MEET WOMOM, THE BRAND REDEFINING PATRIARCHAL FASHION RULES AROUND MOTHERHOOD
Self-proclaimed “uniwomen” clothing label Womom is the Munich based brand challenging how the fashion world sees mothers. Go to any clothing store today and you’re likely to see the “maternity” section cordoned off, hidden behind the lingerie section or even on a completely separate floor. This is just one of the ways that society attempts to teach us that pregnancy should be kept out of sight, or that it doesn’t have a place in fashion. While breast feeding in public has recently had lots of air time and has become a linchpin in feminist political movements, little progress has been made in the way we see pregnant women more generally.
Womom are trying to change all this. Their slogan tees, accessories and bags are made for people of all shapes and sizes, pregnancy or no pregnancy. In a world that still constantly seeks to categorise people – think of the fact that we have “plus size”, “petite” and “tall” in different corners of the same Topshop, Womom are deconstructing stereotypes and gender perceptions all at the same time.
We interviewed the three founders to find out more about their design processes and their views on being mums today.
How do you juggle being mothers and running a business?
Being a mother doesn’t mean that you don’t have the capacity for being anything else or doing anything else. It is rather a matter of organisation. Of course it’s a great challenge to handle both. But when being a mom, you grow to a kind of “efficiency-monster”, especially with using your time efficiently. Also the whole project is on such an emotional level that it doesn’t always feel like typical work.
To what extent do you think fashion can change public perceptions, on motherhood for example?
Well we think fashion is something that does influence all of us and it always gives a specific image to someone – “you are what you wear”. If it’s like that, why do not use that fact to spread a message. We’re women and we can wear everything we want in every situation of life and every age.
Therefore fashion seemed to be a perfect way for us to express our differences with today’s image of motherhood.
Is all fashion making a statement?
We think that every designer wants to make a statement with his creations. Even if it’s not recognisable or written in bold letters, there is always a story behind. But there is also this huge industry of fashion that just wants to satisfy trends and make fast money. With fast fashion mostly following trends, we would definitely say that we are in the category of slow fashion. Although we do have an eye on trends and the Zeitgeist. Fashion has always been moving fast and at the moment you can find “statements” everywhere, but the question is: how honest or profound are these statements?
How do you make your clothes fit someone post-pregnancy?
Our clothes have a unisex fit. We call it “uniwoman”. We don’t want to make a difference between the bodies of women. Everyone can wear it and style it as she or he wants – loose fit, tight, oversize, everything is possible. We don’t offer a special pregnancy or post-pregnancy fit. It is our aim to show that women don’t need a separation and to show that mom topics can be worn by anybody.
When and why did you decide to branch into accessories?
It has been already planned when we’ve started Womom. As we´re graphic designers, it was clear to us, that some of our ideas would work better differently then only with textiles. We are also very open-minded for collaborations with other creatives to develop exciting products. The exchange and support between people with good ideas is also a big goal we have, to always keep the message fresh. We don’t want to limit it too much.
How important has Instagram been as a marketing tool for you?
Actually it is the only marketing tool we’ve used. Therefore it was very important for us. It is perfect to spread a message, to reach people personally. On Instagram a product is not only a product and advertising can be more personal than for example in a magazine. You see real people showing and talking about a product. Especially as each Womom shirt has its own message. It’s very exciting to see how differently people interpret our shirts and which message they like to tell with it.
Favourite pieces you have made so far and why?
Our favourite is the Milk Shirt – it was a piece to laugh about, because when you’re breastfeeding you sometimes feel like a bottle of milk. And at the same time it also spreads an important message – that breastfeeding is the most natural thing, you don’t have to fear it in public. Additionally we somehow wanted to make this mom topic accessible for everybody. There are boys who like our Milk Shirt too. Milk does work for everyone – even if you are just a milk lover.
Lastly, can you describe what being a mother means in a sentence?
Kerstin: It’s like a rollercoaster – with ups and downs but most of all there’s just incredible love.
Annette: A third dimension of love that you did not know before.
Tati: Unconditional love. Exhausting and the most natural feeling I’ve ever felt.