Style Maker - Munster Kids

Munster Kids is a Sydney based clothing brand driven by music, art and street culture. Inspired by the urban legend of Mikey Munster, the devious side of any kid, the designs are hardwearing and comfy while at the same time retaining an element of fun...

First inspired by their son Jax and their shared love of fashion, Rich and Samantha started playing around with kidswear designs before launching Munster Kids back in 2005. It has gone from strength to strength and is now exported to 12 different countries across the globe.

With their 3 boys who truly embody the Mikey Munster spirit, Rich and Samantha are never short on ideas. Munster Kids mixes kid themes with adult styling, durability and comfort, creating clothing that will survive the test of even the toughest kids. Each collection is filled with street cred, so it was very exciting when in 2009 they expanded their range with the launch of Missie Munster.

Rich and Samantha lived in Vietnam for 2.5 years while they busied themselves building up Munster. They loved living abroad so much that they have already started dreaming of their next adventure... maybe Byron Bay, Bali, or even NY...

We asked the clever pair a few questions about what inspires them...
What do you love most about designing childrenswear?
It's fun! We don't take things too seriously, its all about the kids and their world. So we get inspired everyday and just let it flow from there. I love seeing our boys get excited about their clothes.

You draw a lot from music, art and street culture. What music track best fits with your new collection?
'Miles Away' by Years around the Sun.

What inspires you?
KIDS! They are so raw and inquisitive, they love to play, explore and have fun! The simple stuff. We are inspired by Nature, travel, NYC, surfing, skating & music. We love being somewhere we have never been before and exploring, we love an Adventure!

What was the best adventure you went on as a kid?
My parents took us on a trip to USA. We went to Disneyland, LA, Florida, San Francisco and Hawaii. My best friend that came with me got so sun burnt from surfing in Waikiki that she pretty much couldn't walk, so we had a helicopter ride over Maui. It was amazing! It was my first time overseas and it started my love affair with travel.

If you were a kid in Sydney, where is the first place you'd go?
The beach! We have some of the best beaches in the world.

If Munster was create the best monster mask ever, what would it look like?

29 Oct 2013
style makers

Style Maker - Kids On The Moon

Kids on the Moon is a dreamlike collection of children's clothing that takes inspiration from the unlimited imagination of childhood. 

The idea behind the brand comes from walking on rooftops and watching the stars, from space and dreaming and fantasy. Their motto is 'no gravity' as just like space or a child's imagination, they see no limit to creativity...

Based in Żoliborz, one of the most interesting and beautiful parts of Warsaw

, Poland, Kids on the Moon is a collection of comfortable and original styles using all natural colours. The brand is about lightness manifested in a beautiful, well designed manner.
 Kids on the Moon is where fantasy meets good design 
and quality and is not driven by fads or hype.

Founder and designer Magda Rams enjoyed a career in the fashion industry before having children and being inspired to start Kids on the Moon. She said that one of her most treasured objects, her great-grandmothers sewing machine, was also a big inspiration. Ever since she can remember she was always trying to sew something on it and sees it as one of the key things that lead her to starting Kids on the Moon.

We asked Magda a few questions about what inspires her:
What do you love most about designing childrenswear?

Designing childrenswear poses no limits to imagination and gives countless opportunities. It allows - what we call - a 'no gravity' approach in designing - you only need an open mind and see beyond reality.
 We make up stories and build around them. Our inspirations come from a kids' world - designing for kids is a little bit like playing. It's a lot of fun!

What inspires you? 
One minute it can be space and then something completely different a moment later - but there is always a mystery, a pinch of obscurity. I like things that are not obvious…
 Art inspires me endlessly - I would love to work with artists and illustrators and introduce art and good quality design to a kids' world.

Kids on the Moon's collaboration with Agata Endo Nowicka, Poland's leading illustrator and comics artist on Moonmoth project (pictured below) is a great example and a great start. I look forward to more projects of this kind.

Prints play an important part in your collections, what do you think they add to the overall feel of the brand?

As a designer I enjoy drawing. 
Drawing is also important in kids' lives. Prints add interesting elements to a collection, add character and make up themes around which we create the narrative. 
Our prints are never childish or bright - they add a noble, elegant touch. They create a link between fashion and the kids' world.

