Banks is a relatively young brand, founded in 2014. It is probably the first surf inspired fashion brand that is tailoring for the 25 to 40-year-old male who has grown up with surf brands and is now looking for a brand that has matured with him. The Banks mission is, quoting their website, to merge style and understated functionality with a sustainable approach to design and development.
The brand was founded by two veterans Brad Gerlach (former pro-surfer) and Tim Cochran (surf industry professional), who both grew up surfing, but wanted products that were less branded, better quality, made with better fabrics and more understated, so that's what they have created. They are also approaching product in more sustainable way, and each year they will look at decreasing our carbon footprint.
Here is a nice interview with founder Tim Cochran on the brands philosophy. Read the full story on Stab magazine
“The design has to be great,” says Banks co-founder Mr Tim Cochran, “great furniture or great architecture creates an emotional reaction. It should be the same with clothes.” Tim’s a genuine Renaissance man from the cultural hub of Byron Bay, and credits his own enlightenment, and the resulting direction of Banks, largely to travel. “Travel spawned my appreciation for industrial design and architecture, and that’s materialised in my design,” says Tim. But, we’re not painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel here, we’re making garments that have to accommodate the needs of the protagonist. “Architecture has to function well too, it has to be cool in summer and warm in winter, so it’s design with purpose. We believe it’s the same with products. They have to function where it’s needed.” Looking at Banks garments, it’s clear that the chaps at the helm aren’t your regular graduates of the surf rag trade. There’s something far more refined going on.
The latest offering from the Banks family is rife with nods to the staples of iconic menswear. There’s trench coats, Barbour’s with a twist; solid garments with clean lines. Clothes for men who’ve got stories to tell. And, it’s all manufactured in a way that’s as eco-friendly as possible. “Banks is the contemporary surf & lifestyle label, we blend function & sustainability into modern pieces. We want our label to be a journal of stories,” continues Tim, “We want to create special pieces and create an accessible, sustainable model that everyone can be part of.” In a time when possessions are so disposable, it’s comforting to know that there are businesses being launched that’re concerned with the longevity of not only their products, but also the environment from whence the materials come. “Traveling through factories around the world really made me want to be part of the movement towards a better environmental change.”