black and white birds but under closer inspection they actually reveal themselves to be a rich kaleidoscope of hues and colours, each bird being very individual and unique – all qualities we absolutely embrace and champion at Shores.