Exclusive: Me and You Meets Us
Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis, creators of the fashion label Me and You, are amongst a group of girls that are making waves with their lauded feminist message – girls like Petra Collins and Tavi Gevinson. Me and You is like no label you’ve seen before: mainly because it’s fun and it’s pretty, and there is a palpable 100% sincerity to their product, which is why it’s fast becoming a rising brand to take note of. With lipstick-smooched underwear and cute pieces branded with the word ‘Feminist’ in bubble-gum letters, Me and You is not only an empowering force but the sweetest dream that could come true. We talked to best friends Mayan and Julia, who told us what the goal of the label was and why feminism in fashion is much needed.
You created Me and You as a response to feeling left out of the “typical” fashion industry. How do you think your label has bridged that gap and given a new niche to people?
We feel like most of fashion is about creating exclusivity instead inclusion, we wanted to create clothes and portray images that represented lots of different kinds of girls. Instead of making fashion something inaccessible, for us it’s more about keeping our fans/ followers part of the process and thinking about them as our best friends. Me and You was created as us as best friends and so much of the Me and You image is about that support.
Your label and collaborators are known for dealing with and revolving around feminism. Lately it seems like more people are becoming actively proponent of the topic, like Chanel’s SS15 show which revolved around making feminist feminine. What is your take on this?
Right now feminism seems to be having a “moment” in popular culture, its kind of strange for us because we never even saw it as something that was trendy or something to attach ourselves to. It was just something that was always prevalent in our work and with our peers so making a t-shirt that says “feminist” was just natural. It’s great the dialogue on feminism is becoming widely discussed, but for Chanel to use feminism on the same fashion model (which was the problem in the first place) doesn’t push forward the message. For us, feminism is about embracing all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, while making clothes that are fun, easy, feminine and accessible.
What is your take on fashion and how do you demonstrate this with your re-appropriation of cultural references?
We live in a society that is over-saturated with imagery, so much of what it means to be an artist today is how you select those images and how you hone your personal aesthetic. By looking at someone’s Instagram or Tumblr page you can kind of get a quick glimpse of how they see the world. Me and You is about that selection, we take images or symbols that we like or are familiar and chose to repurpose them into clothing.
What do you look for in collaborators? Is a similar aesthetic or mentality necessary or do you like to engage with people who have different points of view in order to create a different conversation?
So far our collaborators are those who are close to us, who we are naturally used to working with. But we love the idea for Me and You to be a constant conversation with our followers / fans. We like the idea that someone who buys our product wants to take a photo of it with their best friend, or a really awesome self portrait. Seeing people wear our clothes and get excited about them is the motivation for us to keep creating stuff.
You’ve built an extensive list of followers. Are you going to open a shop soon or what can we expect from Me and You in the future?
We want to keep retail mostly online, that way we can control how and where our products are being sold. But, we want curate pop-up shops in different cities or places that inspire us, we love meeting our fans and talking to them in person.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world who would you choose and what would the ideal project look like?
We take so much inspiration from film, we would love to work with filmmakers that inspire us, Sofia Coppola, Harmony Korine, Larry Clark…We would also just love to make our own feature with our best friends it’s a dream for us.
What do you see the future of fashion looking like?
More supportive of women.