Welcome to a new series where we feature our beloved brands. Today, we're taking a closer look at Blue Platypus, a US based clothing brand known for their vibrant patterns and retro-inspired styles.
We first spotted Blue Platypus while scouring the internet for cool, new items to add to our site. We were attracted to their fun, colorful prints and 60s/70s style clothes, and new immediately that they belonged with the Stupid Kitsch family. Not just for their fab fashions, but also because of their values.
We had the opportunity to interview the owner, Heidi Gates, to learn more about her story and brand. Here's a bit of her story and why we love Blue Platypus.
Tell us about Blue Platypus. What is the brand about and how did you get started?
I’ve always been very interested in vintage clothing, furniture and music. I attended Otis College of Art & Design in LA where I got a degree in fashion design. We started out as a t-shirt company on American Apparel tees, then started doing our own custom sewing when people demanded larger sizes. We have since grown to include nine sizes, XS-4X in the years since, and although we moved to Michigan in 2012, we continue to produce our clothing in Southern California with a small, dedicated group of excellent production people.
Blue Platypus is such a unique name! Do you have a fun story about how you came up with the name of your brand?
After a brief stint in costume work, I had learned that blue is the color that makes the audience trust the character the most, so we went with blue. As far as the platypus - it’s a wonder of evolution, a hodgepodge with strange and mysterious features unlike any other animal. We always wanted to stand out and be a bit different from all other brands out there with original artwork, bold colors and intriguing silhouettes. We also want to be constantly evolving. Plus, we are the only platypus in North America.
What are your brand's values? What should people expect from your brand? Are there any social causes that influence you or your brand?
We love making things in the United States. We have awesome production people, some of whom are like family at this point. Immigrants make our clothing and they’re the most hardworking people I’ve ever known. We sacrifice good margins for doing things the right way. We give money to food banks and we have an anti-racist line whose profits all go to causes like the NAACP LDF. We give money to True Colors United and we strive to hire models of various colors, shapes and sizes to represent us. We strive for total inclusivity, acceptance and equity. We now make almost everything in nine sizes so many people can enjoy the clothing.
Tell us about what inspires your unique and colorful designs.
I’ve always marveled at the artwork on vintage concert posters, artists like Charles & Ray Eames, Peter Max or Rene Gruau. Color has always been my obsession. I absolutely love figuring out color combinations that are new and interesting. I think somehow the shapes and colors in the Disney ride, “It’s A Small World” lodged in my brain at a young age. My mother’s gorgeous garden is also a source of inspiration.
I was a swing dancer for many years, and seeing everyone wearing gorgeous vintage clothes was amazing. We also joined a vintage scooter club and would ride Vespas in the Hollywood Hills with very stylish mods for a while. I love colorful Hawaiian florals, intriguing psychedelic prints, and bold geometric prints, like Marimekko and Vera clothing.
Quality is very important for you. Can you tell us what you look for in ensuring top quality garments?
I have seen a million things go wrong in my 15 years doing this. We need great fabric, meticulous sewing folks, top notch dye houses and printers, and we inspect every garment. We wash the knits before shipping, to catch any issues before they go out to the customer and to minimize shrinkage after purchase. We use the best production even if it costs more, because otherwise what’s the point?
What do you see for Blue Platypus in the future?
I’m taking it one collection at a time for now. I’d like to create more colorful textile designs and have them made into wearable garments that people can enjoy. I like to think I’m making products that last, the vintage clothing of the future. We will never go abroad with production of the line, or compromise on quality.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about this brand! Visit our website shop Blue Platypus
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