More than 100 stores in twelve countries in Europe and Asia and an online store that delivers to 18 European countries: Monki can clearly be comfortable with what it achieved in the first decade of its existence. The H&M-owned young fashion concept celebrates its 10th birthday this month and does so with the launch of their fall/winter ’16 anniversary collection which plays with the very essence of the Monki style: oversized silhouettes and a play on proportions, Asian street-style influences, fun prints and a color palette that contrasts deep mustards and rich blues with plenty of black. We spoke to Monki’s head of design, Caroline Carlryd, on the development of the brand’s design language and whether or not designing fast fashion empties your creative resources.
Monki is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year - congratulations! How has the brand’s design language changed over time?
Our collection is much bigger these days but we like to stick to our design DNA, adapting it to contemporary fashion. The Monki Original silhouette is always popular with oversized cocoon shaped outerwear, wide-legged cropped trousers and oversize dresses being a customer favourite.
Which looks/colors/fits/materials are you focusing on in the collection for this fall/next summer?
For fall 2016 we’re focusing on a ‘romantic’ street look. Color-wise, utility green, blush pink and navy blue are important for us with pin stripe and florals for print. Velvet and shearling are also important as well as deconstructed denim. Product wise our key pieces are strap dresses, bomber jackets and hoodies.
Spring 2017 is all about retro sport and Scandi street style vibes. We’re pairing strong colors with floral prints and pastel colors with stripes. Key pieces will be new interpretations of the denim jacket, plissé skirts and the sportswear staple: sweatshirts.
How important is denim for the collection and which styles are your bestsellers right now?
Denim is always important for our customers both as a staple and for high fashion looks.
Over the past two years we’ve really seen our customers develop a love for 100% cotton denim range. Our stretch jeans are still very popular but mom fit jeans are our top sellers these days.
How many collections do you have to come up with per year? Do you sometimes feel a lack of ideas for designing “fast” fashion?
We work with four core trends a year. We’re in so many markets and get so much inspiration from our community that we never feel like we lack ideas. Most of it is coming from the street and from what our customers that share on #monkistyle.
Do you have a certain type of girl in mind when designing for Monki? If yes, who is she?
We do. To us, she’s a woman with a rich social life and an emotional sense of style. It’s a way for her to express herself.
What do you start with when designing a new collection?
We always begin with the customer in mind, then the fabrics, then the mood and finally the fits.
What’s your vision for Monki for the next 10 years?
We want Monki to become a sustainable brand so that we make clothes that are good for our customer and good for the world. Sustainable to us isn’t just about choosing the right fabrics, even though that’s very important. It’s also about making clothes that our customers will love. This year we launched our 100% organic cotton denim range and it’s a good start but it’s only the beginning.