24 Hours With… Commas
Waking up to the sound of the waves, starting the day with a swim and a smoothie… it’s no wonder COMMAS’ Australian founder Richard Jarman has such a dreamy vision for his collections. We find out what makes the man behind one of Down Under’s most exciting new names tick...
“Morning treats, fresh out of the oven.”
“Testing the water ahead of a morning dip.”
“6.45am by the beach - my favourite time of day.”
What time do you wake up and where?
I’m a morning person. I wake up at 5am all year round to make sure I catch the sunrise.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
My wife Emma and I head to the beach for an ocean swim. This has been a ritual from right back when we first got together. From there we will have our morning coffee/meeting in the sun and start the day.
Where are you usually based?
I’m based in Sydney, Australia where the summers are long and the winters are mild.
What does your average day look like?
After my swim and coffee, we have a team meeting at 8:30am. That’s really where the routine ends. My days change quite a bit depending on what phase of the season we are in. At the moment I’m back in the studio designing for next season and working on some special projects for summer.
Do you have any rituals?
My favourite ritual is my morning smoothie - I literally go to sleep dreaming about it. My go-to recipe is blueberries, frozen banana, peanut butter, maca powder, and ice cold water.
Where is your studio located?
The COMMAS studio is located in Alexandria, Sydney. We work out of a converted warehouse which we moved into at the start of Covid. It’s filled with loud jazz music and the ceilings are monstrous.
“Barramundi on a toasted potato bun.”
“Late afternoon colour palette.”
How would you describe what you do?
My job is really to be curious. I come up with the creative ideas behind COMMAS, then as a team we have to work out how on earth we can bring these ideas to life!
How has your background influenced who you are today?
I come from a family of swimmers, and we’ve always lived by the beach. I guess it’s pretty fitting that COMMAS would be a swimwear label back when we started.
How did you get your start in fashion?
When I started COMMAS, it felt like it was out of necessity… I couldn’t find swimwear that matched the rest of my wardrobe. At that time I was working full-time and also finishing a masters at University by night. I really have no idea how I found time to work on COMMAS but what I remember as a turning point was when Trevor Stones (a stylist that I still work with today) reached out to loan COMMAS for a photo shoot. Shortly after he sent me a text message - it was COMMAS on the front cover of GQ Australia. That really kicked off the momentum.
“Peak hour at the pool.”
“In our studio in Alexandria, Sydney, working on prints, fittings and cuts.”
“The new collection mood.”
What are the most important factors for the brand?
The most important thing is people. We work with an incredible team of like-minded people and that’s what has allowed us to create such a beautiful product and start to create a community around that.
How do you get into a creative headspace?
A creative headspace for me is so reflective of my state. Coming back from my swim in the morning and witnessing the sunrise definitely helps with this. Also I feel like music always stirs up ideas and brings back memories, so it’s rare for our studio not to be filled with music.
Whilst working, where do you go and what do you do to take a break?
We have a large rooftop on our building, and I love to go up there to take calls and have coffee in the sun.
Do you have a favourite piece from your new collection?
My favourite combo is the Resort shirt and the Wide Leg Linen Pants. It literally feels like you’re wearing a cloud.
Who would you most like to see wearing it?
Helmut Newton or Waris Ahluwalia.
“Me and my wife Emma.”
What’s on your bookshelf right now?
I read a lot and have also been loving audiobooks and podcasts lately. I was recently gifted a photography book called Before they Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson which is stunning.
What do you usually do for dinner?
Lockdown has definitely brought some creativity and excitement to our cooking – but tonight we are picking up barramundi burgers from my friend Joel (@fishshop_au).
What time do you go to bed?
I’m pretty consistent on a 10pm-11pm bedtime. If I stray from this midweek, I end up having way too many coffees the next day.
Last thing you do before you sleep?
Read or check emails. That’s the joy of working in the opposite time zone with our suppliers in Europe.
What do you dream about?
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