Jaime King’s latest creative venture with Gardner and The Gang is quite the statement! Jaime has partnered up with the eco-friendly brand, founded in 2012, and taking a hand on approach to create a beautiful, gender-free collection for your minis. We are thrilled to introduce this top-notch collaboration that has been in the works for over a year, and across a very large body of water! Together, the insightful Mother, Activist and Actor, Jaime King and Gardner and The Gang Founder Kristin Nystrom have created a capsule collection that radiates love! With references to the Animal Kingdom, notably called the “Lion Heart” Collection, these two leading ladies are both inspired by their own children. With their hearts in the right places, Jaime and Kristin came together via Instagram; exemplifying the influence of social media and the power of bringing awareness globally through fashion. For Kristin it’s about bringing her original art to life on organic cotton and telling a story through each and every collection! This innovative mama is on a mission of “no labels, no judgments, just good clothes”, and for Jaime it’s the power of unconditional love, ability to give back the gift of acceptance to her own children, James Night and Leo Thames, and children globally through her philanthropic causes and popular column XO Jaime in Elle Magazine.
Jaime and Kristin share similar passions and values for children and have us swooning over this collection! Hats off to these two super moms, and you can shop this Love Radiating non-gender collection TODAY here!
KM: Kristin, tell us about the name Gardner and The Gang! Where did it originate from? Did you always have a gender-free line?
KN: My first born daughter is named Ava after the amazing actress Ava Gardner. It was always gender free. Kind of like a – If you like it wear it line… 😉
(no labels or judgements, just good clothes)
KM: We are so excited about this collaboration! How did this come about? Jaime, how did you meet Kristin?
JK: I contacted Kristin on Instagram. I was so impressed with her fun colors, characters and motifs that I just had to reach out. It was an instant connection. She is my animal soul sister!
KM: How did it feel to be contacted by Jaime? Were you surprised?
KN: I was very flattered and very excited. In a way, the way we connected on Instagram was such a great symbol for the whole project – the power of communication. Of reaching out in an open space and daring to get to know someone you know nothing about. When we first spoke on Skype I realized this woman is really super passionate about something that I always have felt so strongly about. It was like I could agree on so many of Jaime’s opinions. Life is about being brave and taking chances sometimes.
When we then met to sit down and talk about the collaboration I truly felt the heart and depth in Jaime. It has been so amazing to do collaboration. I had underestimated the power of the fact that two people brainstorming something are truly double the success. With Jaime’s incredible experience and eye for fashion I really feel I have learned a lot and really respect her, not only for her passion and true effort into this but also her ability in seeing fashion and genuine knowledge in material and style.
KM: Kristin, you are a graphic designer. Are you self taught? Did you go to school?
KN: I have always had a strong interest in the visual powers of communication. I have studied Photography, Media Communication and Art Direction in Sweden as well as I have a degree in Visual Communication (specializing in Graphic Design) from an art school in Singapore. I spent 3 years in school here. That was a very interesting experience.
KM: Have you always lived in Singapore?
KN: No, I moved from Sweden where I grew up 15 years ago and since then I have lived in the Middle East in several countries but moved to Singapore 9 years ago in October and now have the world as my workplace. It is truly amazing. I think I feel so strongly for this collection and the message we want to convey because I know that living, working with and getting to know people from all over the world, from different cultures and religions has really made a huge difference for me. It is so much easier to understand someone that might at the first glance look or act “strange” when you have some knowledge of the backgrounds or beliefs. That does not only go world wide but in every little community.
It is always good to give all people the benefit of good intention. Most of the time that really works best I find…
KM: Jaime, what is the creative vibe between you and Kristin? How has the process been being in two different continents and time zones?
JK: Creatives surround me in my family and they helped me execute my ideas. With Kristin’s background as a fashion illustrator and film student our creative juices just flow. Also, with Skype and sending packages of fabrics and samples we managed quite seamlessly.
KN: Yes, the time difference and super long haul travel has been a little challenging. Through Skype calls in the middle of the night and just a strong sense that we were very much on the same track throughout this process we made it! I went to LA in October just to meet with Jaime to see how we would both connect and we both felt that we could do something amazing together. The rest is history.
KM: You want to Empower Children Through Fashion and focus on a generation without judgement. Tell us, what does this mean for you?
JK: For me, I realize that we now live in a world where people want to deeply express themselves authentically and there have been some great movements towards that direction. I deeply want to find a simple way to get that message across with a visual, and here it is!
