via Constance Gennari @ The Socialite Family
Every once in awhile we come across a brand so good we long to be kids again or that we might squeeze into one of the dresses as a top.Thankfully we come to our sense before that happens and do the next best thing, buy it for our kids and take a million pictures to post on Instagram. It seems we aren’t the only ones that heard the whispering a few seasons ago that Laia Aguilar, the founder of Bobo Choses had moved on and created not another Bobo but a purely new kid’s fashion line The Animals Observatory. A quick check in #theanimalobservatory showed us over 14k others are posting their love for the line. Here are a few of our faves and Laia’s story.
Even when I was little, I never went anywhere without a pad and crayons… because drawing is my way of life.
What wisdom can you share about career, motherhood and life?
In my experience, and in a nutshell, anything is possible if you are willing to work hard, in both your professional and your personal life. Nothing worth having comes easy. Plus, you need a bit of luck and, in my case, a husband worth an empire (laughing).
We were such big fans of Bobo Chooses why did you leave and how did you come to found The Animals Observatory?
I had left Bobo Choses for various reasons. Bobo Choses is the brand I founded and where I worked as Art Director for seven years. It was both a happy and sad moment, a very intense one. Basically due to differences with my then partners. It was tough, because it’s a brand with my DNA since I founded it. But there was nothing else for it.
But then I met Jan Andreu, my partner at The Animals Observatory. Jan is an unusual businessman; rational and intuitive. He manages the business side of the brand, I manage the creative side, so it’s a great match.
You created some of the most original and fun prints for both collections. How do you come up with such amazing prints?
Even when I was little, I never went anywhere without a pad and crayons. When it’s time to conceptualize a collection, I have plenty of material to choose from, because drawing is my way of life.
The hashtag #theanimalobservatory has almost 14,000 tags and full of the next trendsetters 😉 Why do you think it’s become so popular? How has social media impacted your brand?
Well, we are more than 14,000 tags now LOL! The truth is that I feel very grateful. I imagine that, somehow, the customer perceives truth and honesty in my designs. Maybe that makes them so popular.
Social networks have been my best ally in spreading my brands, both in Bobo Choses and now in The Animals Observatory.
What’s your biggest retail market? We noticed a lot of the hashtag users come from Korea and Japan. Why do you think your designs are so popular in those markets?
Indeed, Japan and Korea are two markets that have enthusiastically accepted my designs, with Bobo Choses before, and now with The Animals Observatory. I do not know what the reason is, but it’s sure a wonderful mystery!
You are able to live in the gorgeous rural countryside of Spain, where you live with your family and dog, work and design your collections.. Can you tell us about your life there and the work life balance you have created? Do you find it’s easier for you to be creative there?
Living in the country has made me happy. Here, life makes sense; it’s where I like to be. I don’t know whether it’s easier or not. In any case, the countryside lets me enjoy an environment as enriching and beautiful as the private world in which I create my collections in my study. It’s actually much easier than it looks. The showroom and headquarters, marketing, finance and operations are in Barcelona. The creative centre is in the Empordà countryside. Once a week, the creative team and the coordinator meet in Barcelona.
What is the brand philosophy of The Animal Observatory?
Our philosophy is simple: to present our vision of childhood through clothing that is materially and conceptually hard-wearing and long-lasting. Clothes that can be handed on without losing their quality or their ability to seduce. It might be called slow fashion. Plus, our challenge is for these clothes, when today’s kids are grown up, to bring their childhood flooding back, like Proust’s madeleine. We want to be Proust’s madeleine (laughing).
What do you love about what you do?
One of my greatest pleasures as a designer is choosing the colors.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be a good animal, true to your instincts.