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?
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!
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!