Hugo Loves Tiki is a line of European-lifestyle inspired children’s and women’s clothing founded in 2015 by designer Cheyenne Couch. With an aesthetic including bold graphics, European languages and unique child-like drawings, the Indiana based label is now carried in over 50 stores in 20 countries!
We were excited to chat with Cheyenne about her unique line in our latest Designer Q&A.
What inspired the name of your label?
When Hugo was just a baby, we lived with my mom and all her rescue animals. None of them would come near Hugo as he wasn’t the most gentle except for my favourite cat Tiki. She was always very surly and a loner, but she would come over to Hugo and let him pet her very violently. From that moment on they were inseparable.
Why did you choose to design for children?
I was always into clothing and looking different but, I never thought I had the chops for design. I am very idea oriented and can get things done, but hate numbers and precise process and my illustrating skills were not what I thought was standard for design school. But, once I had Hugo the world of mismatching prints and patterns was beyond exciting and I wanted to be a part of that world where colour and no rules were celebrated.
What is your brand’s mission statement or goal?
Our clothing is for parents and children who enjoy being different. Unicorns and rainbow – bright are their spirit animals. All colours are unisex. There are no rules.
What are the motivations or inspirations behind the designs?
I am mostly inspired by my children. candy, super heroes, 70’s and 80’s cartoons, my memories as a child and everything in the 80’s and 90’s.
Is there a style decade you are inspired by?
For silhouettes and fabric I like to look back to my childhood decade, the 80’s. My mother saved a bunch of my baby and toddler clothes from when we lived in California. Terry, short shorts, ponchos, rompers, onesies – I mean it is seriously a treasure of inspiration. Toys like barbies, rainbow bright, Smurfs, glow worms, my little pony, troll dolls; this is where my imagination ran free and where I created imaginary worlds and where I imagined the unimaginable.
What makes your label stand out in the industry?
We hope that our colour combinations and our childlike drawings give us a unique take on children’s clothing. It is so hard to stand out when there are so many talented brands out there doing incredible things. We really try hard to be unique and still wearable. It is so hard as everything has been done again and again. So, that is our primary goal – to try and produce new silhouettes every season, as hard as that may be, without a design degree or any traditional education in this field. We are learning more with every season!
How does your design philosophy change when creating for boys vs girls?
I design for my boys. In my opinion all our illustrations are unisex. Pink is my favourite colour and i am not going to exclude pink from my palette just because it is traditionally feminine. I think SS17 will really put this to the test as pink was our main colour-way in that collection. But, I will admit that adding ruffled playsuits and dresses is kind of a dream come true. I am still desperately hoping for a girl some day soon!
What do you have coming up that you are really excited about?
SS17 is most definitely our favourite season thus far. With summer collections I feel the most creative. There are just endless options! I am super excited for our terry romper tank jumpsuits, bathing suits and our new dress. The illustrations for this collection were just really, really fun to draw and see the ideas I’ve had for so long come to life from my sketches. We cannot wait to share at Playtime Paris this summer!
What are your favourite items from the current collection?
Our summer playsuits are our favourite pieces that we have ever made. Both are close to my heart as they are based on pieces from my toddler 80’s clothes. The woven ruffle romper is almost identical to a romper I wore for preschool picture day when I was four, with some alterations to make it more current and our terry playsuit is based on a purple terry short and tank set I had at the same age. To have a meaning and connection to your pieces and to see them worn on your children is probably the most profound and meaningful piece of art I have ever created!