Over the last few seasons in fashion, we often notice the influence of the sunny, laid-back Southern California style. We see visions of roller skating along the beach, palm trees, blue skies, and eternal sunshine, as well as desert landscapes, mountain hikes and influences from Mexico and Latin America. Of course it is easy to see why the Los Angeles dream can be exotic.
Scanning through quite a few American designers based in Los Angeles, one in particular instantly stood out for her eco-friendly designs, brilliant mixture of textiles, and quality made to last. Meet Christine Chang from boy+girl. After working for big brands including ABC Home, Nike, and Ralph Lauren, Chang made a change and began boy+girl, made in Los Angeles locally. Listening to Chang explain her vision, viewing the collections, and touching and feeling the quality in her clothes, we quickly agreed that boy+girl is one of the up and coming kid’s brands to watch. Some other good news is that boy+girl is also expanding! With various collaborations, a home line, and also an upcoming men’s line in collaboration with Steven Alan, we are staying tuned in for more boy+girl.
Describe your typical day. Get up, set my intention for the day, then answer work emails on my phone and walk over to Abbot Kinney for a morning coffee. Go check in at our downtown studio, and then from there, each day is a new adventure! Depending on where we are in the season, I may go to a fabric mill, visit our production manufacturers, work on designs or make a store visit… At the end of the day, I like to decompress with a yoga class or little jog on the beach.
How did you begin designing kids fashion? What are you best sellers? There are a lot of men’s and women’s designers that I look up to, I wanted to give kids the same options as we have in clothing. Clean, minimalist, easy-going, good quality garments that weren’t overly frilly or silly.
Our classic boy+girl style in the baja poncho, we do a version of it every season.
What motivates or inspires you? I want to work hard at my passion, be as kind and compassionate as possible, and have a good time. For me, that’s the purpose of life and that’s what inspires me every day.
How do you see boy+girl in 10 years? There are a lot of categories I am interested in. I like a lot of different creative outlets, it keeps you growing. We are beginning to step into the Men’s world, with our first men’s collection at Steven Alan this spring. Imagine the styling of our ‘boy’ but grown up. boy+girl home is another area that I think will continue to grow. Materials are at the heart of this line and so home is a natural place for us. I’d like to keep doing collaborations with designers and brands we respect and admire. We did our baja poncho for Marfa’s El Cosmico, which was an unexpected project that was so fun. And of course, kids – this is a children’s line and I hope it will evolve and grow as much as our inspiring little clients.
Can you recommend any nice spots for moms or women in Los Angeles? A nice long brunch with your girlfriends is the best way to start anyday – outside at Gjelina is a classic Venice spot. For shopping, tenoversix is a great women’s store that is beautifully and artfully curated. I also love spending hours at the Melrose flea market looking at beautiful vintage dresses and all the jewelry.
Can you recommend any nice spots for kids in Los Angeles? The beach is an easy one they can spend all day at. Pack a picnic, bring sunblock and enjoy the waves. Axe is my go-to neighborhood food spot that is kid friendly as well, sit in the back patio and they can roam around while they enjoy their pancakes. I love the Atwater village farmer’s market on Sundays, it’s a fun family-friendly atmosphere.
Your essentials or must-haves (beauty, objects, keepsakes, food, etc.)? I wear my Gabriela Artigas collaboration gold heart necklace every day along with a simple gold ring my parents gave me for graduation. I’m pretty simple with my beauty routine, I think it’s all about a holistic approach. I try to keep it as natural as possible – things like avocado masks for the hair, if it’s safe to eat then you can use it right?! Same for food, I don’t eat meat and try to shop organic and local when possible. Anything my nieces give me, including tissue artwork, becomes a keepsake.
Your favorite books, magazines, music? Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough is one I keep going back to. It is the bible for how we should all approach design and life these days. It’s an incredibly powerful read on sustainability and the impact we have on our environment. Vogue is the magazine I’ve been looking forward to every month since I was a little girl.
I listen to music from the time I jump up in the morning, it varies every day especially if I’m designing and looking for something inspirational. Right now, I would say Wild Cub is a constant on the playlist.
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