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Will the real Sean Satha please stand up?

by Sean Satha on September 15, 2015

A photo of Sean and his actual twin brother on holiday in New York earlier this year. 

Today we sat down with our favourite Australian sunglass designer and Local Supply founder, Sean Satha.

For those who don’t know, Local Supply began after Sean lost an expensive pair of sunglasses while having a few Sunday afternoon drinks at his local pub. His lost sunnies had cost more than a week's rent, which was enough to ruin his weekend. Sean, being an engineer by trade and inquisitive by nature, channelled his frustration into building a prototype of his perfect pair of everyday sunglasses.

Just two years after running Local Supply from the living room of his home in Bondi Beach, the brand has steadily built an impressive chain of local and international stockists including David Jones, BEAMS and Opening Ceremony. Local Supply sunnies can now be seen gracing the faces of locals everywhere, from Cara Delevingne to Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Today we’re talking to Sean about something a little different… Last week in a botched identity theft case, New York police heavy-handedly arrested the handsome American tennis star James Blake on the basis that he looked like Sean’s “twin brother”. Sean has since found himself in the middle of international police operation and media circus. We spoke with Sean to hear his thoughts on the situation. 

Prime suspects: Twins or strangers? You decide...

The NY Police Commissioner and Chief of Detectives are convinced that you look like James Blake’s “twin brother”. How do you feel about being mistaken for James Blake? 

Initially I was stoked that I was mistaken for being a professional athlete. Honestly, I don’t think I look like James Blake – but he‘s a good-looking bloke – so I can understand the potential confusion. It's kinda funny that the police commissioner is so convinced we looked like twins. Ironically, I actually have a twin brother – but he's not James Blake. 

How did your photo end up in the hand of the NYPD and the international media? 

I'm told that they grabbed the picture from my brother’s Instagram account. It’s an old photo of me holding my mate’s newborn son. My name is clearly tagged at the bottom of the photo - so I reckon this whole mess could have been avoided if someone had spent 10 minutes doing some research on Google prior to the manhunt.

So why do you feel that you were singled out? 

I can only assume there was a city-wide manhunt for tall, dark and handsome males – which is why James Blake and I became targets. Seriously though, I heard that they ended up arresting a white male from England for the crime. Not too sure what happened there?

How do you feel about being referred to as a suspect by various media outlets?

I don’t appreciate being referred to as a suspect or thief, in any capacity. I feel like I have been a victim of identity theft - by the media and the police - I don’t think it's ok to publish my photo using that sort of caption. I was home in Australia the entire time, I was never a suspect in this case and I have nothing to do with these crimes. 

So you weren’t in the U.S. when these events unfolded? 

No, I was in Sydney during the whole chain of events. As you know, I started Local Supply, which is owned and operated by me. This keeps me pretty busy. So while all of this was happening in the U.S., I was at our design studio in South Sydney preparing for our Australian summer launch. 

Have you seen the video of James Blake’s arrest? What your thoughts on the situation? 

Yes, I’ve watched the video – and I think it’s outrageous. James Blake was unjustly assaulted and intimidated during the botched arrest. Mr Blake handled the situation like an absolute champion. I respect him for addressing the situation with a cool head and a kind heart. He’s used his profile to give a voice to others that have suffered from excessive force but are unable to speak out.

So you think the use of force was excessive?

I only know what I’ve read in the news – but my understanding is that the two culprits were a couple of students committing credit card fraud. I agree that is a serious offense – but let’s face it, they weren’t exactly armed and dangerous. I read that they spent over $8,000 on Louis Vuitton bags, Cristal champagne and high-end sneakers… If that’s dangerous crime, then maybe the police should crash tackle Kanye West? 

Hear Seth Meyers thoughts on the situation below:

And You can watch Sean's interview with CBS New York here