Yolo, Man.

Luke Bannon and Luke Goodwin are the powerhouses behind Yolomen, a collection of dazzling jackets that are both smart, and ‘brilliantly absurd’. PENNY LANE speaks to Luke B about how it all began.

What happens when you combine two colour-hungry fellas – sick of the ho-hum greys and blacks of the male fashion industry – with a night full of beers and ideas? You get a crazy concoction of bizarre floral prints, bright offcuts and bold colours wrapped into one street-stopping, head-turning Yolomen jacket.

“We created Yolomen to fill a screaming void in men’s fashion in which people were wanting a non-mass-produced individual item of high quality which was outside the square,” Luke B says. “We had some samples made and did some trial runs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The response we had from the public was just outstanding. People literally just come up and start talking to you, many wanting to know where to get one from, and the experience was so positive. We knew we had to get it out to others.”

Luke says Yolomen – which is all about taking things less seriously and sticking two fingers up at conformity – was concocted during one boozy night out.

“Like any good idea this one started out over a few quiet beers… then a few noisy beers, a few more beers, and a few ‘I love you, mate’ beers… We’ve all made these late night promises on revolutionary ideas, but this time we carried through on our drunken promises.”

Part of the reason the boys decided to make their own jackets was that they couldn’t find anything like them around town.

“We couldn’t even come up with the correct jacket description on Google. To find them anywhere worldwide,” Luke says. “We had to go overseas to get the jackets made, and had to search through warehouse after warehouse sourcing the materials.”

And the materials they found – from vintage to furniture coverings – are one-of-a-kind. “One thing for certain is that none of the material is available in large quantities and once it’s gone, it’s gone,” he says.
The jackets are tailor made by the Lukes, who confess they’re not designers.

“We have absolutely no formal fashion experience whatsoever (our little secret),” Luke says. “Fortunately blokes are very different to ladies in what they want out of clothing. We have taken a very classic cut men’s jacket but made it out of fabric not normally used in men’s fashion. The bright colouring, textured finishes and patterns are the clincher. As long as men feel comfortable (can play pool, hit the floor, do there work, etc.) and look great, they’re happy.”

Luke says Yolomen clothes are like good quality red wine – they’re limited in number and stimulate all the senses.

“The wearer will get a truly unique jacket experience,” insists Luke. “They are always a conversation starter. You get to meet people who would have otherwise just passed you by. It’s amazing how many strangers just want to come up and stroke you, just to feel the jacket.”

Stroke away!