New Aussie clothing label Minimnt has a fresh take on easy-to-wear kids fashion. Bron Bates had a chat with Matt and Ash, the husband and wife team behind the brand.
Can you tell us a bit about Ash and yourself?
Matt: Ash designed clothes for a huge Australian brand for four years, including launching their kids wear range. She’s always had an eye for design and aesthetics. Ash is the creative director and looks after all design and aesthetics of Minimnt. I’m the business director, and look after…everything else.
Why did you start Minimnt?
Matt: It was a perfect storm of things. Ash and I were both fed up with working for other people. We recognised the gap in the market for good quality kids wear that’s made in Australia.
Can tell us about Minimnt’s style?
Ash: The Minimnt look is very Australian. It’s laid back without looking sloppy, it’s bright, optimistic and unique. It’s also designed in a way that’s super easy to get dressed with elastic and draw cords and every top in the range goes with every bottom. Kids can just throw it on and get on with whatever fun activity is planned for the day.
Can you take us through the design to production process?
Ash: It all starts with an idea. The first collection was ‘Mini Australia’ because that’s the essence of the brand. Then I start working on prints, I trawl the internet and books and dream up ideas when I’m asleep.Then as the prints are underway, I start on the shapes. A lot of the shapes I design are nostalgic to me, I try to imagine myself as a child and what I liked to wear. I also ask a tonne of parents what they want in their children’s closet. Our amazing factory makes a sample for me and I try it on my boy and girl fit models, measuring and tweaking what I can. When I send it back to the factory, the printed sampling should be ready, so I make a final sample that looks like the finished product. We get orders based on the sample and after digitising the patterns and setting up markers, we can go into production. That’s a simplified version, but basically that’s all it takes!
Who are some creatives and artists that inspire you?
Ash: It changes all the time. I get inspired by everyone who’s out there doing it for themselves. In terms of kids wear designers, Laia Aguilar is amazing, her new brand THE ANIMAL OBSERVATORY has that perfect nostalgic feel. Stella McCartney designs great kids clothes and inspires me to go further with a design. If I need inspiration for colour, I turn to artists Esther Olsson and Beci Orpin, their colour combinations are to die for and they’re Australian. I’m also inspired by Instagrammers like Kate Oliver and Jayde from LITTLE PAPER LANE. There are some amazingly creative people on Instagram that I’m just in awe of.
What aspirations do you have for the future and what would be your dream project?
Matt: My soon-to-be-born baby is something I’m aspiring to. Someone I want to make proud. I think that Minimnt can open the door for other brands and creatives to show them that in an age of $2 shirts, there’s still a market out there for quality. The Australian textiles industry does still exist and though much more concentrated, it’s one of the best in the world.
Ash: I want to design homewares, baby clothes, a tween range and more. Matt says we need to get the kids range down pat before we move on to other things, but I have so many great ideas for Minimnt! My dream project would be doing a food or body product collab, as its something I’ve never done before. I’d just like to try everything once.