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Mike Durante

Mike Durante

Born on Bondi Beach and now raised on Manly Beach, Basil Bangs started as two mates re-designing the humble beach umbrella. The Basil Bangs range now includes picnic rugs (aka the Love Rug), outdoor cushions and large outdoor umbrellas to have you covered and comfortable no matter where you are! 

Designed by Mike Durante, often in collaboration with with contemporary artists and designers, this colourful range of outdoor products is sure to enliven any space - outdoors and in!

Basil Bangs embodies what we love in life: laughing with friends and family, spending lazy summer days at the beach, and beautiful design.

We asked Mike 3 Questions we were keen to hear his thoughts on:

1. Tell us about your design(s) and the process involved? How do your designs usually come about?

There is a slightly different process to how we develop new prints and developing brand new products. 

Designing the prints is a bit more of a creative process that stems from colours we might be vibing, places we’re travelled to (or would love to!) and people we’re working with. 

We’ve been really lucky to collab with artists and illustrators we love - and often how we get together is a nice little bit of synchronicity. Sometimes they email us while we’re emailing them, which is the BEST.

Working with Amelia Graham this season has been such a joy, she’s an amazing print designer - the colours she uses are amazing and she has a great eye for pattern and composition. We love how she combines eras, influences and colours to create truly unique patterns. Hard to achieve in the age of instagram/pinterest and google!

Designing new products usually stems from a design challenge or us trying to fill a gap in our own lives. The Love Rug was because we wanted something functional for our floor life (with kids) that wasn’t daggy - i.e. not a tartan picnic rug. Our new range of tablecloths and placemats followed a similar goal of bridging performance and style. I wanted a tablecloth that made it look like I’d made an effort, but really it only took me 5 seconds to set the table AND with minimal care and maintenance. No more freaking out when someone spills their wine, the kids slurp up their spaghetti… and no more soaking stains and ironing linen thank you very much - who has time for that?!

2. How do you feel about the replica industry (in Australia) and (how) has it affected your designs?

There are copy cats everywhere in life… no matter your industry. 

While our designs are pretty unique, the categories we operate in have grown. We were the first to offer a premium beach umbrella and now there are a few hot on our heels (is the beach umbrella the new barista?) but we just try to stay true to who we are and focus on making consistent, quality products that we stand by. Innovating and sticking to our own path. 

3. What are your hopes for the future of design in Australia?

I hope that as a culture and design community we’re brave and forward thinking, embracing new ideas and technology. 

Products by 'Mike Durante' available at top3 by design

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