Wren Fall 12 Featuring Wren x Minnetonka Thunderbird II Moc


Wren Designer, Melissa Coker, models the Minnetonka Limited Edition Leopard Moc for Fall 2012

Click here for details on the 2013 Limited Edition Minnetonka x Wren collaboration!  

Recently Minnetonka tapped into our inner California girl through a collaboration with LA-based fashion brand, Wren. The idea sparked when Wren designer, Melissa Coker, shared her personal history and passion for our classic brand, and proposed we collaborate for her Wren Fall 2012 Collection presentation.  The more we learned about the inspiration and free spirit of the Wren line, our shared celebrity fans (Reese Witherspoon, Kiera Knightley, and Kirsten Dunst have worn both Minnetonka and Wren), and our mutual passion for inspiring an individual sense of style, the more we knew this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Last week, the Wren F/W 12 line was previewed in NYC, including a screening of the brand’s launch film, “Beware of Young Girls,” featuring fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson. Amid the buzz and excitement of the week,  Melissa took a few minutes to share the inspiration behind the Wren line and her personal Minnetonka story.

Q: Tell us about your background and how the Wren line came to be.

A: Wren was the fruit of a decade working in the fashion industry. I’ve worked in editorial for a handful of fashion magazines, including Vogue, and W Magazine, then I began consulting for corporate apparel companies. In 2007 when I couldn’t find certain items that I wanted in the market, I designed them myself. When the group was done, I’d edited a complete collection. I showed the group to Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony, and they bought the entire collection for their stores. Wren was born!

Q: Where did the name Wren come from?

A: It is named after Jenny Wren, a character in a Dickens’ novel Our Mutual Friend.

Q: Who do you think the “Wren” girl is?

A: She has a personal sense of style. She’s someone who knows what she likes and isn’t a victim to fashion trends.

Q: Do you have a muse?

A: I love the style of girls like Gia Coppola, Tennessee Thomas and Leith Clark.

Q: What’s your Minnetonka story?

A: I have such a personal, emotional relationship to the brand as it is a part of my history. I was born and bred in Lake Forest, Illinois, so we spent summers in Wisconsin. The highlight of each trip was a brand new pair of Minnetonka moccasins. These prized shoes would be worn into the ground year in and year out, gleefully replaced at the start of the new summer.

I love the authenticity of the brand. It’s a genuine piece of Americana. Wearing Minnetonkas makes me feel effortlessly stylish. It doesn’t get better than that!

 Q: What made you reach out to Minnetonka?

A: As I began working on the Fall 12 line, still in my Minnetonkas after all these years, I started thinking what a perfect pairing and great fit this would be, not only for Wren, but also for me. That sense of history and authenticity made for a great collaboration.

Q: How does Minnetonka fit into your Fall 12 collection?

A: I love pairing Minnetonka moccasins with skirts and dresses – it lends an air of unstudied and casual ease that Wren is very much about. We used classic, primary colors that we mixed and paired with bolder prints.

 Q: What’s next for Wren?

A: We’re in the midst of designing Holiday 2012: lots of sequins and color!

Melissa’s Favorites

Q: Favorite way to spend a week off: With my grandparents

Q: Favorite color?: Blue

Q: Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby

Q: Favorite City: New York

Q: Favorite leisure time activity: Hiking in Griffith Park, and shopping flea markets


Wren x Minnetonka Collaboration

Minnetonka worked with Melissa to design three exclusive Minnetonka mocs based off two of our classic styles for her F/W 12 presentation. Wren x Minnetonka mocs include the Leopard Kilty (a similar Limited Edition leopard style is coming soon!), the Royal Navy/Red Thunderbird II, and the Royal Navy/Red Kilty moc. Browse some of the Wren x Minnetonka looks here. Stay tuned for details on how you could win a custom made pair of one of the Wren x Minnetonka styles!

Wren F/W 12 Launch Film featuring Minnetonka and Tavi Gevinson

Tavi Gevinson stars in the Wren F/W 12 Short Film, "Beware of Young Girls

Click here for details on the 2013 Limited Edition Minnetonka x Wren collaboration!  