What was your favourite thing to do as a kid?

This is easy - I've always loved making little clothes.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Creating beautiful things has always been my ambition. I wanted to draw, stitch, sew, twist and crunch textiles, construct and design. I made my dreams come true.

If Kids on the Moon were to design the ultimate balloon animal what would it look like?
Definitely a moon jelly - an amazing moon creature living in the depth of the sea - just like in the world with no gravity.

24 Oct 2013
style makers

Style Maker - Mamy Factory

When we came across the French brand Mamy Factory we were filled with memories of our nana filling our closets with cosy knitted sweaters and lovingly crocheted hats. Created by Stephanie Leone and her husband, Mamy factory creates a grandma's love on a grand scale. Working with dozens of french knitting grannies, or mamy's in french, they produce a beautiful collection of unique childrens wear with joy and care knitted into every stitch...

We caught up with Stephanie to ask her a few questions about the amazing idea behind Mamy Factory...
Mamy factory is such a lovely concept, who dreamed up the idea?
I had the idea when I saw my granny and some of her friends knitting such incredible things but not knowing for who they were knitting them for, as their grand-children were now too old. And as the price of yarn had increased a lot of them couldn't afford to knit as much as they would like.

In the past few years, people have also become more concerned about where products are coming from and what they are made of, especially when it comes to children. So, I had the idea that these grannies could perfectly respond to these needs while at the same time have a lot of fun participating in such a project! I also thought it was important to modernize hand knitted clothes and to work with young stylists that could refresh the image of granny knitting.

How do you meet all the lovely grannies that contribute their skills to the Mamy factory?
At the beginning it was quite hard to recruit our grannies because no one knew us and we didn’t know where to find them. We placed an ad in a magazine for seniors and we managed to create a small team which was sufficient to begin.

What do you think makes clothes created in this way so special?
Mamy Factory clothes are special firstly because each piece is individually made with love and passion. Our grannies are so passionate that, for example, they will do the same sleeve again and again just to reach perfection even if we say it is just fine the way it is! And they’re also so happy and proud to see customers like and buy their knitwear.

Secondly the clients can know who knitted the garment they buy as the name of the granny is written on the handtag of the clothes. Rather than impersonal clothes each of the pieces carry a real and unique story... a granny’s story!

What do your knitters say they enjoy most about being part of the Mamy Factory community?
Aged from 59 to 91 years and located all over France, our grannies knit from their homes and at their own pace. They love being able to earn money thanks to their passion quietly at home, and it helps to complete their pensions which are very often not sufficient. But money is far from the only motivation for these grannies, they just love being part of an exciting project, feeling useful and seeing their knowledge recognized.

For some of them, it is also a way to break their isolation and to have someone to share their passion with. We call them very often and members of the team often share tips and advice amongst each other by phone.

If you were a kid in Paris, where is the first place you would go?
Definitely the Museum of the Fairground Arts which is such a special place! Actually it is not really a museum since you can play, eat candies and go on rides on ancient carousels just like in a real fairground… except that you feel like you have been transported back to the 1900’s... so magical!

If Mamy Factory were to plant a tree, what would it look like when it grows?

17 Sep 2013
creative showcase

Style Maker - Goat-Milk

New York based Goat-Milk brings together the perfect mix of classic shapes and functionality. Inspired by a desire to dress their own children in beautifully crafted, simple clothes, Goat-Milk creators Tania and Roland aim to keep their designs simple and classic. With a commitment to fair trade and the environment, all of their beautiful clothes are made of 100% organic, pre-washed cotton making them a line of basics that you will go back to year after year...

After working in advertising together for over 17 years, Tania and Roland were given an opportunity to collaborate on a small line of children's wear that was produced in Spain. Although this fell through they were so excited about creating something for themselves that in 2008 they decided to do it on their own. From their launch Goat-Milk has gone from strength to strength, becoming the perfect go to for beautifully crafted basics. They will also be opening their first retail store this December in East Village, which is very exciting news for New Yorkers!