KM: Jaime, with past collaborations in children’s fashion why did you choose Gardner and The Gang?
JK: I have wanted to take things to the next level. I am inspired to create clothes that feel good on the kids and align with what parents care about – non toxic & organic. Clothing can be a reflection of who you are. Gardner and The Gang has the same intentions.
KM: Tell us about The Lion Heart Collection and the BFF pieces?
JK: The Lion Heart Collection was 100% inspired by my son Leo. He reminds me of a Lion, he has true Bravery! The BFF is something I’ve always wanted to do. Nostalgia plays a huge roll here for me. Back in the day the coveted popular BFF necklace symbolized you and your best friend, yet today, BFF means much, much more! You are your own BFF, siblings, friends, and adults, all loving from a place of fullness, able to give. I believe it starts with you! We carefully thought about where to place our positive messages. For example, the patches placed on the knees of our pants are two halves making a whole. This is intentional.
KM: Tell us more about your take on Gender Free Style. Is there a specific message?
JK: I have always dreamed of a collection that does not type cast a child. This is where Kristin and I had a lot of synergy. With the implementation of crayons, cinema & flowers to inspire and gather our hues, we created a gender fluid line of Self Love and Togetherness celebrating who we are and our own uniqueness. The Animal Kingdom is used as this theme. Bringing people together as you would animals where they normally would not. Not separated by race, creed, color or gender.
KM: What do you want this collection to do for others?
JK: Self love for one another and a freedom to express who you are. Be authentic to one self. It matters to me that people have a greater love for each other.
KM: How do your children play a part in your creative vision?
My children are my ongoing inspiration; we have a sacred deep connection.
KM: What is the most important thing to consider when designing clothing for children?
JK: Function and quality should be considered. Being conscious about the environmental footprint and to be mindful about toxic waste for our planet.
My mission is to keep children safe, know that it will be long lasting; you can even give to the younger siblings!
KN: Good quality, doing right by our earth and the opportunity to convey an important message through a mean of human communication. What I mean is the way we dress is such a strong way to communicate and no matter how vain it might sound to some that fashion can make a difference in the way we perceive things, I strongly believe that it is a very powerful tool. In this case one that we are looking to communicate the power of loving each other and accepting each other. I think little by little things like this and movements in this direction can give us children that are convinced and confident in whom they are.
KM: Whats next for Jaime King and Gardner and The Gang?
JK: A Fall collection.
KN: We are planning some very exciting things as we speak! 🙂
KM: Do you have favorite pieces and why?
JK: I LOVE everything, I don’t have a favorite, but I do love the fantastic pack that comes in a bag with literally all the essentials making it easy for first time moms, or moms on the go. It includes a short sleeve romper lined with our signature bunny print, onesie, a hat, bloomers & socks that say Love You Love you. I want there to always be positive messages around my children and several pieces in this collection doing just that.
KM: Do you use specific fabrics? Whats your favorite to work with?
KN: I work mostly with knitted organic cotton. For this collection though Jaime and I have found some amazing materials and have developed a super soft modal line for babies. Perfect for hot summer days.
KM: Do you have a specific message with this collection with Jamie?
KN: YES! Let us have NO JUDGEMENT. And Love is always the answer. (My motto is to always kill them with kindness. (rather not kill anyone at all… haha) But you know what I mean…
KM: Where do you make the clothes? Do you oversee everything?
KN: The production is made in a small factory in China. I go there personally twice a year to overlook the production and have weekly Skype meetings to go over the progress.
We have several large clients and the logistics and demand for perfection is crucial. I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to this business so it is extremely important to be in touch with the people that make the product for us and have a great relationship with them.
KM: How do you juggle family life and work?
JK: Trust the Universe! It is a brave new world for women, Men Mothers and Fathers. There is no one size fits all for parents; we are all just doing the best we can, sharing a human experience. So I tap into my creative outlets.
KM:Do you have any rituals or advice to stay grounded?
JK: Take time for yourself. Find your centered place, Dreams don’t disappear because you have children. It can be simple. Why not write down 10 things that make you happy and keep them close to you, or for example, I take a walk, listen to music and sing at the top of my lungs to let go!
KM: How would you describe yourself?
JK: I am highly creative. There is always something brewing in my head!
KM: If you could master any skill what would it be?
JK: To learn how to forgive and love oneself unconditionally.
Photography by Abbey Drucker