In a city like London, you only have two lifestyle choices: to feed off of the city’s character and blend in with the English, or to throw yourself into the mix of people from all parts of the world and become multicultural, multi-ethnic, international and global. At Wandering Minds, they’ve decided to go with the latter and they’ve made a niche for themselves in the city by bringing together the best work of the most independent designers from the least conventional places.
This is definitely the motto of the London based pop-up store, which can also be found online, of course, as well as in two of my favorite areas for finding new talent in the ever-changing and always-moving British capital: BoxPark, in Shoreditch; and Camden Passage in the enchanting Angel district.
In their shops, the stars are clothes, accessories and shoes, all handmade (they wouldn’t have it any other way), that come from Berlin, Korea, London, Paris or Sydney. And they don’t follow the seasons or do large runs which makes every piece unique and exclusive and shows an exquisite sense of taste for what’s new and different, the root of Wandering Minds’ identity.
Among the emerging designers the WM works with, there are a few who pioneers who deserve special mention:
The Berlin-based Front Row Society, who give creative the world over the chance to produce their designs, holding periodic competitions to find new ideas. One of their main techniques is digital printing, which they use in their own line of powerful contemporary patterns from artists in Portugal, the UK, Germany, Indonesia or Serbia.
The promising new talent at GRACE RAIMENT, a Korean firm making a name for themselves in the field of design who are backed by the Japanese division of Opening Ceremony, a North American group which looks for the best designs in Asia. Grace Raiment is characterized by a feminine touch and exquisitely combined materials.
The Australians at StyleStalker, already well known in the field as a firm with a simple and versatile style and shops in different parts of the world. Don’t miss out on their blog, we must pay homage to its glory.
Outstanding Ordinary, another Korean group which caught my eye with their pastel colors and delicious fabrics, above all in this season. Shiny, metallic patterns that despite their nature are discrete and sophisticated.
There are also jewellery shops to be found, such as the Parisian Sur Les Toits de Paris, which holds your attention with the geometric shapes that characterize this season’s collection, Kaleidoscope, a perfect example of the professionalism and attention to detail of this designer, using vibrant colors and three dimensional effects on all of the pieces. Also keep an eye out for the classics, which will captivate even the most sophisticated and elegant shopper, without losing a shred of the avant-garde nature of the materials and colors.
Again with the backing of Opening Ceremony, we travel to Seoul to take a peek at KeenKee. With their alternative style, they bring us geometric patterns that feed off of the explosive colorist style of the 90s, only for the most daring souls out there.
We’ll stay in Korea for the time being with Margarin Fingers, and Juhyun Lee, its founder. This designer brings us an especially interesting concept of fashion, integrating elements of graphic design, architecture and contemporary art, to create clothing that allow the wearer to express themselves freely with vibrant colors and enigmatic patterns.
Finally, we’ll end the tour with the English and Mink Pink who’ve been providing explosive colors articles to many places in the US, UK and Australia since 2005; among which you’ll find Harrod’s, Nasty Gal, Urban Outfitters, ASOS and David Jones. These colorists have even tried their hand with swimwear, sunglasses and other accessories. You won’t want to miss out.
And amidst such diversity, the team at Wandering Minds has shown their ability to find a common theme: offer an overall style that is unmistakably simple, peculiar and minimalistic and that comes together and is immortalized by each of the constituents (one per city) in videos like this:
With results like that, there’s no doubt that behind it all lays intense market research and a restless spirit striving to keep the bar set high. Wandering Minds is made up of 6 young talents who take care of everything from product photography to web analytics and a strong social media presence.
The team’s hard work has paid off with appearances in fashion media staples such as Look, Star-Magazine or Notebook, and their clothes have been shown by bloggers like Make My lemonade, Native fox and Le Dressing de LeeLoo.
Betting on young talent from around the world has already become a must. Our increasingly global and multicultural world demands initiative like Wandering Minds and So Catchy, places which can take us anywhere and that show us success stories from around the world.
Written by Paola Caballer
Translated by Michael Padilla