Aug 09, 2018 | By Allison Goodfellow-Ash
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Born and raised in France, Michelle Marshall studied languages in Lyon, photography in the Midlands and worked as a fitness professional prior to having two daughters and realizing the nine-to-five work day was no longer for her. In 2010, Michelle founded London-based Quirky Collective, an online shop purveying “Land of Make-Believe” looks that are “fun, simple, versatile and hopefully not mainstream.”
“Setting up Quirky Collective satisfied my interests in design, fashion and photography,” recalled Michelle, who also launched the I Am Quirky blog to complement her online store. Michelle envisioned a one-stop shop where “brands with personality” could reach a community of creative-minded parents and cool kids. Michelle’s two daughters, Lola and Sissi, serve as the models and muses for the fantastically functional yet playful collection of children’s apparel. Here is an excerpt from our brand profile on Quirky Collective.
Tell us about your mission to “cultivate the I.”
It is shying away from the idea of children as mini-adults. It is more about nurturing the very essence of being a child – that spirited yet unique and innocent way of being, which sadly tends to fade somewhat when entering adulthood.
You’ve stressed the importance of parental connection to childrenswear brands. As a mother yourself, what do parents look for when choosing clothing for their children?
I would say that they are after something different, ethical, that make no assumptions about who their child is or who he/she ought to be. Brands that do not enforce any stereotypes through their design but instead leave the parents to make the final decision.
What are some essentials that every child should have in their closet?
Stripes are a must! Every child should own a stripy little something. Also, a nice pair of dark denim that should be allowed to get super filthy (so easily achieved with little people) before being washed for that ultimate used look.
You just finished scoping out the new collections for S/S 12. Any trends/brands/items that made an impression?
I do not tend to consciously follow trends. For me, it is more a case of a brand or garment making me go “YES!” It could be because of a particular cut, the idea behind a collection or the parallels that a brand can draw to adult wear or other disciplines while still being able to tap into the fantastic world that is childhood. It is all about the product and its ability to complement a child’s personality, his/her daily adventures and how it encapsulates childhood. One of the brands that I wish I could fast forward to S/S 12 is Tannhaüser, a simple but striking collection.
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