Children like to play dress-up. If there’s anything that serves the wild imagination of a youngster, it might be cosplay: dawning the shining armor of a knight or traipsing around the neighborhood dressed as a pumpkin is surely more enjoyable than wearing garb normally employed by humans. Designer Sophie Demenge seems to share this sentiment, as the most recent clothing line produced by her brand Oeuf NYC is simultaneously quirky and inventive, providing any blooming extrovert under ten years-old a reason to dress like an eggplant or a fried egg.
Demenge says she cultivated much of the inspiration for her Fall/Winter 2015 line from the Park Slope Food Co-op, which she calls a place “people love to hate.” The stacks of colorful produce gave her the inkling that various vegetables might look stellar in the form of zany sweaters, sewn and hemmed from the high-quality materials that Oeuf regularly sources.
To that end, the idiosyncratic outfits, which feature an array of culinary renditions of casual-wear, take the form of eggplants, radishes, fried eggs, artichoke suspenders, spinach neckties and knit sweaters with words like “kale,” stitched into them. The garments should fly the flags of individuality and healthy eating wherever they’re seen.
Demenge says the impetus behind her designs come from her own childhood, saying “I’m kind of quirky and playful by nature.” She invokes her parents, noting that they were “very funny in their own way and didn’t take life too seriously. My sister and I were brought up to engage life as an adventure, and the world as a giant playground.”
Even though her new clothing line seems to extol a life full of healthy eating, Demenge says there’s no real lesson in the merits of proper dieting employed. “There’s so much information out there about healthy eating, that no one can say they haven’t been warned… It’s basic stuff. If you eat well and moderately exercise (I walk to the office and roll my eyes a lot) you will feel so much better in a matter of days. I’m no lesson-giver,” she says.
Oeuf’s playful kid’s clothes are on the pricier side, but the higher cost is indicative of the company’s labor practices. Spokesperson Rachel Welper is quick to point out that “Oeuf has partnered with over 400 knitters in Bolivia where they provide health insurance and education for their children.”
As for which particular garment sells the most, Demenge says its the eggplant sweatshirt, which she figures is kind of strange, given that kids don’t really like eggplants. Right?
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