We asked Tania a few questions about Goat-Milk and what inspires them...
What inspired you to start Goat-Milk?
Roland would travel for photo shoots and I would always ask him to bring back underwear for my son. The quality and styles in Europe were always so much better than what was offered here in the states. When the opportunity came along to collaborate on the Spanish line, we knew there was a market in the US for this sort of thing.

What do you love most about designing clothing for Children?
Children get very attached to things and I like the idea of creating something that they can continue to wear as they grow. Adults are more into disposable fashion or trends.

You base your designs around green sensibilities, what does this bring to your brand?
It’s a life-style, an attitude. We try to keep it as minimal as possible (no hang tags or unnecessary packaging). Sturdy construction so it lasts longer (no throw away clothes here).

What was your most exciting adventure as a kid?
We spent two weeks camping in the Algarve (Portugal). It was the first time our family did anything like that, so it was very out of the ordinary, to sleep in a tent and cook over a fire and spend everyday at the beach. It would be great to do that again one day with my own kids.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t remember having any job aspirations as a kid. I remember once saying that I wanted to be an astronaut, but not sure where that came from.
If Goat-Milk were to make their ultimate milkshake what flavor would it be?
Hmmmm, something classic. Strawberry Banana.

31 Aug 2013
style makers

Style Maker - Peppin

New Zealand based brand Peppin has an ease and wearability that can be hard to find when it comes to childrenswear. With gorgeous signature prints featuring bears and wild things trotting about the woods on soft organic base cloths, Peppin is the perfect mix of casual and cool...

Peppin the brand was started by Kath and Robert in late 2010 alongside the opening their flagship store Peppin Boutique in Auckland's Herne Bay. After the birth of their young son Jett, Kath struggled to find fresh modern cuts for little ones, especially for boys. Coming from a background in fashion Kath saw a gap in the market for a range of childrenswear that was different from the norm. "Rob and I looked for a shop, signed up and I started manufacturing to fill the store. We decided to live above the shop to kick start the brand. That was quite an adventure with a little one in tow!"

The space above the store has now turned into their workroom, and still using Jett as their inspiration, Kath and Robert continue to make beautifully designed clothes in high quality fabrics, neutral colours and eye catching prints. With wearable garments that are made with love, and above all are fun to wear, Peppin is everything a children's brand should be.

We asked Kath a few questions about Peppin and what inspires her...
What inspired you to start designing kids wear?
My own son Jet, I couldn't help but imagine the clothes I wanted him to wear, and was disappointed when I couldn't find the clothes. I really noticed over designed garments in the cheaper brands, and under designed in the more expensive brands. This is shopping locally remember. There are lots of amazing kidswear labels out there, just hard to find them in NZ.

What was your favorite thing to wear as a kid?
I was a complete tomboy, my mum loved the whole dress up gig. Looking back I remember fondly a fur trim suede vest. I was dressed up in a lot of vintage, crazy coats and boots. Cord dresses over jumpers - ( I was a toddler in the 70's after all)...

How do you come up with your signature fabric prints?
We work along side local artists, I come up with theme and brainstorm from there.
Where did the iconic Peppin bear come from?
He is one of the 'forest friends' in our signature print - he became our symbol more because of his composure and versatility then anything else - we love all the' forest friends'.

If you could be a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Trapeze! I love heights and swings...
If Peppin could build the perfect cupcake, what would it be?
An acorn - nutty flavour and a chocolate icing.

22 Aug 2013
style makers
peppin boutique

Style Maker - Noé & Zoë

We have long been fans of Noé & Zoë, and once you check out their beautifully designed collections I'm sure you'll see why. Founded in Berlin, the brand is inspired and designed with a sense of freedom, making each piece unique. Filled with wearable, fun pieces their collections are a testament to kids and what they love to wear...

When Nici and Nadine, the creators of Noé & Zoë, met on a film set in the South of France they quickly became firm friends. Then a few years later while working together on a German TV series they both fell pregnant at the same time. Once their children were born, they both took a break from costume design and started sewing baby toys and accessories. From there they decided that they wanted to create something together, and when Noé (Nadine's son) and Zoë (Nici's daughter) were born in 2007, again one month apart the idea of starting a kids brand began.

