Just in time for what is set to be an Australian stay-at-home summer, Oliver James is introducing its latest range of designer lilos.
With international travel not looking likely for the foreseeable future, it’s time to invest in a little bit of opulent fun for the home.
For the Hong Kong based founder, Oliver James Micklewright, it is all about recreating his happy childhood memories of holidays in the south of France with long languid days floating in the pool.
“When I was a kid, we used to spend summers in the South of France at our family home, the Mas des Oliviers, named after the 18 olive trees on the property,” he enthuses.
“We loved the garden best, where we used to spend long languid days relaxing around the terracotta-tiled swimming pool, reading and soaking in the sun.
“Our favourite games involved blue and white inflatable lilos, and I have fond memories of hiding behind the pool house with friends and waiting for my parents to relax completely on their lilos before canonballing into the water and soaking them,” he laughs.
However, the lilos would inevitably puncture and it was his job to repair them. He used to patch them up with super glue and puncture repair kits to make them last a few more weeks, sometimes having to re-inflate them every day.
“When a lilo was beyond repair, we would replace it with exactly the same model and, as it was usually my fault, I had to pay for it out of the pocket money I earned by doing chores around the house.”
When he was eventually asked to find a pool float that would match the aesthetic of their home and last, he couldn’t. Unable to find anything to fit the bill on the market, Oliver decided to design and engineer a lilo himself.
“A few years later and after several prototypes, we are finally launching our own brand, Oliver James.
“I wanted to interpret that tradition as a chic design piece ideal for modern living and environmentally friendly for today’s eco-conscious audience,” he says.
The result is an elegant yet robust 7kg lilo which is easy to move around and comes in a custom designed linen bag with a small USB rechargeable pump to inflate and deflate it. The durable, puncture-resistant, machine washable, UV and fade-resistant fabric cover and robust materials and electronics are designed to withstand saltwater and sunlight. Available in a palette of neutral and nautical colours and patterns.