Partners in biz and in life, Melbourne-based Perks and Mini have created a brand drawing international praise. Naming the brand after their graffiti names, Shauna Toohey (MINI) and Misha Hollenbach (PERKS) began over six years back and down-under with a shared love of aliens, Sun Ra and idea of changing the world.
Today, the P.A.M. brand brings fresh fabrics, nice colors and alien inspiration into a small but innovative collection. The Spring 2008 menâ€™s color palette features mustard, eggplant and ultramarine jewel tones in a multitude of organic, waterproof, and knit fabrics — all pieces deeply inspired by Alien existence. The womenâ€™s collection draws from the same inspirations but with less progressive fabrics and more muted colors.
Standout selects from the cut and sew (with knits!) menâ€™s collection include the Japanese inspired embroidered baseball-style Spaceball Jacket, the all over print polka-dot Monka Dot Track Pant, and knit Panza Tank. Key pieces from the womenâ€™s collection are the Mercury Dress, Time Travel Cape, and UFO hat.
Other products include: Visitors Shirt, Space Coin necklaces, Endroid Spray Jacket, Alien Legginngs, Metro Robo Scarf, and a UFO Sweater featuring the text â€œSpace is the Placeâ€. The Perks and Mini menâ€™s designs far exceed the womenâ€™s in regards to cuts, fabrics and color palette.
Perks and Mini have now expanded into books, toys, sunglasses and jewelry. One of their latest collaborations, a book created with London-based, Fergadelic. The book also comes in Japanese.
â€œWe put on an alien sex rave for New Yearâ€™s Eve and there were tons of them everywhere – even on the roof.â€
Format: Who are the players on the PAM team and what are your backgrounds?
P&M: Perks And Mini and a few of good helpers. Misha’s fashion background is on the graphics side having helped many labels including Silas, Stussy, Levis, Fuct, etc. Misha went to RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and studied painting. Shauna’s fashion background is as a designer and she has also done fashion graphics for various companies. Shauna went to RMIT and studied fashion.
Format: You are a couple in love. Does this ever get in the way of achieving business goals?
P&M: No, mainly because we don’t have any business goals. Fun and happiness comes first. Never thought about having goals in business. We only do business because if we didn’t take care of business we would have to work for someone else and working for ourselves rules. Personally, we want to keep learning and exploring and mostly we want to be happy whatever we are doing.
Format: Youâ€™ve described Perks and Mini as pushing the boundaries in the world of fashion. Please explain.
P&M: We just do things our way – not to push boundaries but because we think the world can be a more amazing place if people try to make it one.
Format: What are some rules you have made up for yourselves in life?
P&M: No shoes in the house.
Format: Who are some of your collaborators?
P&M: Fergadelic, Susumu Mukai, Mike Kelley, Two Many DJ’s, Joseph Szabo.
Format: Please explain the PAM dimension?
P&M: Turn left when you reach the sun and it’s the third door on the right
Format: Tell us about your Spring Summer 2008 line â€œSpace Faceâ€. What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
P&M: It came to us traveling 1000’s of kilometers above the earth somewhere between London and Tokyo. It’s infinite – and AAA! Anarchy, aliens, anything! Around and around.
Misha: All-over helium aliens, dress with Silver disc and yellow Totem Jacket.
Shauna: The space face graphic is pretty amazing, alien leggings and the beautiful watercolor metro robo dress.
Format: Do you believe in Aliens and how do they relate to fashion?
P&M: Yes. We put on an Alien Sex Rave for New Yearâ€™s Eve and there were tons of them everywhere – even on the roof. Anything and everything can relate to fashion.
Format: Whatâ€™s with your website?
P&M: It’s a statement. Websites can be really gross selling and marketing advertisements. We wanted to just share something with open-minded viewers — just a little piece of fun. It definitely gets a reaction; people love it or hate it. We like that. Love and hate are really important; the grey stuff in between doesn’t interest us.
Format: Do you feature organic yarns throughout your entire collection?
P&M: All our basic printed tees and other jersey items all use organic cotton. In the future, we will also use it for all our sweatshirts. The reality is that although cotton seems so natural it in fact needs lots of chemicals to grow and process it into cotton fabric. This has an impact on the environment and also on the wearer. Using organic cotton and other organic natural fibers is the way forward.
Format: Tell us about the â€œtechnical waterproofâ€ fabrics from Japan?
P&M: When youâ€™re riding your bike and it rains you won’t get wet. It also has UV protection so those harmful rays won’t get to you. It’s like a force field â€“ very Space Face!
Format: What is next for you as a brand?
P&M: We have just released a light with Japanese label Undercover. We are about to release a limited edition jacket we collaborated on with Hong Kong mega star Edison Chen. We are about to drop Space Face on the world. Misha’s collaboration with Nike is about to come out. That was just Misha not PAM and it’s a character he designed for Nike Running. They have developed a tracksuit and a pair of sneakers.
We are about the sell our Autumn Winter 2008 collection. We are working on new Changes art exhibitions for later in the year including shows in The Netherlands, Denmark and Australia. New Pammix via Thomas Bullock of Rub’n’tug, and moâ€™.
Format: How are Perks and Mini making the world a more amazing place?
P&M: We are trying to do that. We are wankers so we donâ€™t know if we are achieving that, but making good stuff and turning people on to good stuff is a good place to star.
More Info: http://www.perksandmini.com/