kid’s wear: Meiré und Meiré

Curator: Jesse Reed
date: November 18, 2011
Categories: Book & Magazine Design, Illustration
Tags: culture, Fashion, germany, Kids, lifestyle, Magazine, publication
A selection of covers

kid’s wear is a biannual magazine that features “children’s fashion, lifestyle and culture.” The publication is released at the beginning of every fashion season, and includes German, English and Italian text. Cologne-based Meiré und Meiré, a.k.a. Mike Meiré, a.k.a. NEO NOTO, is the studio responsible for its design and art direction. From the examples on their website, it appears that a redesign happened somewhere around 2006 and Meiré has designed issues 22–33, respectively. The magazine is published by photographer Achim Lippoth.

kid’s wear is somewhat of a new interest of mine, but I can’t say that I was hooked right away. At first I was skeptical of a magazine that emphasized high-end fashion to children at their most impressionable age. On the surface it appeared elitist, and quite frankly, the antithesis of what we should be focusing our efforts toward as designers and visual thinkers. But then I took a step back and started to dive into the actual work. 

It’s unfortunate that the magazine positions itself so much as a fashion magazine, and doesn’t capitalize on the freedom of its content and the extremely interesting world of a child’s psyche. The more I flipped through it, the more I fell in love with the idea. It’s exciting that children can be the focus of such a respected—that is, treated with respect—magazine, even if they can’t read it, and get the opportunity to publish their crayon drawings or have photographers like Nan Goldin take photos of them playing carnival games all day long. 

I’m not going to ignore the fact that fashion (and I’m starting to question the definition of the word) plays a significant role, but maybe that’s okay. Children love to dress up and look completely weird, even if they think it’s the best clothing combination they’ve ever put together. Opposite the “high-end” fashion, the magazine also focuses on the mundane idiosyncrasies found within different social groups around the world. The pages become a platform of youthful celebration, hopefully always with the child’s best interests in mind. And I almost forgot to mention the beautiful design! 

Type and image are treated with a thoughtful hand and pushed in the direction of an avant-garde aesthetic. Photography shines as a primary component, while a softly gridded skeleton marries the elements of illustration and editorial subtleties. The final result sets a great example of work being done for children that doesn’t look like a child did it.  

I’m curious to hear the reaction of others, primarily Americans, to the concept and content of this magazine. I have a strange feeling that it’s more widely accepted in Germany and Italy, but perhaps I’m over thinking it. Relevance aside, I do think it combines the passion of design, art, business, curiosity, expression, acceptance, spontaneity and fun—all attributes that are equally important to the growth of any child, nationality aside.
  • david sizemore

    Interesting. I share the reservations about emphasizing fashion (which carries ideas of sexuality and consumption to me, but maybe that says more about me than fashion) to children. 

    But I think my biggest reservation is the lack of interaction. Lots of media aimed at children is interactive—iPhone apps, Where’s Waldo? books, even books with just words are engaging kids. For some reason I see more value in that than I do some of these spreads. That argument could be made that a picture of playing with toys in a bathtub is engaging kid’s creativity and imagination. I’m just not sure I agree with that.

  • Marty

    With so much child sexual abuse happening in today’s current news (Penn State, for example), don’t you think this is kinda screwed up? Dark, scary figures holding babies and a shirtless little boy eating a hotdog? Really?

  • kids clothing

    When the mercury starts to rise, the greatest risks to a toddler are overheating and sun exposure. One burn during childhood doubles the risk of melanoma later on, so regardless of her garb it’s best to keep a toddler out of direct sun when rays are riskiest.

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