Annie from Stylejuicer‘s bold new kids’ brand, Wild Boys & Girls, caught my eye as soon as it launched. Having admired Annie’s sense of style since meeting her at Blogtacular last year, I was struck by how well the products she has designed for her brand – t-shirts, posters, cushions – illustrate the simple, pared-back, graphic aesthetic that she so brilliantly curates on her blog.
I was gutted that the brand launched just too late for me to get a t-shirt each for the twins. They’ve just celebrated their 6th birthday, and the teepee design would have been perfect for them to wear to their camping-themed party.
Here are a few questions I put to Annie about Wild Boys & Girls…
How did Wild Boys & Girls come about?
WBG started off with an idea to design some hip t-shirts for my little guys, triggered by endless hours of browsing Pinterest and Instagram as well as reading about and meeting stylish and inspirational mamas in business. As I quickly realised when talking to other mums, there was potential to establish myself as a brand – and since I was already producing a small number of t-shirts, and with my background in graphic design and marketing, I decided to go the whole hog and add some posters and cushions to the range.
What were you aims?
My objectives for the brand are all based around my own needs as a mother of two pretty lively (wild!) boys, a graphic designer and a design-conscious parent.
Not only did I want my kids to look cool in the playground but I wanted the t-shirts to last. The designs needed to be timeless, the jersey had to be soft and comfortable to wear, the cut had to be just right and they had to wash well in a kind of getting-better-with-time way. The sort of t-shirt you hand down to younger siblings or pass on to other parents.
The designs play on the current interest in North American tribes. What is it that grabbed you?
I have great memories of my childhood growing up in Northern Germany, mostly hanging out on my grandparents farm and playing outdoors all day long. I had a teepee and Native American dressing up kit and loved to role play making use of anything I could find in the surrounding woods and fields. The history of the Native American tribes is well documented in books, movies, music etc and still captures people’s imaginations.
I’m a graphic designer by trade, so my experience came in handy as did my love for creating logos and icons. I wanted some very reduced, clean and minimal graphics that are instantly recognisable. Drawing the graphics and refining them in illustrator was the easy bit, the hard part was narrowing down the selection. I’m passionate about detail and I made use of the (dissected) logo in three of the four designs. It sort of rewards the eye when you spy it, and it’s also a fun game to play with the kids. Can you spot the logo?
The Scandinavian design principle of form follows function really resonates with me, and like Mies van der Rohe I truly believe less is more. With WBG I’d like to introduce a back-to-basics approach with a modern twist.
Black and white, light and shadow are the first contrasts the eye distinguishes and there’s lots of visual stimulation for babies in monochrome. Monochrome to me is classic, clean and simple. It’s timeless and can be dressed up with pops of colour or kept as is for a more urban contemporary look. I find there’s too much visual *noise* for children, especially in fashion, with loud colours, patterns, superfluous details and cartoon characters (yuk). WBG sets the stage and gives children a backdrop to let their own wonderful imagination unfold.