Good morning Chit Chat Tuesday readers! Thank you so much for joining me this week! I hope that you have all had a wonderful week!
This weekend is all about the lovely ladies in our lives! Unfortunately, I will not be with Mama H on the Sunday but I am very lucky to be spending Friday evening with her! So yes the drinks will be flowing and the Sushi will be ordered!
This week on CCT I am joined by Kristin Nystrom – brand owner and designer of the fabulous childrenswear brand Gardner and the Gang! After seeing Gardner and the Gang featured in numerous publications, my colleague and I made it top of our priority list to see when we were at Playtime Paris! We fell instantly in love! If I was a kid I would want to be dressed in these bold, statement garments!
I am a 34 year old Swedish lady living in Singapore. I’m a Graphic Designer who loves fashion and art!
How did you get in to children’s fashion?
I started when I had my first Daughter. A friend that I worked with on a design project said that I should print my illustrations on children’s clothing.
From this moment, I was inspired and had a clear vision of what I wanted to do.
Where did the name Gardner and the Gang come from?
My eldest daughter is named Ava. It is a pretty unusual name in Sweden but I really like the meaning of it. It means “like a bird”. So, when I was to come up with a cool name for our company I thought of the great actress Ava Gardner.
The gang stands for all the kids who want to join us! Everyone is invited 🙂
AND you live in Singapore? Tell us about that…
Singapore is great! It has a great “business climate” and is very beneficial to entrepreneurs.
I find life here pretty easy with kids as I don’t have to dress them in layers. This makes a huge difference to me! It is hot and humid which can be rather challenging at times but all in all we really enjoy life here.
How is it running a fashion brand over there?
The first few years we lived here I thought Singapore was lacking the inspiration of fashion BIG time. But lately it seems to have picked up which is fab!
Our largest crowd is definitely in Europe, then the states and to some extent Japan and Korea.
Over here in Singapore we still have a huge amount of work to do with kids fashion and the type of G+G style.
But this is a fun challenge that we love working on!
Tell us about the brand and the philosophy…
I initially created G+G with the intention of creating garments for kids with elements that I knew kids would love. These elements being colour, humour, comfort, and things you want to play in and wear all the time.
The illustrations are vivid and very colourful! They’re made with a huge portion of my sense of style and humour.
My vision was to create a very stylish and cool outfit that at the same time is comfortable!
I understand that you name all of the characters in the collections! Can you tell us more about this…
The first character I created was the “trademark” which is the Love Skull with the golden tooth. My imagination then made me draw a Flamingo with a helmet and funky sunglasses. I initially named him Helmut. This is where it all started.
After that every new season has had a theme and the illustrations have been named and given an “identity”.
This is an on-going process! We have just finished drawing SS 2015 which is very exciting as it’s going to be a super fun collection!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere and everyone. It can be something I see, something I have heard on the radio or something that someone said on a bus.
My whole philosophy in life is to have an open mind to new things and I think this really helps your imagination.
This is the greatest part in the work process. There is nothing better than when you get that “aha” moment to create a new character.
I agree! That is one of the simplest pleasures in life! Can you tell us about the SS14 collection?
I was inspired by punk culture and music. The challenge here was to make it edgy but not too hard.
I wanted to keep the charm and mix it with the right amount of attitude. In this collection Patric the Punk Rocker and his English Bulldog Johnny play the lead character roles. We have made the collection very colourful by using bright yellow – A colour that I personally love for this season. We have Teamed up with some fruity pink and greens and some easy to match white and greys.
A couple of statement pieces from this collection will definitely give a splash of colour to any little fashionistas wardrobe out there.
What can we look forward to with AW14?
AW 2014 has some new garments and some very cool characters! There is a great portion of “cute with a hint of attitude!” That has become our motto.
I’m also happy to say that the new garments will be perfect for the British climate!
That’s a big relief as we wouldn’t want those little fashionistas to miss out on the opportunity to wear G+G during winter! Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
I am always doing smaller art and design projects on the side of G+G but lately Gardner and the Gang has been growing so fast that I have found myself not being able to work on other projects! I am not complaining though as I absolutely love what I am doing!
Who would you love to see wearing your brand?
I would love to see little Harper Beckham wear one of our pieces teamed up with a super stylish coat or skirt. This is what we are all about – Mixing unexpected pieces in order to create greatness.
It always makes me incredibly proud when I see a child wearing my designs! That is one of THE best feelings.
Tell us about a typical Gardner and the Gang client…
Someone who is fashion conscious appreciates that extra little something, wants their child to be able to “be a child” and look fashionable at the same time.
Where can individuals buy Gardner and the Gang?
Right now in the UK we are stocked at Scandinavian Minimall, I dream Elephants and Sidneyboo!
Tell us about a typical day…
I always have breakfast with my kids in the morning.
Three days a week I take my eldest to pre-school and then I go to the office.
At the office we often start the days with answering all the emails from the night before and then begin to process orders that have come though during the night.
We are also working hard on different social media and try to update it continually throughout the day.
The season is like a cycle and we go through different stages of the design process. However, it is always important to keep close contact with our manufacturers, retailers and external people involved in the process in order to move forward.
The design work is of course a large part of the day but all days are different. Sometimes we have viewings in the showroom from customers which is something that we love as it is an opportunity to get close contact with customers.
There is nothing like a good chinwag to get you through the day! What do you hope for Gardner and the Gang?
My hopes are to reach out to more mini fashionistas!
We want the world to be a great “gang”
Our characters are very distinct and they all have a lot of individuality.
In some way my vision is to tell all wonderful kids out there that they should always their self as they are great just the way they are!
What a lovely way to put it Kristin! I couldn’t of said it better myself!
A huge thanks to Kristin for joining me this week on Chit Chat Tuesday! If like me you are a huge fan on G+G make sure you check it out online! If I was a kid I definitely know what I would want to be wearing! Who wouldn’t want to be part of the gang?
Join me next week for lots more chinwagging! I hope that you all have a wonderful day with those lucky ladies in your live.
Gardner and the Gang website :- http://www.gardnerandthegang.com/
Facebook :- https://www.facebook.com/GardnerAndTheGang
Twitter :- https://twitter.com/gardnergang
Instagram :- http://instagram.com/gardnerandthegang
Pinterest :- http://www.pinterest.com/gardnerandtheg
Photos courtesy of Kristen – Gardner and the Gang