Basil Bangs is an Australian company born of a love for all things outdoors. What started as two mates re-designing the humble beach umbrella in 2010, Basil Bangs’ range of signature prints and well-crafted designer beach umbrellas protect and shade you no matter if you’re on the beach or at the pub – and everywhere in between!
Behind the Brand
Designed on the Northern Beaches of Sydney by husband and wife duo Mike Durante (industrial designer and avid beach goer) and Krista Huebner who runs the business day-to-day, Basil Bangs are outdoor accessories that not only look good but are functional too. Renowned for the vibrant range of signature prints, their bold and bright beach umbrellas are hard to miss! Initially designing beach umbrellas, they’ve since expanded their range into rugs, cushions and rain umbrellas, all in their eye-catching prints.
But who is Basil Bangs? Well, the man is an enigma and like mercury, he’s very hard to pin down. But in short – he’s an idea, a spirit. He is an amalgam of a couple of real-life characters who inspired their products and guide their philosophy.
George Takes Ten
We took ten with co-conspirators of Basil Bangs Krista Huebner and Mark Durante.
1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Krista: An artist!
2. When and what was the moment that prompted you to start your own brand?
Krista: Mike (my husband aka Mr Bangs) and his best mate were sitting on the beach in North Bondi lamenting that they couldn’t find a vintage beach umbrella that both looked great AND worked well. So, as you do, they started Basil Bangs with the vision to create contemporary classics, beach umbrellas that would be not only beautiful but high quality. I think it helped that they could also surf longer without their (burnt) ladies calling them in!! While Basil Bangs is now headed up by Mike and I, we love that we could start a great business with great mates, and on the beach no less. As a business, Basil Bangs has evolved beyond the beach to design a range beautiful outdoor products, for rain and sunshine, indoors and out!
3. In 3 words, describe your occupation.
4. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Krista: “Look after number one or you’ll step in number two” (thanks mum) and “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work”. While I’m no Einstein, it’s easy to underestimate how much work and effort goes into things. PERSISTANCE!
5. What is your favourite outlet to get the juices flowing?
Krista: There’s the usual suspects – Travelling, art galleries, but day-to-day it’s also about staying open. You’ll be amazed what come up after a casual trip to Bunnings!!
Our girls love painting and drawing, and we enjoy sitting down with them to do some mindless doodling and playing with colours. I also think having a creative space that’s not directly ‘relevant’ is good. For me, that’s been getting into the garden more. It’s physical and gets me away from the screen, opens up the mind to random ideas! Mike also has one foot in developing performance technical gear for the surf industry so he’s always coming across cool fabrics and techniques.
6. Where do you see yourself and the brand in 10 years time?
Krista: On a beach under a brolly, looking ten years younger!
7. If you could invite any five celebrities to dinner, who would be on the guest list?
Krista: Oh I hate this question! These people would be fun to hang with and chat to:
- Louis Theroux
- David Attenborough
- My godfather Baz, because he’s hilarious and is a great storyteller himself. I think he would have made a great celebrity!
- Nigella Lawson
- Michelle Obama
- Paola Navone
- Brad Pitt
- …and one of my single mates, because you never know!
8. What was the last rule you broke?
Krista: Sticking to only 5 people (above). Clearly I’m a party animal!!
Also, well, I put butter on everything. I love butter. I think moderation applies to most things in life, except butter. Not sure if that’s a rule but I always think about it as I’m adding an extra dollop into something I’m cooking. Full Fat all the way baby!
9. Do you have any hidden talents?
Krista: I’m a certified amateur hula dancer! No joke. I’ll Hawaiian-War-Dance-off you in a heartbeat.
10. What was the last movie you saw and was it any good?
Krista: Dallas Buyers Club, and My So Called Career. Finally saw them, loved both. Polar opposites!! Our TV has died so we’re watching movies. We re-watched Moneyball and The Big Short. All great stories told really well.
Why We Love Them
Basil Bangs embodies what we love in life: laughing with friends and family, spending lazy summer days at the beach and beautiful design. They aim for their products to work seamlessly and with style, using premium fabrications and fixtures. And where they don’t exist already, they’re not afraid to design their own – like the Basil Hinge. If you love amazing art, vibrant colours and signature prints then you’ll love Basil Bangs as much as us!
Meet the Maker Radio
“Basil’s Bangin’ Beach Blanket Bingo Backyard Tooones”
Krista: Bit of a random mix to keep us bopping along while enjoying a backyard bbq and cold beers, laughing with mates and nudey kids running around chasing chickens! Spontaneous expressive dance and karaoke is always welcome. A true backyard picnic playlist will also have some random Wiggles and Justine Clarke thrown in there too to get the kids pumped up and dancing.
Check out the lust-worthy designs in the Basil Bangs collection and take your beach game to the next level.