Inspired by the silk road and born on the cosmopolitan streets of Amsterdam, BANANATIME is the contemporary fruit of a shared labour of love. “Sometimes you have to create something, simply because it doesn’t yet exist,” says Naoyo Kawaguchi of the cult unisex label she co-founded in 2014 with best friend Julia Mah.
Seasoned globetrotters and vintage obsessives with more than three decades of professional fashion and textile expertise between them, Naoyo and Julia are united in a mission to supply garments durable enough for the demands of everyday but stylish enough to turn heads when night falls. For these modern style magpies, travel-readiness must come as standard.
Comprising a refined seasonal edit of comfortable silk separates in vibrant, vintage-inspired prints, BANANATIME has fast become the brand for in-the-know men and women who believe that life is too short – and too spontaneous – for luxury to be limited by occasion.
Or gender. Easy, elegant separates such as the Grandad Shirt, the Soft Coat, the Easy Pant and the Collar Shirt have become the staples of BANANATIME collections. Garments are expertly cut from 100 per cent silk in playful, eclectic prints that flatter all forms and can be mixed and matched as mood dictates. Naoyo and Julia have perfected a grade of hardwearing silk that’s entirely machine washable, thanks to the easy-care mesh wash bag supplied with each and every piece.
It all started below stairs, with an eye-catching premium Boxer Short that could be worn and enjoyed by all. “Julia and I would often find ourselves borrowing our boyfriends’ clothes,” recalls Julia with a smile. “Several seasons later, and we continue to build collections that fuse versatility, comfort and panache.”
What’s in that name? In keeping with its casual, contemporary attitude and retro-infused sensibility, the company takes its cue from a 1959 paper entitled ‘Banana Time’ by American sociologist Donald Francis Roy. A defining moment for what we now call work/life balance, Roy’s study described how mid-century industrial employees would enliven the daily duties with sociable breaks.
One way to mix things up? Steal the banana from your neighbour’s lunchbox.
The label’s vision appeals to a global audience, with stores carrying BANANATIME in Japan, the USA, Denmark, Austria, Italy, France and Benelux. Keep your eyes peeled and your passport ready. This irresistible brand is going places.