In 2011 they launched the first Noé & Zoë children's clothing collection at Playtime Paris. Filled with classic patterns, unique prints, and simple shapes the collection was extremely well received and marked the beginning of a very exciting journey for Nici and Nadine. "It has been amazing to share motherhood as friends and to have found a kind of creative soul sister in each other as we both feel this kind of relationship is very rare and doesn't happen very often in one lifetime!".

Finding inspiration in their costume and film backgrounds, their collections have an element of dress up and the theatrics, making all of their creations a fun escape from everyday life. "We enjoy designing together as we are always on the same wavelength and have very similar ideas and always agree on any decisions that need to be taken." And it is together that they have created Noé & Zoë, an entire universe dedicated to children and their endless imaginations.

We asked Nici and Nadine a few questions about love, life and what inspires them...
What do you love most about designing kids wear?
The freedom we have to design anything we like. We have never followed any trends and are sometimes very out of touch with what the various trends are - we have always designed very instinctively - I think that is the only way to design - from the belly!

We are lucky enough to have the biggest inspiration at home with our own kids! Most of our ideas start at home - pieces our kids are missing or we would like to offer them such as our capes or our crowns... Our ideas are endless and we always find ourselves trying to limit the amount of pieces we include in any one collection!

What inspires you?
Our children... Berlin, our every day lives, traveling, books, films, nature, patterns we find everywhere, colours, graphics, vintage prints, old objects, nice spaces. Our children... once again!!

If you were a kid in Berlin where is the first place you'd go?
For an ice cream at Hockey Pockey! and then for some fun on one these playgrounds: Oderberger street , Weinsberg Park or Marienburger street. Also the technical museum is amazing. To finish the day have a pizza at 'il due forni' on schönhauser allee!

If Noé & Zoë were to come up with three new candy flavours what would they be?
Sweet stars that make you feel brave or Blue candies sprinkled with gold dust that could make you do magic... real magic!

What do you miss most about being a kid?
The ability to live the moment 100% ! I admire this in my children. They are rarely thinking about the next step.

If Noé & Zoë were to create a bicycle what would it look like?

16 Aug 2013
style makers
noé and zoë

Style Maker - Tutu Du Monde

When we first came across Tutu Du Monde, we were instantly transported back to our childhoods. Afternoons filled with tulle, sequins, and beads stolen from our mothers jewellery box, dancing around the house to the sweet melody of swan lake. Tutu Du Monde creates a glittering doorway into the world of make believe...

When Andrea Rembeck, the great mind behind Tutu Du Monde, was asked by her daughter for her very own Tutu, she was disappointed by all the mass produced polyester pieces that were on offer. Inspired, she decided to create her own brand of tutus that were both wearable and practical, while at the same time beautifully unique and timeless.

Inspired by French ballet costumes, Tutu Du Monde offers delicately hand-made Tutus with detailed beading and exquisite fabrics. Reminiscent of vintage couture garments, care is put into every stitch, giving each Tutu its own touch of magic.

All of Tutu Du Mondes garments are lovingly produced in a small workshop in India. "The journey each of our beautiful items takes perfectly illustrates the love that is poured into them, from the design stage in Australia, to their production in India. These are dresses conceived and created with love, designed to be loved for decades to come".

We asked Andrea what inspires her when creating her gorgeous Tutus...
What do you love most about designing tutus?
My favourite part is scouring vintage stores and markets all over the world to find those beautiful timeless pieces with exquisite craftsmanship, which provide inspiration for my tutus, be it colour or embellishment.

Once the collection is designed and sketched up I hop on a plane to India and spend a week or two in the workshop sitting with the beaders to transform my ideas and sketches into reality. It’s very exiting to get completely immersed into the creative process of materializing the new designs whilst soaking up the beautiful atmosphere of India, the ever smiling wonderful people and the constant amazing discoveries at various markets and stores.

What inspires you?
Anything can inspire a collection, sometimes it’s just a few vintage pieces from a certain era that set the tone, other times it may be a movie or book that inspires me to design a collection in a certain way. I am slightly obsessed with Haute Couture - it’s the sublime beauty and unattainability.

Where is your favourite place to go in Sydney?
The beach/water. I love a swim at the end of a work day, it always makes me feel like it’s washing all the stress of the day away.

