The original bohemian era was inspired by people who lived unconventional lives, like wandering travellers, actors, poets and writers, and at the core of bohemian fashion is this desire to express oneself through colours, patterns, fabrics and accessories that reflect their soul, mood and passions…
It’s this wanderlust energy that many would argue makes Byron Bay the home of bohemian clothing, with a long history of beach and surf culture, vibrant music scene and love for all things creative.
Let’s explore the bohemian influences here in Byron Bay a little further…
Vibrant music scene
Byron Bay is known for its music, take a walk through town any night of the week and you’ll find soulful buskers playing music for crowds spilling onto the streets.
In fact, since 1990, Bluesfest has been the go-to festival in Australia for Blues and Roots music, featuring artists such as Bob Dylan, Hozier, Paul Simon, Robert Plant, Alabama Shakes and John Mayer.
It’s this sense of festival community, where tie-dye clad hippies dance alongside surfers and city workers come to escape reality, that Byron Bay is famous for; the golden little paradise filled with peace, love and good vibes only.
So, it’s no surprise that bohemian fashion became a personal expression to locals and visitors alike, each connecting to the vibrant music festival scene in their own individual way.
Beach and surf culture from the 60s/70s
Even to this day, Byron Bay has been a place to escape the rat race, and with a sub-tropical climate playing a big part in what people choose to do with their days, the beach and surf culture was (and is) up front and centre.
Allow us to take you back to the 60s and 70s 'heydays' for a moment…
To sum up pre-tourist, bohemian Byron Bay, it was all about beach shacks, surfboards, flared Levi’s jeans, surfing from sunrise till sunset and endless summer days.
There’s certainly a nostalgic element to it, but Byron Bay’s beach and surf heritage is more than that…
It’s about connecting to nature, the peacefulness of the ocean at sunrise, the elation you feel when you ride a wave, the authentic memories of beach days and the simple pleasures in life.
Time has a funny way of slowing down in Byron bay, to give us all a chance to stop and enjoy the view.
Hot spot for all things creative
Freedom to express yourself is an important element of Byron Bay’s community culture; that feeling of belonging and togetherness.
For many years, creatives have flocked to this little slice of heaven for exactly that...starting fashion brands, creating new art and leaving their own unique mark along the way.
What’s more, Verity, our designer, creates her collections from her home studio here and takes much of her inspiration from the Byron Bay surroundings, the people who are drawn to be here and the creativity it takes to make a life within a transient coastal town.
The colours, styles, artwork and prints are all deeply influenced by her love of the Byron landscape, people, music and culture. Read more about our story here.
(Image: @photosbyjustin - shop the White Organic Bamboo Palm Print Tee, inspired by Byron Bay's sunrise)
Like tie-dye for example, which is a bohemian technique we’ve borrowed from the 60s that creates dreamy patterns with dye, making each T-shirt totally unique.
(Shop the Dove Grey Organic Bamboo Tee Tie-Dye)
Byron is also home to entrepreneurs like the Byron Bay Cookie Company, whose uniquely-flavoured cookies originated at the local markets and can now be enjoyed in cafes across the country.
Backpacker van life
The travel community is huge in Byron Bay, and always has been.
Back in the day, Combi vans would flood in their hundreds to this idyllic coastal town, seeking adventure, stunning natural beauty and a good time.
There’s just something so special about waking up to the sound of the waves, cooking on a makeshift campfire and taking time to re-connect with what matters most.
(Image: Dave Hall Surf 'N' Turf Images)
Of course, things are a little different nowadays since rules on paid parking were introduced a few years back, but the travelling tradition still lives on, nonetheless.
We hope you loved seeing these old photos as much as we loved finding them...
So, would you agree that bohemian fashion culture lies at the heart of Byron Bay? Along with all the other truly magical things about Australia’s most easterly point. Check out our guide to finding the perfect bohemian dress for you.