Amsterdam-based contemporary skate label Pop Trading Company is releasing a collaboration with Dutch book character Nijntje, popularly known as Miffy.
The collection, which drops on May 4th and will be available in the Pop Amsterdam Store, on its website and at select retailers like Goodhood, Opening Ceremony and END Clothing, includes corduroy trousers featuring an embroidered Miffy pattern, striped crewneck long-sleeve tees, a hooded sweat with Miffy chenille applique as well as caps and socks featuring the iconic character. Pieces will retail from $50 to $210.
Founded in 2013, Pop Trading Company initially started as a distribution company, selling skate brands like Palace and Polar within the Benelux market. An in-house line was launched in 2015 for the Fall/Winter 2016 season. It quickly found success among skate communities worldwide as well as luxury retailers.
Today, the menswear brand is stocked at globally influential stockists including Mr. Porter, United Arrows, Slam City Skates in London and at the Supreme store in Paris. It also operates its own store in the Red Light District in Amsterdam and has its own team of skateboarders.
Ahead of the collection’s release, Highsnobiety caught up with Pop Trading Company’s co-founder Peter Kolks.
Tell us about how the collaboration came about?
Being Dutch you naturally grow up with the Miffy character. When you're a little kid you have the toys, you flick through the imagery filled books founder Dick Bruna made, or maybe even had a Miffy bike.
Its funny to know that Dick Bruna didn't see himself as a children's book author, or an illustrator even, he saw himself more as a graphic designer, which is something we found interesting looking at this collaboration with Mercis, Dick Bruna's company that licenses his work.
How did you translate that into wearable designs?
The simple lines of [Bruna’s] work with Miffy and his work in general showcase the influence of Bart van der Leck and Gerrit Rietveld who were part of the iconic Dutch "De Stijl" art movement. Simplicity is key. Bright colors are another one. It’s a no-nonsense approach that we appreciate.
The other part, which is a big theme for us as a brand is contrast. Miffy is often used for products aiming towards little kids, obviously we wanted to take this to go a different route and see if we could make it fit in a more grown-up, menswear [environment], which obviously creates a different dynamic.
The market for collaborations is oversaturated. How do you cut through the noise?
I’m not even sure if we can really cut through all the noise, we are also not really trying to. The collaboration is just something we wanted to make, it’s part of how we would like our brand to be.
It’s the first time we went down this route, ’cause us skateboarders tend to rip things and flip them without asking, but the people at Miffy were very kind and open to our ideas, which also made this a meaningful partnership. They really understood what we were trying to do.