We’re all eager to end the pile of garbage that is 2016, but Australia’s fastest-growing menswear brand has given us something to smile about as the year draws to a close.
Barney Cools has dropped the final piece of their four-part collection, called School of Barney Cools. The latest release continues to feature the brand’s commitment to the fun, playful attitude that’s made it so successful.
According to co-founder and creative director Nat Taubman, there’ll be two new denim styles: the B.Line jean in Blow Out Stonewash and Blow Out Ice. The lineup will also include the Signature Amphibious 17 short, which is a much-hyped hybrid between a technical short and a classic beach short.
For their tees, Barney Cools include new additions to their beloved B.Schooled Tee and the inclusion of the B.Cools B.Cause LS Tee.
We learnt more about the culture behind the brand in our recent chat with Nat.
Tell us about the creative process behind the new collection: inspirations, colour choices, and buzzwords you use to describe it.
“Central to our new collection, as with previous ones also, is the inspiration we’ve drawn from our own day-to-day lives, the tropics and the ’90s. It’s easy-to-wear, playful and conversational, without being too far-fetched. I wouldn’t say we’re pushing the boundaries of fashion, but that’s not what your everyday dude wants.
“We set out to create threads that we would buy and wear – it needs to look rad, feel good, be robust, and be affordable. Our colour pallet varies majorly, with a lot of black, white and army, as well as a bit of pink too – you’d be surprised at how many dudes are after pink these days!”
What sort of music do you guys have blasting in the BC office/studio to help fuel your work energy?
“We share an office space with the ZANEROBE crew, so it really comes down to who’s in charge of the aux cable. When we have control, it’s lush poolside vibes but when they have control it can only be described as noise. This is our vibe.”
How important is it for the Barney Cools team to live the lifestyle that the brand epitomises and how do you guys at the top actively encourage that amongst the wider team?
“Luckily enough for us, the lifestyle side of things comes naturally. The brand reflects our day-to-day lives so it hasn’t had to be a conscious thing. Although it’s come naturally, we still encourage it – pre-work and lunchtime surfs, throwing parties, going on content trips to interesting locations and just getting out of the office as much as possible. Spirits are always high when all the boys are together!”
You started your career designing for ZANEROBE – what’s it like leading team Barney Cools?
“Working on Barney Cools is awesome, I’m surrounded by a great team who all share the same vision. You can see aspects of all of us in the brand, whether it’s the visual side of things, our tone of voice or the product, It’s great to be part of a team that have all jumped on board and made it their baby.”
How is Barney Cools different to ZANEROBE in your eyes?
“The only similarity I see is the fact that we’re both menswear brands. Although there’s a small bit of overlap with consumers, the Barney Cools guy is generally quite different to the ZANEROBE guy.
“Our look, feel and branding is very different and our philosophy is different. We’re more light-hearted, aspirational, and fun-loving, whereas ZANEROBE is a more aligned with your fashion-centric dude. We’re basically salty dawgs, while ZANEROBE are urban dwellers.”
Barney Cools just celebrated its second birthday – what’s your proudest achievement in the last two years?
“There have been so many milestones over the past two years – dropping our first collection, securing accounts with retailers like Nordstrom and most of all, selling out our second birthday party.”
And what are you most looking forward to in 2017?
“Our marketing campaign for 2016 was ‘School of Barney Cools’. In 2017, I’m looking forward to switching things up with our campaign ‘Motel Cools’. Think Palm Springs vibes – very laid back but always classy. Our Motel Cools collections are set to be a lot of fun so definitely keen to drop that on everyone come Jan ’17!”