MORMO first caught our eye as one of ASOS’s Fashion Discovery contenders last year, and since then we have only become more obsessed with this London based accessory brand. Call it our love for the unexpected but their formula of pretty pastel, latex and leather has got us lusting after their monster mimicking bags. We chat to Business Manager George about how they got started, advice for budding designers and have a Britney vs Christina round with an unexpected winner.
How did MORMO get started?
MORMO was conceived from some of Natasha’s portfolio work from Central Saint Martin’s. We saw some designs she’d done for a project, and thought these would be awesome to do in response to the minimalist trend going on at the time!
What gave you the idea to create bags that looked like monsters?
It took a lot of time and effort to get them to where we wanted our monsters to be aesthetically. We worked for almost a year with very skilled craftspeople in London, from our wonderful leather working expert Anthony, to all the hand cast resin pieces we had to develop and make. The initial idea was to make a bunch of designs which aren’t seen anywhere else, and put a lot of skill and effort behind them. Even the simple things like having the teeth on the front are ridiculously complicated and require a lot of pattern pieces and labour. There’s something beautiful about things that are slightly ugly- they inherently stand out, and we think that’s part of what fashion is about.
Tell us the story behind your favorite monster, do they have personalities?
Yes they all do! ‘Spike’ is actually based on our naughty dog, Marshall. Our favourite is probably still the original Drool backpack- that took a lot of work and we were so hyped when it came out looking like the initial concept drawings. There’s all kinds of other features on it that we really like the detailing of; the custom resin toggle that was designed by us with a spring mechanism to look like a tongue, the screen printed lining and the stitching on the eyelids.
How many of you are on the team?
We have Natasha, who is the Creative Director, George, the Business Manager. There’s also Tony, who helps with the development stages of each design and is an amazing expert in how leather should be treated and shaped. Then of course there are Stas and Natasha (different one!), who are the lovely couple that make sure everything goes right with the factory and all our lovely creatures are super high quality!
Where do you make your products? How would you describe your studio space? What can you see from your desk?
Our main manufacturing is a super secret Monster Den somewhere in Europe 😉 We work with a family business that has been going for over 60 years, and it’s wonderful to have that special relationship. Our studio? Full of glow in the dark leather, monster eyes, and a couple of friends staring back at us from the shelves. The desk faces the window, where we can see the wonderful terraced houses of London, and the occasional passing group of dudes sharing a can of Tyskie.
Who is your favorite monster?
Falcor from Never Ending Story! Bonus is he kinda looks like our dog.
You have had great success both in the UK and internationally, what advice would you offer to other fashion brands just starting out?
I would say: be patient, some things take time to build. Also make sure you start small- don’t blow all your money on the first collection!
We adore your Instagram account! Who are you following?
Thank you! We mostly just use Instagram- people like Baddie Winkle, Grimes, Charlotte Free, Bjork are some of our favourites on there. They’re so individual and fun that it really helps inspire us.
What other brands inspire you?
None! They just sometimes beat us to the punch on new designs 🙁
What can we expect from your next collection?
We’re super excited for our next collection- just don’t expect us to stand still. We’ll be massively re-imagining how our designs look, and hope to give everyone something that makes people fall in love with what we do as much as we are!
What do you prefer…
Britney or Christina?
Pink or Black?
Depends if it’s A/W or S/S 😉
Disney or Studio Ghibli?
Studio Ghibli all day.