After an explosive debut at Miami Swim Week, Man of Metropolis caught up with Sam Gray and Michael Boyd to talk all things swimwear. The Sydney based designers have developed a range of swimwear (Grayson Boyd) packing a colorful, print heavy punch.
The old adage “you should never mix business and pleasure” couldn’t be further from the truth for this entrepreneurial couple whose shared passion shows in the bold and playful aesthetic. The only thing bolder – the men who wear them.
Find out more about what makes these men tick from down under:
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MM: Why swimwear? What was your motivation to start a men`s swimwear and resort line?
Sam: We love swimwear. We both grew up in Australia, always in the water or at the beach in swimmers. As we go from youngsters to teenagers and onto life as adults we’ve found that Aussie guys in general are less inclined to wear swim briefs. We wanted to create swim briefs that are able to make any man feel comfortable and confident.
I swam competitively and had a full three draws full of swim briefs that I would train in or chill out in at the beach. Michael is a clothes hoarder/collector and has a sizeable collection of them too, even down to a lime green pair of 1960s or 70s high waisted swim briefs. When it came to swim, we both knew exactly what we wanted (and exactly what we didn’t want).
Michael: Our initial concept for Grayson Boyd was swim wear and that’s morphed into lifestyle pieces too. Swim wear just came naturally. We knew that we wanted a seam up the ass for shape, so that’s what we did. We knew what shape at the front was flattering but also practical for swimming (see our Swim Briefs). We knew that a removable cup in the Luxe Swim Brief would provide confidence or just surety that everything was looking presentable, so that’s what we developed.
And, really importantly for us, we knew that we hated over sold branding. We want Grayson Boyd to be known, right now, for its prints.
MM: The designs are super vibrant and energetic, some could say inspired by Kenzo – how would you respond to that and who/what inspired you?
Sam: First up, Kenzo is a boss brand. To have comparisons of their work linked with ours, that’s super cool. We can see how that connection could be made and we’re not mad about it. Print, color, confidence, cool, vibrancy of life they are all inspirations for us and those cross over to Kenzo too.
For us, our main inspiration has been Australia. Hands down, we love the place and it is so beautiful. Our love for our country has inspired us to paint, draw, doodle and create graphics that reference Australia. It’s not always overt, but for us, it’s always there. I suppose we were also inspired by a hole in the market. Our dream brand didn’t exist. Some great swim and lifestyle brands certainly existed but we wanted a product with great prints, amazing fits and no branding plastered over the garment.
MM: The Luxe Swim Short – what was the idea behind a swim short designed to emulate a suit pant?
Sam: The Luxe Swim Short is a crafty little piece. We love them. The design has great function but it also has versatile wearability when we’re talking about environments. Sure, it’s not a suit-pant-replacement but it’s got some tailored style to it that let’s us talk to that design concept. Ultimately, it comes down to our wizardry pattern that means you can wear these to the beach, pool or bar.
MM: Some say less is more – what are your thoughts?
MICHAEL: I agree with them. Sometimes less is more. And that’s great. Sometimes more should have more. We have invested the time to plan out our first collection and sure, we’ve packed a print heavy punch and even doubled and tripled up on prints for different styles within the same outfit if that’s your thing (see Luxe Swim Briefs teamed with Luxe Swim Shorts and Pool Boy Shirt in our Azalea print – we love it). But I am also conscious that some guys will want an outfit with one striking look and pair it back with one of our ‘Essentials range’ pieces for an outfit that isn’t too loud.
MM: How do you navigate working with your partner? Is it second nature or does it require extra thought?
SAM: Working together just happened really. We have always had really dynamic conversations about crazy ideas and this one resonated with both of us. We could see how our strengths could be optimized and how we could utilize resources and connections to build this brand. Being a couple, working and living together we’ve experienced moments of complete over-saturation with each other. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but just something that we’ve grown to manage. We have learnt to give each other enough space when we need it. Ultimately, we love each other, keep communication open and value what we can teach each other and learn together.
MM: In the team does one deal with the business and the other the creative – or is it more collaborative?
Sam: Our work is really collaborative. Michael is definitely the stronger one creatively with an eye for the miniature and the big picture. I have done more work from a business and management perspective but we are proud of our team work approach. We both paint and create art for the brand. Michael is a model turned show director and choreographer. I was a nationally ranked Australian swimmer and lawyer. Our diversity in experience has made for a great partnership.
MM: What does the future hold for Grayson Boyd?
SAM: Well, we’ve taken up a short residency in New York City following Miami Swim Week. Our trip was supposed to see us back home in Sydney in mid-August but we probably won’t be home until late September.
NYFW is something that we’ve got our eyes on but don’t expect what you’re probably expecting. Mom’s the word on that one.
Our design and development process is already underway for future collections. Expect the range to expand. If you want to keep an eye on what we’re up to while we’re in NYC and get a first look at some of our coming designs, look us up on Instagram: @graysonboyd_official
Grayson Boyd is a 70’s hustler-x-cowboy with a thick Australian accent. If you’re Grayson Boyd, you’re confident, cool and you turn heads when you walk into a room. You are equal parts sexy and playful and your mates bank on you for a good time. You’re a high flier, the guy who is always groomed but never over done.