Mini & Maximus – miniandmaximus.com – is a upbeat, exciting label from the sunny shores of California, who’s main motto is ‘let kids be kids’. Drawing their inspiration from kids themselves, their range of garments always come out looking unique and with no sense of strict styling conventions. The label is committed to sourcing the most creative artwork from both established and up and coming artists. They also accept artwork from kids through submission call out, where one of two of their finds making it into the new collections.
A new exciting spring/summer 12 collection from Mini & Maximus is right around the corner. I had the opportunity to catch up with the lovely ladies Sophie St-Onge and Megan Villa to have a little quick chat about it recently.
Q – Rock Paper Scissors is the name of the new collection from Mini & Maximus, launched around Feb 15th. We are talking cue words like, Rock N’ Roll, fringes, wrestling, pride… What were your inspirations for this collection?
A – This season we were inspired by Americana and Rock N’ Roll and kids being kids. We have a bit of Americana with the Flag and Mima Eagle tees, and the Rock, Paper, Scissors tee is the essence of the collection with the emphasis on the “Rock” and then we have the collaboration we did with Novella Royale, which is seamstress for the band and Peacock fringe tees and genie pants which brings us back to the 70’s.
Q – For each collection you make, there is always some very interesting collaborations with artists from around the world, who were you working with this time?
A – This season we partnered with an artist from Sweden named Frida Wannerberger who did the adorable Bisou Bisou tee. Then we have the Unicorn and Owl graphics that are with Maia Chavez Larkin, a super talented illustrator and blogger (check out her blog with photos of her uber-fashionable daughter Q: www.uneenvie.blogspot.com.) And lastly as I mentioned above, we collaborated with Novella Royale on the two fringe tees and genie pants. They started making luxury purses made from recycled leather and have since moved on to genie pants, bell bottoms, caftans, all made from vintage fabric so no two pieces are the same. The genie pants in the line are all different prints so you never know what you are going to get.
Q- There are some nice little hints in the tees in this collections. A lovely awareness on being kind to the planet and preserving it for our coming generations and also a great sense of pride of being “made in the USA”. Are these two messages something MIMA focus on?
A – Being eco conscious is just the way we think in our daily lives. We feel strongly about being respectful to our environment and feel like the product we put on the market needs to reflect a sense of responsibility for the little ones wearing it. As adults and parents, it’s our responsibility to “DO THE RIGHT THING” for the little ones future we will leave them with. We use organic and natural fabrics, water based ink and recycled paper. We want to do our part in raising awareness! We do take pride in the fact that we are able to manufacture all of our products in California and also in the fact that we try to do everything as environmentally friendly as possible.
Q- Since one of your major inspiration sources comes from kids themselves and you are famous for supporting the young artists out there, what can you tell us about this collections Art Tees for Kids by Kids?
A – Starting at a very young age, kids voice their opinion in what they want and don’t want to wear. So why not involve the kids in the line, they are our best judge… KIDS WILL HAVE THEIR SAY is our tag line to remind ourselves that these clothes are FOR THEM. Kids come up with the most creative artwork, we love their way of thinking and how they express it via drawing/painting.
Kids come up with amazing doodles that even the best artists in the world can’t create. Their art is so innocent, real and unexpected. We just can’t get enough of their creativity! This season we collaborated with 6 year old Alex from Canada. He created the “Fly Sky High” bat graphic for us.
Q – You recently held another successful art show, Milk & Cookies / The Story Tellers art show, together with Active Ride Shop. Producing interesting collaborations with children and artists. I love how you incorporate children in the process of making art and making them feel apart of the creative sphere, and giving them a sense of pride while creating it. Will there be more of these events coming up?
A- Thank you! The Milk & Cookie event was our 1st Art Show By Kids. We love to have the kids be involved. The parents and adult artists were actually just as excited as the kids were. Not many people have the time to actually draw and paint with their kids, but we can’t blame them since life can be busy. But this was a great way for the parent and child to spend time creating art together. We will definitely be doing more of these events in the future.
Q- What has been some of the highlights since making your first collection, Fictitious Figures?
A – One of the biggest highlights for us was to see Gwen Stefani’s son, Kingston wearing our tees. We love her kids style and think that they are the epitome of who we want wearing our product, so that was really exciting/flattering for us. Also, getting to work with different artists each season has been fun, there are so many talented artists out there and it is exciting to find new ones each season to collaborate with. Also, not many people realize this, but we also sell limited edition hand-screen printed posters with some of the graphics from our line. We have a huge online supporter in London called Bodie & Fou (www.bodieandfou.com). They are an online shop that sells a bunch of our posters and one of them made the cover of her first mail order catalogue, that was pretty exciting for us as well.
Q- Rock Paper Scissors screams summer to me, what are you looking forward to this summer?
A- We are looking forward to days at the beach, eating ice cream, surfing, stand up paddle boarding and maybe getting a better tan than the one we get from our computer screens. : ) We would love to do a fun/crafty event for kids this summer. Perhaps doing a photo contest of kids eating ice cream with sticky faces could be fun? Did we mention we love ice cream?