The Collaborative Process: A Conversation With Mikey Nolan Of Double Rainbouu

Mikey Nolan & Toby Jones. Photo: Nate Palmer

Mikey Nolan & Toby Jones. Photo: Nate Palmer

Double Rainbouu is the brain child of Australian designers Mikey Nolan and Toby Jones, referencing heavy from your Summers spent under the sun and palm trees. On the back of a very successful 2017 the brand well known for it's vibrant and bold Hawaiian shirts now launches a collaboration with eyewear brand, Le Specs. Entitled 'OUT NOW' the campaign was shot around Thailand strongly inspired by the vivid tropical colours and prints of seaside Australia. We were fortunate enough to fire through some questions to Mikey Nolan, one half of Double Rainbouu.

Your collaboration with Le Specs is about to release, how did you attack the approach of this vs. designing something in-house?

Designing apparel in-house is very print heavy. For our collaboration with Le Specs we wanted to focus on interesting wearable unisex frames, in 2 colour combinations and with subtle floral details to give a little hint of the tropics.

You’re no stranger to starting extremely successful labels, how different was the creation of Double Rainbouu vs. Ksubi?

I actually wasn’t at Ksubi from the very start, but was there a long time for sure. They are different stories. But both were born in similar ways I guess created by friends who wanted to have fun and wanted a brand as a platform for ideas. I think with both brands it was important to have an interesting narrative. The beauty of Ksubi is that it was organic and impulsive, I hope Double Rainbouu shares some of these qualities but as brands aesthetically and in terms of what they offer they are quite different.

Hawaiian shirts are the core crux of the brand, how do you go about finding a print or design?

We start with a pretty abstract concept, then go off on some major tangents and research stuff that vaguely fit that loose narrative and then post rationalise in some way because it's just a Hawaiian shirt at the end of the day.

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How often do you go to the beach?

3-4 times a week in Summer preferably.

I personally saw Double Rainbouu at Barney’s in NYC though I had heard the name a few times in passing. Do you think having that calibre of a stockist helps validate the brand vs. a direct to consumer? 

Yeah I think for sure. It doesn’t mean the brand isn’t valid if it’s not in a store like Barneys but yeah I think, people stop and take notice. It helps your own direct to consumer having that kind of placement. 

And did you think the brand would grow this quickly?

Yes and no. We have always really believed in the brand obviously, but there were a few things that happened within the first few months even and we were pretty impressed and kind of had to pinch ourselves!

Are you guys looking to do more collaborations in the future?

Yep for sure! This Le Specs collaboration has been so fun and eyewear is just not something we would have gone and done ourselves at all at this early stage. We would like to do lots!

What can we expect from you guys in the next few seasons to come?

We have Australian Fashion Week coming up next week and we are doing a pub show at the iconic Lansdowne Hotel. The show takes over the whole band room upstairs and the pub downstairs too. It will be loud and fast with flashing lights. We will be showing the new sunnies, we have a shoe we collaborated on with Globe, we have an expanded merino knit program, are dabbling in some fashion denim and we have a lot more womens styles, pushing a bit of a beach to disco vibe.

Make sure to check out Double Rainbouu's new season and collaboration with Le Specs available now on their website

Photos: Supplied