For more than a decade, ad agencies have extolled the virtues of creating in-house brands, with mixed reviews and variations of success. The latest example of this entrepreneurial spirit is a new rainwear brand out of 72andSunny Amsterdam called Raynsie.
Raynsie is a cheeky combination or "rain" and onesie," which also doubles as a product description. This unique take on rain gear combines the functionality of a coverall (shout out to Bottle Rocket) with performance design and streetwear style. Available in six colors, a number of which pay homage to a Dutch delicacy known as hagelslag (look it up). The collection will be sold exclusively online starting in late November at Raynsie.com.
72andSunny Amsterdam managing director Nic Owen says the creative process started about three years ago when the agency's Amsterdam office was a lot smaller and they had way less to do, so they set themselves the challenge of coming up with products or services that would make life in Amsterdam a bit more fun. "We had loads of amazing and stupid ideas, tech, and otherwise, but one stood out," says Owen. "Amsterdam is probably most famous for vice, drugs, rain, and bikes. The standout idea, Raynsie, scratched the first two and focused on three and four. It's a true homage to our European home—its love for cycling and wild indifference to crappy weather—which seemed to fit perfectly with 72’s optimistic outlook on life."
So far, the experience of building their own brand idea from scratch has taught them where they’re able to stretch their talents and where they need to bring in expert help. "We worked with an entrepreneur who has experience in bringing apparel and footwear to market to make this happen," says Owen. "Her experience and contacts were vital to ensure we got to the best product possible. In this way we learned an enormous amount about a process most clients have to go through every day. Having a startup embedded in your office can be hugely helpful to know how the world really works—it’s given us a newfound respect for the everyday travails of our clients."
Perhaps the biggest lesson from the new brand is that ideas are not really worth much and easy to come by. "It’s having the commitment and drive to make them a reality, and scrappily finding resources to do that, which are key," says Owen. "Legal, manufacturing, and distribution all count. We’re also being really smart with marketing, setting up barter deals with musical talent, where we will coproduce assets and promos to serve both our goals. This is a value transaction versus a money one, and I think that’s really exciting—talent bartering is going to be a big part of the future and we’re excited to do that with Raynsie."