Designer Spotlight: Andy & Evan
Posted on March 10, 2013 @ 13:08 Sunday by Gandzee | 0 comments
One of the joys of ordering a Gandzee wardrobe collection is getting to discover incredible kids’ clothing designers in every box.
We sat down with Evan Hakalir, who’s half the equation at Andy & Evan, a children’s clothing designer based in New York City. You’ll find some of our favorite Andy & Evan pieces in our Sigma Who? wardrobe collection. Andy & Evan launched in 2009 and has been getting rave reviews ever since.
How did you get into the kids clothing business?
My partner and I previously worked in finance, and were products of the economic collapse of 2008. After spending years ‘pushing paper,’ we both wanted to offer/develop a tangible product that we could feel proud of, and from which people would actually benefit. We also shared an interest in building a business of our own, one that we could ultimately pass along to the next generation.
We started in the men’s custom shirt business, not knowing a thing about custom shirts. On a wing and prayer, we travelled the globe to learn about fabrics, manufacturing and production. We quickly gained a loyal following in the men’s custom shirt business, after we developed a reputation for offering a great product with great customer service backing it.
About two and a half years ago, my business partner had a son, and he recognized a major void in the marketplace for well-made, well-designed and practical boy’s clothing. We saw an opportunity, capitalized on our newfound expertise in tailored clothing and launched the line to an overwhelmingly positive response. The rest is history.
Tell us a little bit about what it takes to develop a new seasonal line of clothing?
Every season is hard work. We’re always trying to outperform our past season and keep up with the high standard and expectation that the market and our customers have set for us. We like to design as ostriches (with our head in the sand), and we try to shuck trend reports. We have a philosophy that when we start to follow the herd, we will lose the unique qualities of our collection. Once we develop a theme, the color palette is established and we design from there. We’re always building upon our past successes, improving upon pieces that need work and implementing as much great feedback as we can possibly squeeze in.
Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?
We are very attuned to what’s going on in the men’s fashion world. We’ve hung onto our custom shirt business as a labor of love, and our customers offer us thousands of hours of the best possible kind of market research. This is the best and most direct research money can buy, giving us keen insight into popular fabrics and styles. We then like to look at everything from pop culture to our favorite past eras and try and marry the modern world with what was great from the past. In particular, we like to look at gentlemanly endeavors of the past, which helps us develop a theme for every season—be it sport, university, or business industries of interest.
What’s your favorite item this season?
Our ‘Lazy Chambre’ shorts are one of my favorite items. We recently started playing with shirting fabrics as alternatives for cool summer bottoms. And I think we really hit the jackpot with our use of chambre in a bottom (it’s traditionally used as a shirt fabric). Not only are the colors vibrant on this piece but the details are abundant, and the fabric is a perfect summer weight that can easily be dressed up or dressed down for any occasion.
What’s a kids clothing item or accessory no mom should live without?
One of our Shirtzies! That’s our woven shirt with a bottom snap closure. It’s what originally put us on the map, and we believe it offers a total paradigm shift when it comes to how parents approach dressing newborn and infant boys. For older boys, a crisp polo shirt and fedora hat are two must-haves for the spring and summer.
This season, is there a color you’re in love with above all others?
I’m loving the bright orange that we offer in our shirts and shirtzies, polos, rompers, chambre shorts, toggle parkas, ties and bowties. It’s a vibrant and fun color. I think it’s a sign of the times—the economy is improving and war is ending. If the whole world wore bright orange, we’d have world peace.
What’s the best part about seeing your clothes in a Gandzee box?
It just makes sense. Gandzee is one of those really smart ideas that you look at and say, “Oh, that makes perfect sense. Why didn’t I think of that?” Gandzee is going to change the shopping experience, and at Andy & Evan, we’re all about shaking things up!