Designer Q&A, marin + morgan

Earlier this year we attended Playtime NYC and had a blast! Besides the trade show’s killer lunch menu, one highlight and favourite find was the brand new New York based label marin + morgan. We gushed over the fine detailing and sophisticated feel of the line which captures just enough whimsy to make it perfectly appropriate for littles.

The collection offers garments from size 2-8 for boys and girls in 100% natural fabrics, featuring clever faux-camouflage bird and Aztec prints and teal accents throughout. Launching just in time for back-to-school (oh ya, its almost that time again…) marin + morgan will be opening their new online shop this week and we wanted to be the first to give you the details of how this chic line came to be. We asked Radha and Saloni all our questions in today’s Designer Q&A! marin + morgan Fall 2015 Lookbook (1).pdf-8e What inspired the name of your label?
Radha: Before we started working together, Saloni and I were neighbors in Jersey City. I lived on Marin Boulevard, and Saloni lived on Morgan Street. The name marin + morgan is an ode to the birthplace of the brand.

Why did you choose to design for children?
Saloni: Radha and I both have tons of nieces and nephews who we are constantly shopping for. In doing so over the past few years, we have felt like there is a void in the children’s market for affordable clothing that mirrors sophisticated adult trends with age-appropriate flair, especially in the pre-tween market (2-8 years). So, we decided to design a line that trendy parents would believe is a reflection of their own personal style, and not just cutesy kids clothes.

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What are the motivations or inspirations behind the design?
Saloni: Born and raised in India, both Radha and I have traveled the world extensively as children. I for one, grew up in a family of art and history lovers, often traveling to the cities of the Old World during my childhood. Our inspiration for marin + morgan is an amalgamation of such diverse cultures and countries. Our Fall 2015 collection for instance is inspired by our recent travels to South Africa, Mexico and Latin America, showcasing safari and Aztec themes, reworked into more modern silhouettes.

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Is there a style decade that you are inspired by?
Radha: While the brand itself strives to be timeless and seasonless, I think each season has a distinctive look and inspiration. Our Fall 2015 was very 60s inspired with mini lengths and full circle skirts, while our new Spring line is a modern take on the romantic 30s with girly ruffles.

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What makes your label stand out in the industry?
Radha: We believe that we offer highly chic and sophisticated children’s apparel that is also fun and whimsical. We take great pride, not only in the design and ornamentation, but also in the comfort, quality and ease of the wardrobe. We have a ‘kid-centric’ design philosophy that focuses on how our little customer would react to the fit, look and feel of the collection. That’s why we test every garment on regular kids (not models), to get real feedback from them or the person dressing them, and subsequently incorporating such feedback into production. All of our garments are made with 100% natural luxury fabrics, low-impact dyes and digital printing for optimum color saturation. Made with meticulous craftsmanship, every piece is fully hand-finished to add a touch of luxury.

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How does your design process differ when designing for boys vs. girls?
Saloni: marin + morgan is designed with both genders in mind. We love the idea of “brother-and-sister” outfitting, with prints handpicked and engineered for an androgynous feel. There are quite a few pieces in the collection, such as our printed button downs, relaxed tunic and jersey tees that we feel are appropriately unisex. That said, we also offer gender specific pieces featuring one strategic standout design element in the form of an oversized bow, or printed neck scarf for the girl, or contrast print in linings or cuffs, or suspenders for the boys.

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What do you have coming up that you are really excited about?
Saloni and Radha: Yes! Some super exciting things are happening with marin + morgan this July! We will launch our first collection ever (Fall 2015), in about 20 premium retail stores in the US, Canada and Japan. Additionally, our online store opens for business on July 7th! And while we showcase Fall 2015 at retail, we will be seeing the first protos for our Spring 2016 samples this month as well! By the way, Spring 2016 is looking incredible and we cannot wait to show it to our retail partners at the summer shows!

marin + morgan Fall 2015 Lookbook (1).pdf-4What is your favourite piece from your current collection?
Saloni and Radha: There were certain design elements that we absolutely adored, and decided to center the collection around them. For girls, we adored our dramatic bows on airy silhouettes, as seen on the bow neck dress with pin tucks, bow tie camisole and printed flared skirt with an oversized bow tie. We also love some of our edgy yet feminine pieces like the long sleeve reversible peplum blouse and cap sleeve baby doll blouse, all in a graphic Aztec print.

For boys, we love our clean and sharp cotton sateen blazer, fully lined with an original camouflage-inspired “flights of fantasy” print. It can be paired with a simple, but not basic, button down shirt with print accents, and a dropped crotch pant lined with the “flights of fantasy” print, with suspenders. Our graphic Aztec print is amazing on our round collar button down shirt, which can be paired with a super cool and comfy jodhpur pant in autumn colours like mustard or vermillion.

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Don’t forget to visit www.marinandmorgan.com July 7th.

We know you’re wondering who captured these lovely images… PC Elizabeth Pettey

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