Estelle and Loren, two sisters, five children between them! Each based in Paris.
Founders of the BRAI brand, the two sisters swear by fun, feelgood and prints! Their flagship product is pajamas! Their strength is their animal prints: tiger, elephant, horse, deer... Estelle answered a few questions, the opportunity to discover their worlds, their inspirations and the history of the brand.
Estelle, can you introduce yourself, tell us what your background has been?
I am the mother of three children Jean, Victoria and Hippolyte. After studying fashion design, I started working at the Lanvin fashion house and then at the Balenciaga fashion house. Then I moved with my husband to Los Angeles. There, I worked as Creative Director for Juicy Couture for 4 years, a popular Californian brand. When our first two children were born, my husband and I wanted to return to France to be closer to our families. Back from LA, I was very interested in entrepreneurship. I wanted a colourful, fresh brand with prints and a world that was recognizable among thousands. In 2015 I launch BRAI.
Quite quickly, your sister joins you in the Brai adventure. Tell us about it?
My sister Loren, who had been involved in the project from the beginning, joined me to develop the commercial part. It is therefore an integral part of the brand. It's a family matter. Loren manages strategy and I manage creativity and communication.
Why the pajamas?
Just the desire for a single product: pajamas. It represents a high point in the child's life. And I wanted it to be something very visual. Pajamas are an interesting product because mothers dare to wear pajamas much more than daytime clothes, there is this little fun side, they let go more.
Where does the name of the BRAI brand come from?
It is our maiden name, our common denominator.
What are the values, the spirit of the brand?
Joy, fun, the feelgood side, the postive attitude!
In the motifs, especially that of the tiger, you can feel an Indian influence, where does it come from?
While travelling in India, I had been fascinated by an ancestral technique: wood plate printing engraved in relief (or block printing), transmitted from generation to generation by Indian craftsmen to decorate cotton canvases. The patterns are carved in wood and soaked in ink. I entrusted them with the manufacture of my first prototypes - the famous Tiger print -. The patterns are not perfect, they sometimes drool or are slightly discoloured. It is this imperfection that gives each room its charm.
In concrete terms, how do you proceed to propose a new pattern?
We think about the design, I draw the prints then we think about color variations and we print. Above all we try to find a little different colours, not only pink and blue, we like the idea that our pajamas are mixed, more open, more fun. We have a simple print with a white background, so it's interesting.
What materials do you prefer for BRAI pyjamas?
We only use organic cotton, made in Europe, to guarantee the comfort of our small customers. But we will soon switch to Made In France without prices changing for our customers. It is important for us to offer impeccable quality, all without chemicals and in compliance with standards. Children spend 12 hours in their pajamas!
What are your inspirations?
Children are necessarily our little guinea pigs. With five children between us we know what they need, there are also the children of our friends but also our customers. Children have a very special attachment to their pajamas, a bond, some are even addicted to them. We are also inspired by the sunny side, California, nice color!
Any desires, any projects for BRAI?
There are the pajamas, then the accessories like the toilet bag, the pouch. Everything is customizable, it's great for gifts. We do not operate on a bi-annual collection but on a new print every two months. As well as many small capsules to surprise our customers.
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