Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Simone and Heike met serendipitously in New York City, both new mothers and both raised in villages in South Germany.
Simone lends kindred her minimalist, yet tender aesthetic. She studied textiles and fashion design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and the Winchester School of Art in England. She has developed luxury goods collections in Paris, Milan and New York working for brands like Costume National, Loewe, Narciso Rodriguez and Vivienne Westwood. She lives with her husband, her daughter and their two cats on the Bowery in NYC.
Heike informs kindred’s earth friendly approach of repurposing garments, drawing from her experiences working on different environmental protection projects in Germany. She studied law and administration in South Germany. Before moving to New York she worked to reduce the effects of heavy metals from coal mining in the Black Forest while at the department of environmental protection in the city of Freiburg. She presently lives in Greenwich Village with her husband, an NYU professor, and her daughter.
What is the story behind kindred? kindred was sparked from their reminiscences about the simple beauty, preciousness and lasting quality of what they wore as children, and, as a reaction to the notions of ‘throw away’ culture.
Simone had received a parcel of clothes that she’d worn as a child, from her mother in Germany. They were in nearly perfect condition, but had obviously been worn, as they appeared in many cherished family photos. A beach dress from a trip to Spain, a polka dot dress worn in the Piazza San Marco in Venice and knit sweaters from family Christmas gatherings near Stuttgart were all prominent in photos of that era in her life.
As Simone now put these clothes on her own daughter, two things were clear. Firstly, the fabric and quality was superb. Secondly, there was something indescribably wonderful that she could share with both her daughter and her mother, as new memories were being built on already strong sentiment.
At the same time, Heike was experimenting with re-purposing garments to make ingenious outfits for her daughter. Her gesture to be earth friendly and conscious of reuse naturally consumed her blouses, that were reworked into short pants or tops for her daughter.
The spark for kindred came when they combined the Simone’s silhouettes, details and aesthetics with Heike’s wonderful approach of re-purposing a family garment. In kindred the result could be a new heirloom.
kindred is at the intersection of fashion design and environmental consciousness for children.
What does this brand stand for? personal, one-of-a-kind clothing for infants and toddlers
handmade in New York
re-purposed and earth-friendly
inspired by the quality, aesthetic and silhouettes of traditional European children’s clothing
meant to be worn, cherished and preserved for the next generation
Where do you get your design inspiration? Life with our families in and around New York. The fun part is that inspiration can strike at a show at the Met Costume Institute, vintage shopping or collaborating with friends. Our trips to Europe to visit family and friends, especially in South Germany also provide plenty of chances to go through Oma’s closet and local markets, finding inspiration from our childhood.
Who is the kindred customer? Our customers are interested in beautifully detailed, handcrafted clothes for their children. They believe in quality and the special idea of being able to re-purpose and pass along a favorite piece of clothing.
What are the average price ranges of ready-made and commissioned pieces? ready-made pieces: $60 – $225
custom-made pieces: starting at $175
Plans for the future? We’re seeing where kindred takes us. We’ve already been experimenting beyond clothes to accessories, dolls and other handcrafted things. The response from our customers has been exciting and is leading towards some interesting collaborations.