When you were a child what was the best thing in your dress up chest?
I used to play dress-ups at my grandmother’s house (in Germany where I grew up) and there were trunks with white cotton dresses with gorgeous lace trims dating back as far as the 10’s and 20’s. I was gutted when I found out that everything was thrown out when my grandmother died.

If Tutu Du Monde were to hold wonderland a tea party, what flavoured cakes would be on offer?
Tutu du Monde actually held a birthday party for my daughter’s 8th birthday, a ‘Alyna in Wonderland’ party with Raspberry, Vanilla, Rosewater cake. It was delicious!

And if Tutu Du Monde were to design a Hat to wear to the tea party what would it look like?

Campaign images shot by Sandra Bianco Photography.

29 Jun 2013
style makers
tutu du monde

Style Maker - Mavis & Osborn

Reminiscent of classic children's clothing from decades past, Mavis and Osborn's beautifully tailored garments remind us of a time where treasured pieces would be lovingly handed down through the generations. Handcrafted in Wellington, New Zealand, using only the finest materials, they are tailored in a way that will make sure they stand the test of time...

Creating a children's brand was something that Mavis & Osborn's creator Tamzin Hawkins had always wanted to do. After working as an assistant designer at Trelise Cooper Kids, and as a textile designer for Silver Cross in the UK, it was a natural step for Hawkins to go out on her own.

Taking inspiration for her amazing grandparents, two of whom inspired the name Mavis & Osborn, Hawkins started a shared studio called The Design Loft to base herself from. By creating this incredibly creative space Hawkins is providing emerging designers with a platform where they can grow their brand with the support of like minded designers.

"I love sharing the space with others, we each have strengths in our own areas and can help each other out. It is amazing working on your own projects in amongst a group of wonderful and very talented women". The Design Loft not only has studio equipment available to use but it also has an attached store space that designers can sell from, both to retail buyers and customers.

We asked Tamzin a few questions about about what makes Mavis & Osborn so special...
What do you love most about designing childrenswear?
I love detail, the finer finishes that make a garment unique to any other. I am always looking for ways to improve, and love to get feedback that I can take back to the drawing board to improve on function and form.

Something I learnt whilst designing fabrications for push chairs is the importance of functionality. As a creative person aesthetic and form can often be the centre of a design, but when you are working with kids, it needs to come down to functionally. If you struggle to get something on, a child isn't going to sit there and let you put it on. I also think that you should add value in design. If you can get two years worth of wear out of a jacket because it has a lining which grows, or a skirt with an adjustable waist, you can offer your clients something of value.

What is your favourite thing about living in Wellington?
My nieces. Watching families change and the kids grow up on Skype when you are on the other side of the world is hard. I moved back to Wellington to be near to Malia, and now I have her little sister Lucia to enjoy as well. So My Nieces are by far the best thing about Wellington. I also love my local coffee shop, The Hangar. The people at Flight Coffee are as passionate about coffee as I am about design.

What is your biggest motivation?
The relationships I build with my clients. Its something I really loved when I worked for Trelise Cooper, we had a lot of loyal customers, and its great feeling to be able to offer a service that people appreciate, and always come back to.

My grandparents have also been a huge motivator in my life, I was lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents in my life for over 25 years. They were not lazy people and my mums parents are still around, thats my Nana Mavis and Papa Brian Osborn, they are both amazing and have lived to see so many changes in this world. Papa is 102, and he is still determined to walk a mile a day, every time we Skype I am reminded of his love for life and knowledge, he is definitely an inspiration.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pediatrician, I'm still growing so I guess I still do. Haha maybe one day this will happen.

What is your all time favourite kids movie of all time?
The Wizard of Oz was No.1, and The Labyrinth No.2, until my sister taped over it... I think I must have been pretty upset, because when it came out on DVD many years later I received it as a christmas gift.

If Mavis & Osborn were to make the ultimate ice-cream sundae, what would it be?
'The Ulitmate Ice Cream Sunday' would consist of vanilla ice-cream, a slice of caramelized pear, a bbq'd brown sugar banana, and a mini sticky date pudding. I am quite indecisive when it comes to dessert... so a little bit of each would be perfect.

19 Jun 2013
mavis and osborn
style makers