Gardner and the Gang: Clothing With Character

Most of the time, clothing designers are inspired by the work of other designers, or sometimes by the shapes, colors and textures they encounter in the world around them. In some cases, however, clothing designers have a more story-driven vision behind their clothing, one that imbues each collection with its own individual “personality” chosen from a cast of original characters. This is the case with Gardner and the Gang, a children’s clothing company based in Singapore.

While other children’s clothing lines employ images of characters in their designs, most are simply images with little to no back story, and few are as interesting as those you’ll find at Gardner and the Gang. You won’t get the classic cuddly puppies here. From punk rock bulldogs to DJ camels and beyond, these funky friends have their own rich pasts, hopes, dreams and hobbies. The company’s website describes the characters in detail in each of their product descriptions, so parents and kids can be inspired by these fun stories, too.

Kristin Nystrom is the adventurous soul behind Gardner and the Gang. A Swede by birth, Nystrom had a passion for travel and eventually settled in Singapore where she started her business. Her goal was to create clothing that exposed children to a diversity of cultures and interests, through characters they could truly connect to. Her flagship character was the Love Skull, based on her love of skull images in art and pop culture. While most skulls in kids’ fashion are presented from either a scary/Goth or rebel/punk perspective, Nystrom’s Love Skull has hearts for eyes and is a cute, benevolent image. Similarly, many of her other characters go against the norm in refreshing ways.

Looking at the Spring/Summer 2015 collection, as well as some of the company’s older creations, there are plenty of reminders of the founder’s Scandinavian background with comfy, functional cuts and quirky patterns. These are clothes children can wear while being active or just chilling out around the house. Relaxed lounge pants and soft printed T’s make up the majority of the inventory, but there are also bold, colorful swimsuits, understated dresses, and colorful rain gear.

Gardner and the Gang is all about innovation, and introduces new designs and characters each year. Nystrom also likes to do collaborations with other designers, so the line is certain to expand and evolve in the coming seasons.

See what they have to offer at

More To See