brand feature: atsuyo et akiko

for the next few weeks we will be featuring different brands on our blog to give you more insight into the companies, the designers, and the missions behind each one. our goal with brand interviews is to create a more personal engagement and familiarity between our customers (you) and the amazing labels that we carry.

our first brand feature is of brooklyn-based design duo, astuyo et akiko, makers of sparkly accessories, french-inspired graphic tees, and all things whimsical.  launched in 2007 by two equally creative moms, atsuyo yang and akiko mukae, the goal was simple: to make cool and playful clothes and accessories their own children would love to wear.  a decade later, they have accomplished that goal and more.  in 2011, the brand was honored with an award from the walt disney company for their collaboration on the "halo" project.  

we recently caught up with astuyo and akiko who were kind enough to answer some of our questions about their brand.

q: we love and admire your collaborative efforts with various creatives.  what do you look for when creating synergy between the brand and a particular artist?

a: we always look for a story, and colors are very important when we work with other artists for the collection.

q: what did you both do before atsuyo et akiko? what inspired you to venture into this industry, and start a children’s clothing line?

a: atsuyo comes from a fashion background, and was trying to get pregnant when we started the brand. i (akiko) am from the fine arts world.  my daughter was 8 years old when we started the business, and i was already working on making special gifts for my daughter.

q: many of your items incorporate french culture and verbiage- what was the inspiration for that?

a: we both grew up in japan where some french words were just as common as western katakana words. i traveled to france with my daughter right before we started the brand, so we decided to use the common french phrase- "je t’aime" in a lot of our designs. we both love french words, how they sound, and how they look.

q: what is your favorite piece from the recent collection?

a: the violetta dress in ivory with silk ribbon with gold stars print.

q: trend vs. personal style, what do you follow when creating your clothing?

a: we try not to think about trend, since we don't follow seasons in our designs. we reflect our personal life into every collection. we create things that we want our daughters to wear, and enjoy, everyday.

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