Who is Joe Bananas?
Joe Bananas is an Australian designer menswear label who tailor unique fashion for the consummate individual. Our luxurious, world-class fabrics are handcrafted at our silk farm by master weavers to create limited edition textiles inspired by the Australian naturescape.
We custom tailor our garments to suit the individual, and we believe in a personal, old-world style of client service that ensures the Joe Bananas experience is like no other.
Our range includes made-to-measure, non-crush linen and silk suiting, classic and distinct menswear, our Signature Collection of handwoven silk jackets with weaves directly inspired by the rich Australian naturescape, and our exclusive Art Series silk jackets.
As a family-owned and family-run label, our passion is our fabrics and our clientele. We are a unique product created in-house with great care. At Joe Bananas, we believe our clients deserve the best, and we aim to exceed expectations.
The Now: The evolution and the revolution of Joe Bananas
The new generation of Joe Bananas: Evan Sturrock (left) and Kim Bourke (right)
On an otherwise inconspicuous day in late 2012, Kim Bourke called on his then future-brother-in-law, Evan Sturrock, with the express purpose of asking him to join forces and become the next generation of Banana men.
After the obligatory banter and sincere acknowledgement from each about the importance of family, they pressed the kapow button on the Joe Bananas rocket and set it to full flight. What would happen next, no one could predict.
At the speed of light, these brothers in arms revolutionised the brand’s legacy and truly expanded its wings: opening a new store in The Rocks - a historic area of Sydney Harbour - in early 2014, and broadening the label’s product range to include a mix of casual attire and classic basics.
But first, a little backstory on both of our banana heroes...
As Peter’s son and Joe’s adopted nephew, Kim was a natural successor for Joe Bananas. Having grown up with and within the business, Kim knew how it lived and breathed, he understood the brand’s philosophy, and he certainly knew its clients.
As a qualified accountant with a talent for engineering, you could say Kim is the scientist of the operation. He has an astute interest in the inner workings of the Banana machine and can often be found squirrelling away behind the wizard’s curtain.
With his Australian-Fijian heritage, Kim brings a wonderful island calm to the brand - as well as to our Pacific-inspired prints.
Fun Facts: Kim is a qualified Diving Instructor and a mean inside centre on the rugby field. He loves every major food group, and believes that no matter what you're doing, you should always give it your all.
Evan’s career in the fashion industry is as fortuitous as it is destined. Learning the art of finery and style from his grandmother, Evan has always had a fervent interest in fashion. Beginning his career packing boxes in a European fashion warehouse, Evan quickly rose through the ranks, learning the trade and gaining unique insight.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Evan, you will know how infectious his passion for Joe Bananas (and life) truly is. His amiable approach and intrinsic knowledge of the world’s curiosities make a conversation with Evan feel like a great chat with a friend.
Fun Facts: Evan is a National Rowing Champion, having competed fiercely throughout school, including setting 20 year old world record, he still frequently wins gold medals in the Masters Rowing arena. His love of motorcycles will leave your ears bleeding. Often referred to as the Rainman of sport, Evan can generally wax lyrical about most sporting ventures. He’s also particularly handy in the kitchen and has acted as personal chef to some of Hollywood’s elite.
With over 30 years of industry experience between them, Kim and Evan share a depth of knowledge and a true passion for their label and clients. With their sincere belief in and insatiable need to be the best, Kim & Evan continue to push the evolution and revolution of the Joe Bananas brand each and every day.
The Then: The history of the Banana
The man himself: Joe Bananas
Joe Bananas opened its first retail store in the iconic Queen Victoria Building in 1986. The label was borne of a friendship between Joe and his best mate, Peter Bourke, who had met at University over a decade earlier. Joe was studying Geology and working in a remote mining town, whilst Peter was completing an Engineering degree - but both had a desire for more than their chosen vocations would permit.
As a matter of serendipitous coincidence, both had a rich history in fashion and a mutual love of the Australian landscape, flora & fauna - not to mention its geology. Together they set about creating silk textiles with direct and purposeful inspiration from their surroundings: from geological beauties like the Australian Black Opal to iconic landmarks such as Uluru - all of which remain as signature weaves in the Joe Bananas Handwoven Raw Silk Jacket Collection today
Together with the ancient artistry of master silk weavers in Joe’s homeland of Singapore, Joe and Peter established Joe Bananas - a brand that would forever offer the fashion world a distinct alternative.
In amongst the madness of the 1980s, Joe Bananas quickly drew a loyal following - offering wares that no one else could. However, it wasn't until the Rocket Man himself, Sir Elton John, strolled through their doors in the QVB and asked to have the whole store boxed up that Joe Bananas really took flight and found its place.
Over the next two decades, Joe and Peter built a loyal client base from the world over with their distinct style and luxurious textiles.
Despite his illness, Joe never lost his passion for his clients and business. He was steadfast in his determination to redefine Australian fashion and carve out a banana-shaped space within it. It is a legacy that we proudly carry on today.