Sydney-based designers Toby Jones and Michael Nolan just want to have fun. The duo describes Double Rainbouu, their young beachwear label that is helping bring Hawaiian shirts back to fashion’s fold, as “a good-time brand.”
“People buy it for festivals, birthday parties, weddings. It’s a fun headspace to be in, designing for people on holiday,” Nolan said.
Conceived while on a visit to a Bangkok vintage textiles market, he explained that they started in the category because they felt resortwear had gotten “a bit cliché or aspirational — some Tumblr-ized dream of paradise and it’s just a bit unrelatable.”
The two first got to know each other when they were working at surf label, Insight, before moving to denim phenomenon Ksubi where both rose to senior positions. While clearly not lacking fashion cred, Jones said he prefers to think of Double Rainbouu as a beachwear brand rather than a fashion label.
“The collections are quite simple and we really have a few core products that we work with,” Jones said. “We’re not a traditional brand. We’re not really inventing our shapes every season. Everything we have is core shapes that are designed to be worn on or near the beach.”
The vast majority of Double Rainbouu is designed to have unisex appeal. It did introduce a beach kimono in its resort 2018 for women, but typically there’s an even split between men and women buying their clothes, they said.
A special eyewear collaboration with Le Specs will launch in February of next year but as for what else lies ahead, Nolan said, “There are some obvious things to celebrate, like getting your first retail store, getting into some wholesale accounts, hitting certain revenue targets, but a lot of satisfaction comes from being a platform for ideas, and seeing whether people are receptive.”
“We have achieved a hell of a lot more than we thought we would in this amount of time,” Jones added. “We just thought we’d just design some cool shirts and people will love this, and that’s great.”
Already, the brand has a lineup of prestigious stockists around the globe including Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Stylebop and Joyce.
“I think we want to try to focus on supporting these accounts now,” Nolan said. “We just want to work with them, build the business within those doors and then work on our online business as well. We would love to do some retail as well, hopefully.”