Meet Kristen Lomabardi, designer at Misha & Puff. Kristen's experience: years as a designer of her own line, Manimal and then recently at the levi's Lot 1 bespoke denim program, make her just the person to develop the newest addition to the M&P world - Misha and Puff Canvas and Denim. We just rolled out our introductory piece, the Canvas Trouser, two weeks ago, and there's much more to come.
Kristen In Lima, Peru in 2016 wondering, how can everything be so beautiful ?!
Kristen chats with us about her inspiration, process, and what's to come for Misha and Puff.
Indigo stained hands over a pair of repaired jeans.
You have such a great eye for details. give us a little taste of where you look for inspo and some favorite things lately.
I love looking at vintage garments.
Working at Levi's, I was lucky to work on some seriously precious pieces (denim from the 1930's!) and inspect all the gritty details.
Through vintage clothing you really understand how limited mechanistic processes both simplified and elevated clothing construction. Anything that comes from a point in time when people got by with less means it was made to be longer lasting and more versatile. Versatility and durability in design and construction are important to everyone at Misha and Puff!
Jeans over jeans. Self portrait.
Denim. what are the must haves? and what are the never will dos? meaning what makes you really get excited, and what will you never ever touch in the denim world.
Denim-I love it! It's so beautiful and so hard wearing.
Here are the rules:
No faux fading, I like rigid denim I can wear in myself.
Great fit, which for me means super high waisted, fitted and comfortable.
Fittings in the studio
How has having a kid changed your idea of design and creating clothes?
Having a kid (and a super physical one) made me really understand how poorly some clothing is made. My son tears through most pants, literally, and my mending pile is always full to the brim.
I've always felt strongly that clothing should be built to last - and I see that starts with design. At Misha and Puff, we are trying to make future classics, not trend pieces. And like all good heirlooms to be, that means they have to stand up to time and wear. Wide hems for letting down, seams that are easy to open for patching, well woven materials, these are elements I've learned to look for in kids wear.
Kristen's son Theo, in vintage jeans, and old M&P sweater.
How has your own line, Manimal, evolved over the years? I know you have said it's important for you to be making things for people. your exact hands on things. how has this shaped what you make, and how you distribute it.
Working on Manimal across the years has allowed me to have a really focused process. I am totally in control of production and what I am putting into the world. This is most important because I am working in leather, which is such a precious material. With Manimal, I'm not at all interested in mass producing. I love a direct to consumer business, and nothing makes me happier than emails for repair work on moccasins I made years ago. I've been lucky to keep just as busy as I'd like to be with loyal shops and customers.
The Manimal, sunrise/moonrise bag. handmade from scrap leather. Available in our shop.
We talk a lot about resources, and being mindful. How in your own practice do you handle this?
I consider working in leather to be a responsibility, and I'm careful about the kind of leather I buy.
All leather scraps from making larger pieces (moccasins and bigger bags) get reworked into either patchwork pieces or scrap beads. I consider the repurposing of scrap leather as a design challenge. Because the smallest leather bead is one centimeter, I'm at minimal material waste from production.
Pouches from Kristen's line, Manimal over her inspiration board.
What's to come for the MP denim and Canvas line?
More basic and beautiful styles in unusual colors with very carefully considered details.
The idea is to get the styles right, with feedback from parents and kids, and to bring really clear and hard working clothing to the market place.
Be sure to check our Kristen's own line, Manimal and follow along with us to see the development of the Denim and Canvas line over the next year :)
Shop our Canvas Trousers HERE
Shop our custom selection Manimal products