MaxLola celebrated their 27th anniversary and Kaatje Sandra has much to celebrate! At the Playtime Paris Show this January I had the chance to interview Kaatje on her 27 years in the children’s fashion industry, MaxLola‘s brand DNA and a taste of the MaxLola FW14 collection.
Kaatje put a smile on my face when said her colleagues call her the “dinosaur or pioneer of kids fashion”. As a stylist-designer in the field of children’s fashion since 1987 Kaatje has watched the kids’ fashion industry evolve.
“In the beginning there were only two or three brands and then there was an explosion in the 1990s in kids fashion design. After 27 years I’m still here,” explains Kaatje with a smile.
Read Interview with Max&Lola Designer Kaatje Sandra
“I started Max&Lola in 1987. The collection is really an evolution. When we started there really was nothing on the market that was stylish, especially in nice colors and fitting. So at first, I began to explore the use of materials. First, it was just glitter, making evolution into other materials as well.
And today I really have a product that’s special mixing art and fashion. The Bon Marche in Paris, they call it luxury artiste. They claim there’s nobody that has a touch quite like you. Who brings art into design more than Max&Lola?
Max and Lola Celebrates 25 Years of Fashion Design
The inspiration for my design is coming from art galleries. I visit a lot of galleries in New York, Paris, and Brussels. And you know, when there is something that really touches me, I try to translate and it inspires my design.
I really try to create items with a style that is more “glamorous” but you can also really wear it on any day. Because I like to mix styles. Something sophisticated maybe, with jeans and sneakers. You can really wear it for any occasion for special events to even sports. The collection is really a mixture.
And what is important to me is that the child feels that they look special, wearing something different. And that it fits their personality. For me, the outfit must match the child’s personality.
This picture of the coats is from a special evening in Brussels, Belgium that’s really an institution. It’s like Le Petit Rien in France. Where stylist and designers are selected to make new items from old clothing. So these girls are wearing coats that have been made from old blankets or ladies’ coats. You must adapt and make a new concept for the show. It’s really a social evening, and it’s also Sotheby’s who sells the pieces.
Max and Lola Designer Kids Fashion from Belgium
We’ve developed this in our studio. And the fabric is from Italy. That’s one style of the dress. You have another style with this dress that we’ve developed with these prints, and on the backside, we’ve matched it with another fabric from Italy.
For the boys here you have the shirt with a fabric developed in our studio. For the sweater, the quality is a mixture of mohair and cashmere. Then you have this blouse and pants with a jacket in camouflage.
And here we have coats for the girls. We are playing with two different fabric qualities – it’s also mixed mohair with wool and a little bit of cashmere inside.”
Thanks to Max&Lola Designer Kaatje Sandra for the inspiring interview at Playtime Paris. Kaatje is so inspiring, I could listen to her talk about art and fashion for hours!