Blame it on the rise of Instagram or the persuasiveness of the Kimye effect, but chances are your mini-me is better dressed than you. Either way, the children's clothing industry has received an injection of swagger that was missing after decades of dining on a steady diet of bubble gum and Disney-centric apparel.
Five years ago this November, Montreal-based Electrik Kidz was born, and since then, they have added a bolt electricity to kids' fashion. Read our interview with designer Ariane St-Pierre Cyr and Christian "Le Big Boss" Simard to learn about their cool and unique take on children's clothing.
Amélie & Max: What is the inspiration behind the name of your label?
Ariane St-Pierre Cyr: The name Electrik Kidz and our lightning logo were inspired by the fact that kids are always full of energy, and that this new generation of children are surrounded by technology. Also, we were looking for a name that would sound well in both French and English, so Electrik Kidz was just perfect!
AM: What prompted you to design for children?
ASC: Our first inspiration was our son, born 6 years ago, only a couple of months before our company. Because he drooled so much, I got the idea to create a stylish bib with organic fabric left over from Christian's clothing company. This bib received many compliments and when I added of a pacifier clip it became the Baby Bandana (the flagship model of the brand). It was the first step towards entire collections of crafty pieces of clothing for kids and their young-at-heart parents.
AM: What is your design philosophy?
ASC: Electrik Kidz clothing and accessories mixes up nostalgia and modernity by revisiting classic patterns and cuts. By using high quality ethically sourced fabric of high quality, and by creating clever designs.
AM: Why do you use ethically sourced materials in most, if not all of your pieces?
Christian Simard: It is one of our most important values to minimize the impact of our business on the environment. Doing business in the children clothing industry involves having respect for the generations to come. To use organic cotton and other ethical materials, to hand-silkscreen our products with eco-friendly water-based ink and to supply ourselves locally with fabrics that are ecological actions, are at the basis of our business.
AM: Is there a style decade you are inspired by?
CS: Most of our pieces are inspired by the late 70s and early 80s. We get very inspired by the looks we wore in our own childhood and by the memories we keep of it: the colors, the decors, the games we played, etc.
AM: What do you have coming up that you are really excited about?
ASC: This November, Electrik Kidz is celebrating its 5th anniversary! We are proud to be part of the international children’s clothing industry while remaining true to our funky style. Also, we have plans on a short term for doing more business in Europe and that will help concretize lots of our business purposes.
AM: What is your favourite piece from your current collection?
ASC: This fall-winter collection bomber jackets are our favourite pieces!
AM: What is the most rewarding part of your business?
CS: We feel so proud of knowing that our brand is available in so many price points! Also, receiving requests for our products from all around the world almost each day without knowing how people hear about us is quite rewarding!
AM: How do you balance your relationship, kids, and your brand?ASC: It is a lot of work, it’s not always easy, we have to admit... .