Nceka cloth from our South Africa inspiration trip.
On our trip to the Limpopo Region, our designers were struck by the beautiful beading and embroidery on Nceka cloths. The Nceka cloth is a traditional cloth worn over the upper body by Tsonga and Shangaan women. Oftentimes it is an indigo dyed fabric embellished with beads and safety pins by the wearer herself. Intricately embroidered Nceka cloths are saved for special occasions like weddings.
We loved the colorful and unique detail of Nceka cloths so much that we created the Mtititi Floral Tunic. You can bring home a piece of South Africa too from our girls’ tops! The over-dyed floral indigo fabric is embellished to look like the beads from traditional Nceka cloths.
Our Mtititi Floral Tunic inspired by the Nceka cloth.
Watch the Mtititi Magic video to see beading in action and learn about how Mtititi has changed the lives of women in the Limpopo Region. Video courtesy of WatchKubasa via Youtube.
Horses have played a major role in the development of all cultures, maybe because they proved reliable creatures and friends. For the past three holiday seasons, we have featured horses on our girls’ tees. Take a trip down memory lane with us.
What can you see on every street in Copenhagen? A bike! That’s right everywhere our designers looked – right, left, up, down- they spotted bikes. That’s why our Nordic collection was dotted with bikes on girls tees and boys hoodies. Cycling is an integral part of Danish life and even has its own blog capturing cycle style, Cycle Chic. For many, it may be their only mode of transportation. Did you know more people bike to work in the greater Copenhagen area than in the entire United States? Urban planners in Copenhagen wanted to make cycling easy not an uphill battle for their residents. Many factors contribute to Copenhagen’s biking success, one being that they have a relatively flat terrain and specialized cycle tracks that criss-cross the city. Slowly but surely, progressive American cities are becoming more bike friendly like San Francisco where bikes lanes are being widened and free bike valet is offered at major events.
One of the many inspiring artists we discovered in Scandinavia was Swedish ceramicist, Lisa Larson. We loved how Larson, played with flower and leaf shapes to create creatures (pictured above). We wanted to use the same idea of creating a Scandinavian creature out of plant elements. I collected a variety of internet images and actual plant pieces that I scanned into the computer. Then came the fun part, arranging the elements to create an animal. The pieces I had worked nicely to make an owl. I then traced the owl I created with sharpies to make our Blomma Owl Girl’s Graphic Tee.
We thought it’d be a fun idea to collect leaves and flowers with your children and see what kind of animals they can make out of dry leaves. I found these amazing leaf creations (below) by kokokoKids over on My Barn Owl.
Who knew three Pima Cotton baby sweaters could launch a company? Emily and Leigh knew that this no fuss style would keep babies warm and stylish. For ten years, we’ve been traveling the world but still remain true to our roots with our Chinese Baby Sweater. Get your little one bundled up in style and see where the world takes this little citizen.
Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.
As the national color of Bali, poleng, a black and white check design, is one of the most reoccurring patterns our designers saw on their inspiration trip.
They viewed this pattern tied to trees and statues, on sarongs and flags, and more; everywhere they turned, they saw poleng. They finally asked a police officer clothed in the poleng pattern, why he wore it. He informed them that he wore it for protection; the black and white checked pattern represents the yin-yang which depicts balance as the pattern always has equal amounts of white to black.
Looking for balance and protection in you child’s wardrobe? We interpreted the poleng pattern in our Spring preview through our boys shorts and girls dresses and skirts.
How would you wear the poleng pattern of balance and protection? Share with us below in the comments section.