Earlier this year, I noticed a shift in baby items. Everything started to look much more chic—more fashion. All of the dreaded primary coloured items that screamed Sesame Street On Repeat gave way for muted dove greys, Millennial pinks and, my personal favourite, black. I have since realized seeing a baby dressed in black is one of my favourite things.
When I had a baby of my own (and then another one), I wanted to find things that reflected my personal style—I personally loathe primary colours aside from like, a cherry red lipstick—and gave me a little lift during motherhood’s darker hours, which is basically the first four months, sorry to alarm you. Dynamic prints always seem to brighten my spirit, whether it’s a star, stripe, scallop or heart. Lately, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with palm leaves, banana leaves and anything lifted from the jungle. I partly blame the vegan restaurant in Toronto named Planta for that; their green and white wallpaper is hypnotizingly good, and reaching for your phone to capture its beauty is more of a visceral reaction than a conscious choice.
When baby shopping, one of the most crucial items you’ll find yourself looking for is a stroller. And for me, as one of those mums who walks five to seven kilometres a day (the babies sleep and I listen to podcasts), I knew I needed one that could handle a little off-roading into grassy parks but be able to maneuver city sidewalks and the occasional hopping onto a bus. Oh, and forgot to mention: I needed a stroller for two!
After reading an endless amount of mom blogs and forums about the pros and cons of the strollers that load your kids in single file versus the side-by-side design, I knew I needed to have both kids within arm’s reach to
throw offer Goldfish/soothers to them but also to make really quick turns while I’m out on my lengthy walks (it’s worth mentioning that I also drag my two nine-year-old wild beasts pugs with me). The thought of wielding 40+ pounds of baby heft during wide turns did not make my heart sing.
Donkey2 Stroller (from $1,499)
This is how I found myself drooling over the Bugaboo Donkey², the latest update to the iconic Dutch brand’s double stroller with foam-filled tires. (Who has time to pump those things full of air? I lose my wallet and keys every other day so I would surely lose a pump too.) Bugaboo is known as the market leader in glam but functional strollers; they were the first brand to launch what they call a modular stroller, which means “having a flexible construction and being highly adaptable”, so it can grow with your child.
It was the stroller that I saw all the cool-chic mommies walking around Ossington Avenue and Bloor Street with in Toronto, and the stroller that had the smartest little seat for older kids. The brand’s Comfort Wheeled Board allows for standing or sitting (because even toddlers get lazy), which is pretty unique—many competitors only offer a standing option.
It’s also the stroller that collaborates with legit designers to come up with Sun Canopies (translation: stroller roofs, which can be swapped out for different colours and designs) and Footmuffs (basically plush sleeping bags that sit inside the stroller seat and make your baby look like a really adorable marshmallow burrito). Some of their past collabs include Marc Jacobs, Hello Kitty, Missoni, The Andy Warhol Foundation and The Van Gogh Museum.
“Bugaboo has a history of unexpected product collaborations with visionary artists and designers, and we seek out brands with a unique proposition and shared values,” says Barber Ebbinge, special collection designer for the brand. Which is why their latest collab with We Are Handsome, an Australian-based swim and activewear brand, is pretty fitting. “One of the primary reasons we were drawn to working with We Are Handsome is because we are both disruptive design brands that have reshaped our respective industries – we introduced the world to the first modular stroller, and We Are Handsome redefined the norms of swim and activewear with daring designs and bold colour palettes,” she says.
Since I wasn’t familiar with their aesthetic or vision, I decided to lob some questions to Jeremy Somers and Katinka Somers, the founder & creative director and managing director and designer, respectively, of We Are Handsome, to see what appealed to them about the collaboration with Bugaboo.
ELLE: What was your first reaction when you were approached to work with such an iconic stroller brand?
We Are Handsome (WAH): There are a handful of companies in the world that we liken ourselves to in the constant strive to produce the best product we can, and Bugaboo is certainly in that handful. When we were approached to work on this collaboration, we were absolutely excited to work in the stroller (and luggage) space!
ELLE: Why the tiger? Did you consider other animals?
WAH: Jeremy and I have a deep respect for the animal kingdom and from our first collection, the Big Cat became our iconic signature. For this collaboration, we worked with Bugaboo to incorporate our signature design in a way that is authentic to the Bugaboo brand.
ELLE: How did you narrow down the colour palette and avoid the classic “jungle” colours, which tend to be brighter?
WAH: We collaborated with the Bugaboo creative team at every point during the product development process from sharing initial concepts to creating mood boards for inspiration. We collectively wanted to produce a monochromatic print that would be striking and buck convention. It’s easy to do what’s expected, and we never take the easy path.
ELLE: What were some of the challenges you came across when developing the pattern for Bugaboo?
WAH: It sounds cliché to say that we had a smooth path and very few challenges on our journey, but this was totally the case as we approached every detail of the collaboration together, including traveling to the Dominican Republic to shoot campaign images in the jungle.
ELLE: Was this your first time working on a children’s brand?
WAH: We have created a few children’s ranges of swimwear, but that’s the limitation of our foray into the child space, so this was an exciting opportunity to learn just how broad the space is! Through the collaboration with Bugaboo we not only got to understand the children’s sphere, we also got to dive into an area we’ve long had on our mind to align with -travel (they also created a range of luggage accessories with the brand).
ELLE: How did the dimensions of the stroller influence the design itself?
WAH: We have to work around body dimensions in our own designs, so we we enjoyed learning, with the help of the Bugaboo team, how to work around the dimensions of strollers and luggage. We think we nailed it.
Bugaboo by We Are Handsome Footmuff ($174.95)
I can’t disagree. Look for me rolling with my two
monsters angels in my chic black Bugaboo Donkey² with the We Are Handsome Footmuff (above). I can’t say I won’t be having a Mum meltdown, but if I am, please send me forgiving eyes, the mental strength of an astronaut heading toward an asteroid and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
In Canada the Bugaboo by We Are Handsome Sun Canopy is available for the Cameleon3 and the Bee5 stroller models. The Footmuff, however, is universal so it works with all of the five Bugaboo models. Learn more at Bugaboo.com.
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