HE’S THE ULTIMATE GOLD COAST SURFER DUDE, DAD AND BUSINESSMAN. MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE SHADES YOU’VE SEEN ON MARGOT ROBBIE, MARILYN MANSON AND EVERYONE IN BETWEEN.
Michael Crawley certainly didn’t plan on becoming the uber businessman – the designer, creative director and owner of VALLEY Eyewear. Had his childhood dreams come to fruition we would have seen Michael riding waves on the professional was always something I wanted to do, but I’m horrible with any musical instruments and I can’t sing to save myself.” Even though he had to rule out a professional music career, Michael hasn’t strayed too far from the rockstar lifestyle with his business – he’s designing the sunglasses of choice for some pretty famous musicians. tour managers we know, or people we’ve met in our travels,” Michael says. Like the guy Michael grew up with in Port Macquarie who put Kanye West onto VALLEY Eyewear. Or Chris Hemsworth, the old friend who used to crash at Michael’s place during his Home and Away days. Or maybe even Marilyn Manson, who has been collaborating on custom sunglasses with Michael for so long that the two are now teaming up to create a signature range. Rolling Stone magazine. He got me backstage for one of Manson’s shows and we He also casually mentioned that he popped in to visit Manson during a trip to the United States – they shared a few drinks, had a chat and Manson played his entire new album for Michael. PR agency so the attention we get is all from people who like what we do and our aesthetic and get in contact with us”. So how did this chilled-out Goldy local come to be the go-to designer for Hollywood’s coolest characters? How did he reach the business success that he enjoys today? travelling the world since I was 16 and have really been self-taught and self-dependant from a young age – I had to learn how to put food on the table and follow things through on my own.” Michael spent a lot of time in New York in his early 20s, where the punk Quicksilver with his wife and high school sweetheart, Tenielle. But when the pair was made redundant with a one-year-old at home, Michael was forced to decide on his next path – the path that would lead him to creating VALLEY Eyewear. what it would be like to be completely in control of the creative process, so we put our redundancy pay towards creating VALLEY,” Michael recalls. any other eyewear brand around us – that represented high fashion and the unique part of the fashion world that has unlimited creative ability – whilst also making a high quality product.” And he’s done just that. VALLEY frames are handcrafted with quality and longevity in mind and the shapes, colours and accents make for a truly unique product. Then there are the campaigns, which would better be described as works of art. So far we’ve seen ‘The Happening’ - a collection of spooky snowy stills shot at the abandoned Communist Party
Words: Anastasia White