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Tide & Pool

Tide & Pool

“Some people say landscape is a dead art form. I have a different opinion.”

David Hockney's words to the director of the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco upon the opening of his recent show – a retrospect encompassing watercolours, sketches and ipad drawings of the landscapes of his youth – couldn't be more apt.

Hockney has been described as “arguably Britain’s best-known living artist” and his paintings of Californian landscapes from the 60's and 70's couldn't be less dead. His white beaches, clear cut palm trees and rippled aqua pools so vivid that they make you squint still capture the essence of So-cal – in much the same way that the bright and somewhat fabulous Tide & Pool towels do.

With a tag line like 'Sunny days well spent,' it should come as no surprise that Hockney is the unofficial mascot for Long Beach natives Jaclyn and James Munzer's unique beach towel company: Tide & Pool.

Launched last year, Tide & Pool towels are completely luxurious canvases for the beach. Thick, lush and printed on both sides, they're a total departure from the bobbled, striped numbers that haunt beach bags the world over and so obviously necessary in a place like Australia that one wonders how we managed before them.

With designs inspired by mid-century Bossa Nova record covers, Japanese wood block design, and vintage textiles, these towels go far beyond their drying and lying duties. After all, people have bought Slim (the flamingo towel) only to frame it.

And that's no accident. Tide & Pool's high quality towels are the only ones in the world to be printed with different designs on each side: a feat that Jaclyn and James worked closely with their manufacturers in Brazil to achieve.

“Finding the right factory to partner with was a huge undertaking,” Jaclyn has said. “That was really our first and foremost goal – finding the right person to make these towels that we had envisioned. That’s how we landed in Brazil. We partnered with a factory that had been in business for more than a 120 years. They’ve been in the business a very long time, and they have beautiful craftsmanship.”

The Tide & Pool concept came about while the pair were on Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand discussing the sandpapery beach towels that dominated the market.

The pair realised that people put so much thought and energy into all the other components of their beach bags  - like the stylish hat, and designer sunglasses —but towels were just being thrown in as an afterthought.  And so, while they travelled NZ on their honeymoon, the company was born.

These days Jaclyn is working full time on the business with James putting in overtime after he finishes his day job. They're working hard to expand but they still manage to spend a good deal of time SUP-ing, surfing and generally living the same Socal-cool lifestyle that drew David Hockney to their locale back in the 60's.

“You can’t really sell a lifestyle that you’re not living,” Jaclyn has said. “It would be sad to create this brand that celebrates all of that and get so bogged down in this business.”

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With help from Locale and Dirtbag Darling.
David Hockney image source.