Minnetonka’s 2012 collaboration with Wren designer, Melissa Coker was unveiled last week at the Wren F/W 12 preview party, which featured a screening of their launch film, “Beware of Young Girls.” Directed by Maximilla Lukacs and Sarah Sophie Flicker, the film stars fashion blogger and editor of Rookiemag.comTavi Gevinson. Tavi performs an excerpt from the song written under the same name by the late Dori Previn.

Produced exclusively for Wren’s Fall 2012 presentation, the Minnetonka Navy/Red Thunderbird II is featured within the film and in outtakes from the shoot. Stay tuned for more news on this exciting collaboration and how you could win a pair of the exclusive Wren x Minnetonka Thunderbird II mocs for yourself!

Q & A with Minnesota Vintage

Last summer, we met a traveling Frenchman with a curiosity and passion for a Minnesota style found just outside of the Minnetonka backdoor.  Bruno Maillols was on a quest to curate a new line of clothing, Minnesota Vintage, made up of  vintage and secondhand clothing that embody the Midwestern spirit, and bring it back to share in his native country. He toured some of our favorite vintage shops and shoe stores, and discovered Minnetonka moccasins while doing so. We tracked Bruno down to see how things are going as he spreads the Minnesota and Minnetonka love through Europe.

Owner & Photographer Bruno Maillols

Minnesota Vintage photo shoot featuring the Minnetonka Boat Moc

Minnesota Vintage photo shoot featuring the Minnetonka Boat Moc

Minnesota Vintage Sold at Music Action in Perpignan, France

Q.   What is Minnesota Vintage?

A.  Minnesota Vintage is a new company that brings Midwest spirit and flavor to Europe through vintage clothing products from Minnesota.  We’ve recently launched our Facebook page and are developing our idea of a multi-brand outlet store.

Q.   How did you get started with this project?

A.  I’ve wanted to create a clothing company since graduating college. I worked at American Apparel and learned about retail and fashion. I also became interested in “permanent culture” or sustainable living.  This led to the development of Minnesota Vintage.  I must thank the Schoeller family for taking such good care of me every time I came to MN searching for clothes.

Q.   What interested you about Minnesota culture and fashion?

A.  Before coming to Minnesota I didn’t know anything about its culture besides Bob Dylan. I was surprised to learn of the diversity in Minnesota, and as an amateur photographer I value the work of Wing Young Huie, who deals with the wide variety of communities in Minnesota today. Also, I was moved by the pow-wow I attended at the Minneapolis American Indian Center.

Q.   When did you first learn about Minnetonka, and how do you think it fits in with your collection?

A.  I instantly fell in love with Minnetonka at a store on Lake Street.  I had to get myself a pair and was glad after researching to learn that Minnetonka was a Minnesota based company.  The combination of the elegance of the mocs and the weathered fabrics of my vintage clothing was simply beautiful and I knew I had to use these for my first photo shoot.

Q.  Where are you selling Minnesota Vintage? How has it been received?

A.  Minnesota Vintage sells in Perpignan, France in a record shop called Music Action. I am hoping to open up in Montpellier as well. Minnesota Vintage is also available at my online store on etsy.com.  So far, the feedback is positive and I am really excited to continue this adventure. Thank you for letting me share this project with you.

Sandal 2013 Design Time!

Have you checked out the new Minnetonka sandal line yet? At Minnetonka HQ, we’re already hitting the drawing board to plan for the sandals you’ll be wearing next year, envisioning what you’ll be dancing around beaches and summer boardwalks in for 2013. Here are a couple behind-the-scenes pictures of the sample room our product development team has been getting creative and having fun in  over the past month.

The product development team kicks up their feet at the morning meeting.

Footwear eye candy - the sample wall!


We want to bring you to the table to share your design and product ideas. What do you love about the current sandal line? What do you want to see more of (more fringe! more height! more comfort! new colors!)? Please share your product input with us and we’ll keep you updated as we go along.

See you in the sample room!