GRAY No. 29

Page 69


et the kids be curious!” That’s one of Reina Acab’s mottos, and it’s also the spirit that animates her designs for Même, the modern kidswear line she launched in Seattle in July 2016. Preserving the innocence of young children and encouraging their independent exploration of the world, free of sartorial gender categories, is a mission for Acab, and it’s one the current market does little to address. “Why does our culture need to know whether a child is a girl or a boy?” she asks. Today’s kids, as she sees it, are forced into gender-specific clothing—hearts and butterflies on girls’ jeans; trucks and trains on boys’ T-shirts—at such an early age that they’re not often allowed to discover the world for themselves without the gender categories that determine how they live, dress—and even play. Acab’s designs question whether it’s appropriate to allow such rigid traditions (pink for girls, blue for boys) to influence young children. Acab’s designs for Même, which means “the same” or “even” in French, are loose-fitting and adaptable over time. The billowy, cocoon-like shapes become less voluminous as a child grows taller, and the elastic waistlines adjust to fit a growing body. “As the waist is let out, the shape changes,” Acab explains. What begins as rolled-up pants for a small child becomes a tapered trouser a year later. The palette is minimalist—just black, white, and cream—and enlivened with polka dots and stripes »

Sephy and Ayden both wear the River shirt and Landry trouser in size 4, demonstrating the adaptability of Même’s debut collection to various body types. “We design with growth in mind, widening and lengthening the garments so that each piece adapts to the child’s changing shape over time,” says designer Reina Acab. “Something that might have been outgrown in six months can now be worn a year or more.”

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