Molo - Poetry in Motion
This issue we chat to the team behind legendary Danish brand Molo. Molo have for a long time now stamped their unique mark on the children’s wear industry – it was a pleasure to meet with both the CEO Mogens Jepsen & Head Design for Girlswear Louise Klausen to learn a little more about the brand and the concept behind the AW17 collection.
Hello Mogens, thanks for taking your time to chat with us! Molo is based in Copenhagen, Denmark – to me Copenhagen is a place of fairytales. Can you tell us a little about your hometown?
In short, Copenhagen is one of the oldest monarchies in the world and our royal family and the royal estates have always added a fairytale touch to the city or the Copenhagen brand. In recent years Copenhagen has been put on the map by the bustling gastronomic scene led on by Noma and the New Nordic Kitchen and the innovative architectural scene led on by BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), which gives us a lot of attention these days. Finally, we consider Copenhagen to be the fashion capital of Scandinavia. The fashion scene is very active here. We have maintained and developed the leading position for our fashion week in Scandinavia and the whole industry is bubbling with innovation and creativity. This is also seen in the streets of Copenhagen where children as well as adults are very fashion aware.
How did the idea and concept behind Molo begin?
Molo’s journey sprang out of curiosity and a drive to radically change the existing children’s fashion world in 2003. Since its conception, Molo has seen its role as the brand that provides “favourites” for every child’s closet. Over the decade Molo has seen its product range grow to include both boys & girls collections up to 16 years, as well as an outerwear and swimwear collection.
Where does the name ‘Molo’ come from?
The brand name Molo is a composition of the two first letters in each of the original founder’s names, CEO Mogens Jepsen, and former colleague Louise Frederiksen.
You have a beautiful mantra of responsibility to protect future generations with your sustainability statement - can you tell us a little more about this ideas?
Our mantra is that it is our responsibility to ensure future generations by choosing environmentally friendly materials for the products and setting standards that our suppliers must adhere to and live by. As part of our mission to be environmentally friendly, we have developed a Code of Conduct that is based on the 10 Principles of UN Global Compact, and our suppliers have all signed it. We believe that our children are the future and we cannot afford not to act.
Hello Louise. Were you always interested in designing clothes? Did you have a favourite outfit as a child?
When I was little, I was always drawing girls in fancy dresses, but it wasn’t until I was about 15 years old I realised that it was clothes I was interested in designing. Until then I was making up stories and just playing. I always had a few favourite outfits and my mum was good at sewing and would make cute outfits for me. There was one particular dress in a cotton twill with lace trimmings in candy floss pink that I remember best. It was special and probably a bit loud looking back!
Can you tell us a little about your AW17 collection? Where do you gather your inspiration and ideas for the collection and what is the story behind it?
The AW17 collection is about the meeting of nature and city. Small pretty florals and the vast night sky mixed with graphic lines and city roller skating. It’s about being a curious child in a big wondrous world. We always start a season with an inspiration trip. It’s a time to open our minds to a new collection and putting the old one to rest. Sometimes physically moving to another place helps to restart. We talk a lot in the team, do a lot of people watching and spend a lot of time in book stores looking through books.Our inspiration comes from all different sources it could be a movie that one of our team have seen over the weekend to a new art exhibition.
Can you tell us the seasonal elements that inspired the prints and colour palate?
We love colour at Molo as you might have discovered. So in most seasons we make use of nearly all colours in the palette and work with the tones of the colours. This season we have more muted tones such as misty blue, velvet rose, forest berry and mustard. We also work with strong colour combinations such as posy green with cameo rose or classic navy combined with cream and forest berry. What we are really excited about in the girl collection this season is the small floral prints especially when they are paired with sporty stripes. Another favourite is the cat print, cats gazing at the moon in cold winter nights. And we can’t get away from stripes, big chunky block stripes, Breton stripes in new colours and lovely striped elastics.
What fabrics are Molo most renowned for?
Molo is renowned for our OEKO-TEX® certified cotton/elastane fabric on which we print on our all over prints. The OEKO-TEX® standard is a guarantee for you as an end-consumer that our products have been tested for harmful substances – from yarns and fabrics to the final products that you can buy in the shops.
Do you have a favourite piece from the collection and what about it are you most drawn to?
I love our POM POM sweatshirt. A simple grey classic sweat made super fun with colourful pompoms all over. Another thing is our knitwear, we have a whole new range of lovely cardigans. The qualities and colours are just so beautiful. One of my favourite things about the autumn is we get to do layering again.
What message do you hope to communicate through this collection?
This collection is about surrendering yourself to a universe of being forever girly. It’s all about embracing the inner outdoor girl, making the girly meet the wilderness in all its shapes, looks and sizes. We also appeal to all stargazers to enter your own little world of dreams and visions.
This collection takes you on a US road trip from Texas to California to New York and Chicago. It’s about feeling the city life, glazing at the crooked facets and falling in love with the open horizons. From USA to Japan, we take you on a journey from the old strict part of Japan to the futuristic part of Tokyo gazing on all its tech and future features.
What is your ideal, creative environment for producing designs?
It depends on where we are in the process. In the beginning when we are shaping the core of the collection we can sit anywhere. In the studio, a cafe, at home or walking in the street. Later its always better to be in the studio with the whole team. Getting all the details just right is a close collaboration between design, pattern and production.
Can you share any exciting projects or secrets you are currently working on?
We always have something in the pipeline. That’s what drives us! Right now we’re establishing a new showroom in Los Angeles and we are opening our second Molo shop in Hong Kong this coming summer.
What is your favourite thing about designing for children? Do you feel you have a greater freedom and creativity?
I love the Molo ambition of designing the child’s favourite pieces. Its great if we can capture the imagination of both parents and children but in a design for the child. I love that. I have a great crazy job. I live my days in a world of colour, ponies and rainbows. What other adult can say that?