Meet Saloni and Radha, the dynamic duo behind the kids fashion line marin + morgan! Just a few days ago, they launched their Fall 2015 collection online.. and this one is a home run. These designers are impressive from start to finish with their flawless and well thought out palettes and designs. This brand brings your little one playful, comfortable colorful designs with a 5 star quality! Impressive!
Kymberly Marciano: What impulsed you to create marin + morgan? What gap in the market did it fill?
Saloni: Radha and I have been shopping for kids clothes for quite some time now, thanks to our ever growing populace of nieces and nephews. In doing so, we have felt like most of the product that is available, does not necessarily reflect the personal style of the trendy parent. In designing for marin + morgan, we were inspired by parents in some of the most stylish cities in the world.. from Paris to Tokyo to London… and how they dress their kids like their own miniatures, thereby establishing a very unique style aesthetic in their kids from a very young age. After all, kids are the reflection of their parents and their best accessory.
KM: How do you think children’s fashion has evolved in the past couple of years?
Radha: With so many millennials becoming parents in the recent years, we believe that the values and attitudes of millennial parents have trickled down into the overall kids fashion scene. We find that parents are (now more than ever) looking for uniqueness that sets their kids apart from everyone else in their circle. They are value conscious, but welcome spending on their kids for the right quality and artisanship. The modern millennial parent is also all about environmentally conscious products that resonate with their own beliefs, and do not mind paying a premium to stay true to them.
KM: What differentiates Marin + Morgan from other kids fashion lines?
Saloni: Our product philosophy is completely ‘kid centric’. We started designing the first collection, knowing one thing for sure: we wanted to create a collection that was 100% natural, as that’s what we believe is best suited for kidswear. We brainstormed about the fabric that would provide most comfort, shapes that our customer would enjoy wearing and the design elements that would provide the most ease of use. Later, as our protos started coming in, we spent days testing each proto on actual kids, getting real feedback from them about comfort, ease of use and liking, subsequently incorporating such feedback into production. We believe that we have created a line that is luxurious and sophisticated, yet fun and whimsical.
KM: What do you think are the differences between how adults shop for themselves and how they shop for their kids?
Radha: From our perspective, trend conscious adults shop for themselves sporadically all year long, because adult fashion is really dynamic, but personal preferences are constant. For kids however, we believe that parents shop only a few of times a year, for items that will have longevity. Kids not only outgrow sizes but also preferences very quickly. I know atleast a handful of pretweens who absolutely loved an outfit or accessory or toy when they were 7 but thought it wasn’t cool enough by the time they were 8. This is exactly the reason why marin + morgan focuses on not only on the quality of product, but also a forward thinking design to meet the preferences of the fast paced kidswear world.
KM: Tell us about your upcoming collection to launch online tomorrow! What was the inspiration behind it all?
Radha: We are thrilled to launch our early fall collection online tomorrow! Our Fall 2015 is inspired by Saloni and my recent travels to South Africa, Brazil and Mexico and reflects the charm of old-school animal and bird safaris… and for the girls, there is just a touch of whimsy a la’ Amelia Earhart.
Girls will find dramatic bows on airy silhouettes in cotton or silk. Boys will enjoy clean and sharp silhouettes accentuated with our original camouflage-inspired ‘flights of fantasy’ print. Each piece is made with comfortable and durable cotton-based fabrics including printed Cotton Voile, Cotton Single Jersey, Cotton Twill and 100% silk habotai.
KM: What is your absolute favorite ensemble from this collection?
Saloni: For girls, we absolutely adore our oversize bows as seen on our bow neck dress with pin tucks, and printed flared skirt with an oversized bow tie. For boys, we love the reversible tunic, fully lined with our original camouflage-inspired “flights of fantasy” print, so that it can we worn both ways. This can be paired with our dropped crotch pant lined with the “flights of fantasy” print, with suspenders
KM: Marin + Morgan is built around the use of natural fibers, comfortable styles and fairly run factories. How do your designs/brand promote this initiative?
Saloni: As a socially conscious brand, we believe that always using 100% natural fibers and low impact, nickel free and lead free dyes is probably the least we can do towards a cleaner more sustainable future for our children. It’s not a selling point for us, it’s just simply what we truly believe in.
KM: What advice would you give an aspiring children’s wear designer?
Radha: Based on our own experience with launching marin + morgan, the best advice we can give any new peers is to start with a strong mission statement, and really think about what they want their brand to be or do. If the end goal is clear, then the path can not only be built, but also modified much more easily. Having solid goals also enables you to know which pieces of the path are negotiable.
KM: What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2016?
Saloni: Spring 2016 development is currently in full swing, and I must say, it is looking spectacular. Expect tons of yummy, dramatic prints in luxurious fabrics, that kids will enjoy wearing whether they are playing in the sand or at school or at a birthday party! Next fall, we hope to diversify the collection into cozy outerwear groups.
KM: What’s your favorite word?
Saloni: “Smile” – it is almost impossible to think of this word as anything else but happiness!
Radha: ‘Amazing’- because if it isn’t just good, it’s always ‘amazing’!
KM: What would be a fancy dress costume of your choice?
Radha: I was in Salvador Da Bahia, Brazil last year. There, I became obsessed with the traditional garb of the Baianas De Aracaje. The dress itself is an elaborate, multi-layered Gown, with a contrasting headdress that resembles a turban. Traditionally, the type of texture, the weaving technique and the colors of the costume used to identify the religion, the ethnic background and social status of its wearer. The gals who wear this on a daily basis, usually finish their look with some heavy duty jewelry. That’s what I would like for Christmas!
KM: Tell us a joke.
Radha: What did the buffalo say to his son when he left for college?
Saloni: Radha is sketching our next collection because she says I’m too slow. Okay… She’ll kill me.
How about this one, my niece loves it:
Cows go who?
No, silly! Cows go moo!
KM: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Saloni: We’re still young! I think our greatest achievement is yet to come. But starting marin + morgan on our own and sustaining it ourselves so far, definitely ranks among the top few.
Radha: Me too! Last year, as I was finishing up my MBA at Columbia, Saloni and I launched marin + morgan. It was an absolutely crazy time, with on the one hand, exams and papers due practically every week, and on the other, our crazed entrepreneurship haze. I was voted speaker for my class at graduation, and my introduction included a heartwarming description of marin +morgan… I will never forget how proud I felt walking up to that podium to speak.
KM: How would you describe your personal style?
Saloni: Classic and clean
Radha: Too many colors; too much drama. Whoever said opposites attract was on it!
KM: What would 12 year old Radha and Saloni say to Radha and Saloni now?
Radha: Sometimes its ok to jump before thinking. Some of the most fun adventures start this way!
Saloni: Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, but try everything once!
KM: Finish this sentence: This summer I am…
Radha: This summer (and every summer I hope) I am gonna eat tons of ice cream, go to the beach every chance I get, bike around New York and learn how to rollerblade!
Saloni: This summer I will travel close, travel afar, and bring back bits of my exploration into our fun fall ‘16 designs!
KM: Share a quote that would inspire our readers.
Eleanor Roosevelt- You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this. I can take the next thing that comes along.’
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Petty?