There’s just…something…happening right now in New Zealand, a tiny nation of 4.5 million people that somehow manages to boast some of the world’s most exciting food, coffee, wine, fashion, and design scenes. Low population and high creativity quite naturally breeds collaboration, and we’re particularly fascinated in how’s New Zealand’s high-end fashion scene—with its focus on practical, utilitarian, and subdued design—has made nice gleefully with the country’s best coffee brands. We last profiled the phenomenon with this feature on Coffee Supreme’s apron collaboration with I Love Ugly; today let us bask in the normcore throwback cool of these gorgeous cold brew bottles, brewed by Auckland’s Kokako Organic and designed by Gubb and Mackie.
The global HYPEBEAST fuccboi crowd is already well familiar with Gubb and Mackie, a New Zealand brand founded in 1949 enjoying a major resurgence, with domestic and international fans around the world. “A blend of utility and quality” is their mantra; G&M was founded by two former servicemen who learned the art of repairing and tailoring clothing in the New Zealand Navy. Like Minnesota’s Faribault Woolen Mills (featured elsewhere in these pages) and other authentically heritage brands, the retro styling and classic elements of Gubb and Mackie’s aesthetic feels earned and genuine.
Kokako owner Mike Murphy tells us how the collaboration came about:
“I have known Jordan Gibson from Gubb and Mackie for a few years, and when they announced that they were opening a new Auckland flagship store suggested that we partner with them to provide our cold brew to their clients when visiting the store. Jordan had their in-house designer create a new label using Gubb and Mackie colours and typography. This branded cold brew is available exclusively from the Gubb and Mackie store on Vulcan Lane, Auckland CBD in New Zealand.”
We also spoke with Gubb and Mackie creative director Jordan Gibson, who let us in on the intent behind their design. “We wanted to infuse our branding language with Kokako’s already strong packaging design,” Gibson tells us, “without our branding taking over the design and being overwhelming. Placing the focus firmly on the coffee.” This is G&M’s first coffee collaboration, although the brand has worked in the past with craft breweries (oh yeah, New Zealand also has a killer beer scene). When asked how the in-store service was being received so far, Gibson tells us, “Really well. People are enjoying the fact that they are being given something exclusive and unique that can not be purchased. The cold brew itself is great. The bottle service and packaging makes it more than just brand placement.”
Jordan Michelman is a Sprudge co-founder and editor. Read more JM on Sprudge.
Images courtesy of Gubb and Mackie.