Established only two years ago in Indiana, USA, Hugo Love Tiki has already made a name for itself in the kidswear industry. With unique graphics and signature foreign language flash card prints, Hugo Loves Tiki has become widely loved across the globe. Meet the woman who runs the show, designer Cheyenne Couch.
JS: What sparked your interest in children’s fashion?
CC: Once I had my son Hugo and came to start shopping for clothes, I was uninspired by the everyday options that were available to me on the high street, so I started hand stamping leggings and scouring vintage shops for 70’s and 80’s children’s clothing. Eventually, I started researching online for unique kid’s clothing labels and came across many clothing brands through the world of Instagram. I was amazed at all the independent children’s clothing labels on Instagram and all the creative mums that were like me. This lead me to start thinking about how I could be a part of this community in any way possible.
JS: How has your work evolved since you started your label?
CC: I started almost three years ago teaching myself how to screen print American Apparel T-shirts, hoping this would be a fun and creatively fulfilling side job to do whilst I stayed at home with Hugo. The first few t-shirt designs sold out and it just started snowballing from there. I will always remember being 7 months pregnant with Roman, while screen printing hundreds of t-shirts in my mom’s basement and thinking even though this was crazy and I was exhausted, how lucky I was to have this business that I started on my own out of nothing, that was thriving. Hugo Loves Tiki is now a fully manufactured organic brand. It is by far THE hardest and most stressful job I have ever had, but I can never see myself doing anything else.
JS: If you weren’t doing Hugo Loves Tiki, what would you be doing?
CC: I would be doing something creative. I have a B.A. in Fine Art and I was a wedding photographer before Hugo Loves Tiki. However, I have always been into interior design and I think that is what I would do if I ever had the time.
JS: What advice would you give your younger self?
CC: To forget about your hangups with illustrating. To not be afraid to be yourself. Putting yourself out there you are vulnerable but is invaluable if you are to grow as an artist. You do not need a degree in the field to start creating in that field. Education can come from experience…….And, most importantly, stop procrastinating and stop worrying about money. Start making your art a priority and the money will come.
JS: What was the biggest “pinch-me” moment since starting Hugo Loves Tiki?
CC: Whenever my Instagram mum crushes buy or want to collab, it is really exciting. These are the mums that dress their kids the way I do and love the community which I do. It is such a huge compliment when they mix and match or clothes with some of our industry heroes. Recently, Elle Australia wanted to feature our brand in their next issue. Jessica Alba said she loved our stuff and wanted to reorder our AW16 line. It is also quite a pleasure to be followed on Instagram by a few celebrities. This all is really validating when you are constantly in your head going back and forth that everything isn’t good enough or could be better in some minute way.
JS: What are some things on your bucket list that you’ve crossed off? What is still left?
CC: I have always wanted to continue travelling. Now I get to travel to Paris twice a year for work and hopefully I will add more international trade shows and be able to attend our photo shoots in Belgium. I am hesitant to say, but I would love to open up a retail space in NY as I hated working in retail in my teen years and 20’s, but decorating the entire store in pink and brass with 80’s pink carpet would probably make me rethink it 😉
JS: Is there a favourite or most meaningful piece or collection?
CC: SS17 is our favourite collection containing our most favourite pieces we have created thus far. The pastels are so dreamy and some of the illustrations took me a long time to draw and perfect, so they are really close to my heart. We were able to do so much more this season because of our huge growth in the last 6 months. It is really a joy to not be restricted creatively and have the freedom to pick all the pieces that you want and design anything that comes to mind.
JS: What’s in your purse right now?
CC: It is a mess like me. Not organised and full of junk. Papers and receipts, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, 10 pairs of sunglasses, and tonnes of lipstick.
JS: Is there any upcoming news you’d like to share? Could you give us a glimpse of what we can expect from SS17?
CC: We have been dying to do winter coats, socks, and swimsuits. In the next two seasons, we hope to be able to offer all of these. My long-term goal of designing a bedding collection is in the works. SS17 will be full of creamy shades and pastels, Ice cream, kitty cats, and gummy bears, and I think a favourite we will do every season…….chunky stripes.
Shop the full Hugo loves Tiki AW16 here.
Reader offer: Multi-retailer Mo+Me Kids are offering 20% off all AW16 collection’s which includes Hugo loves Tiki’s AW16 collection. Use code JUNIORSTYLE for 20% off.
All rights reserved.