Nov 15, 2017 | By Rose Garrod
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In 2009, Belgium graphic agency Toykyo along with artist Bué and former top model An Oost launched Belgium-based Toykyo Kids. The wildly imaginative unisex brand is designed for kids age 2 to 12. After her Belgian Wave days and the birth of her daughter Holly, An Oost was ready to help Toykyo and Bué with the creation of Toykyo Kids. The collection’s well-designed basics have the touch of an all-knowing mom and serve as the perfect canvas for Bué’s colorful and curious characters. Bué spends most of his time traveling and painting the real world into his imaginative world.
Why did Toykyo creative agency decide to launch a kids’ collection?
Toykyo works a lot with Bue on different jobs for publicity and we noticed that his designs attract young people as well as adults. His designs are so happy and vibrant that we thought they would be perfect for a kidswear collection. First, we started with producing a plush bear designed by Bue. This was sold out in a minute, so we thought it was time to try children’s clothing. There was also a huge demand by his fans. They saw his designs on walls spread over Belgium and the rest of the world.
Why are Bue and An the perfect collaborators? How do you share the design process?
Bue designs all the graphics on the clothing. Afterwards, we decide together on the colors, fabrics and fits. Bue is the creative brain while An makes everything work together. She organizes the shoots for the catalogue and handles the media and public relations. An also was a model for a long time so she can use this experience and also that of motherhood for the collection.
What inspires Bue’s artwork? How do you move the capacious work onto clothing?
He is a very ‘at this very moment’ sort of designer. He goes out to paint walls without much of a plan. It all comes very naturally to Bue. The designs on the clothing are usually inspired by characters that Bue draws on his walls. Running bears, little bandits, cats driving funny cars, clouds that are raining colours…the design stage really starts on the walls in the cities. Afterwards, we get together in the office behind our computer and start choosing which designs we’ll use on the collection of that season and putting everything together.
As artists first, graphics are the focus of the collection but what inspires the silhouettes? Why a unisex collection?
We thought it was very important to design clothing that is comfortable and easy to wear. Nothing too fancy and over dressed…clothes in which you can easily go out and play and still look cool and special. This implied automatically that the hoodies, sweaters and shirts should be for both boys and girls. Some designs or colors we use are more boyish than others, but we let the boys and girls decide themselves if they want to wear it or not.
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