Category Archives: Behind the Design

December 28, 2011

Behind the Design: Mexico’s Dragon

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

While Mexico, doesn’t necessarily have a traditional dragon, per say, it does have some very dragon-like creatures that have become very important to Mexican Culture.

images credits (left to right and top to bottom): Pyramid of Feathered Serpent, Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, Quetzalcoatl Mosaic by Diego Rivera, Diego Rivera Illustrations, Quetzalcoatl Mosaic Detail, Diego Rivera Illustration

The Feathered Serpent is a dragon-like deity important to many mesoamerican cultures. In Aztec culture he is known as Quetzalcoatl. Like many dragons in Asian cultures, the feathered serpent has a snake-like body, however it is not covered in scales like most other cultures’ dragons.  The feather serpent is covered with feathers, which gives it the ability to fly, even though it does not have wings. [fun fact: the Korean Dragon can also fly and does not have wings] The feathered serpent appeared in many of Diego Rivera’s works (pictured above). Do you recognize the frog in Diego’s mosaic?

mexico dragon shirt

Tea’s Aztec Serpent Shirt

images from inspiration trip photos

Many alebrijes take form as dragons or dragon-like creatures.  I suspect since alebrijes are a modern Mexican craft, crafters were exposed to influences from many different cultures. A dragon is a logical choice for an alebrije since they are usually fantasical creatures.

Tea’s Alebrije Shirt

December 21, 2011

Behind the Design: Highland Holiday Colors

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

from Tea’s inspiration trip photos

Deep purples, rich blues and pops of bright pink may not scream holiday to everyone, but we loved this festive color palette proudly worn by the people in the village of Chamula. These are the colors of the traditional dress in this region of Chiapas. We were so inspired by the color, we couldn’t even wait till we got home to sport this beautiful palette. One generous women we met even let us try the clothes on that she was wearing. I hope you enjoy wearing them as much as we do.

mexico holiday clothing inspired by chimula

some of the styles from our Highland Holiday collection: girl styles, boy styles, women styles

December 14, 2011

Behind the Design: Lucha Libre Masks

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.


The photo above was taken on our by one of our designers on our Modern Mexico Inspiration trip.

Luche Libre is a Mexican wrestling style characterized by the colorful masks the participants wear. The first Lucha Libre mask was worn as a gimmick in order to excite the audience and develop an alternate persona for the wrestler. Since then, the sport has become defined by the characters and colors the wrestlers’ masks exhibit.

We couldn’t help but include some colorful Lucha Libre masks in our boys graphic tees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share with us in the comments below: what color would your Lucha Libre mask be?

 

December 7, 2011

Behind the Design: La Rana y La Mono Baby Romper

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

You may be wondering, why does Tea have a frog and a monkey on their baby romper?  Well these two creatures actually represent two famous married Mexican artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

If you’ve been following our Studio T blog, you’ll know that a lot of our Modern Mexico children’s clothes collection was inspired by the works of Diego and Frida.  Our La Rana Y El Mono baby romper captures our playful tribute to them.

frog drawings and mosaics by Diego Rivera, monkeys from Frida Kahlo’s self portraits

Diego thought he looked like a frog and Frida would often paint monkeys throughout her work.  The artists started to use the Spanish pet names La Rana (frog) and El Mono (monkey) for each other. We think that’s pretty adorable.

How about you?  What are your pet names for your loved ones?

 

December 5, 2011

Tea’s Global Children’s Clothes Donation

On November 28th and 29th, Tea donated one piece of clothing to the Global Fund for Children for every order placed online or at a Tea retailer.  The Global Fund for Children is an organization that helps advance the dignity of at-risk children by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic.

Through your purchases and the help of the Global Fund for Children, Tea was able to donate over 2,500 articles of clothing to the following organizations:

  1. Jamghat- Located in New Delhi, India, Jamghat provides a safe and supportive environment for street children to enable them to evolve physically and emotionally.
  2. Baoji Xinxing-Baoji Xinxing provides rehabilitation, education, recreation, and vocational skills to street children in central China.
  3. Associação Excola-Helping children in the heart of downtown Rio de Janeiro, Associação Excola works to empower youth living on the streets to make long-term positive changes in their lives.
  4. Homeless Children’s Playtime Project-Located in the District of Columbia, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project nurtures healthy child development and reduces the effects of trauma among children living in temporary housing programs.
  5. The Associate of Children and youth with Disabilities- Based in Moldova, this organizations provides direct support for children with multiple disabilities through an annual integration summer camp.
  6. Maison de la Gare St. Louis (MDGSL)- A child-oriented organization located in Senegal that works to promote the social and economic integration of talibés, young boys who are sent by their families to urban areas to study the Qu’ran but often end up being subjected to conditions akin to slavery and forced labor

 

We’re thrilled that our loyal fans helped us award these organizations with such a meaningful donation. Tea Collection supports the Global Fund for Children because they also work to celebrate cultures around the world.   How do you give back? Share your thoughts about charitable giving in the comments section below.

Learn more about Tea’s work with the Global Fund for Children.  Proceeds from our Little Citizens line are donated to the Global Fund for Children.

December 2, 2011

Alebrije Cultural Activity Printout

Yesterday we let you know the behind the design story of the alebrijes hiding on Tea’s graphic tees.  Today we want you to let your imagination wander and help us create the alebrijes of your dreams.

Color in the alebrijes below and post it in the blog post comments section or post it on our Facebook!  We want to see all the fun colors you can dream up for this coyote and pony alebrije!

Free Coloring Book PageFree Coloring Book Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download your activity printout here: Alebrije Coyote or Albrije Pony.

November 30, 2011

Behind the Design: Alebrijes Graphic Tees

Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. Explore all of our Behind the Design posts.

Mexican artists continually represent the creatures of their imaginations in alebrijes, which are brightly-colored sculptures of fantastical creatures.  We saw alebrijes throughout our Mexico trip; some were small enough to fit in the size of our palm while others spanned the length of the street!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Modern Mexico children’s clothes line is filled with our interpretations of alebrijes.  Check out these ones hiding out in style on our graphic tees!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which alebrijes Tea creation is your favorite?  Check back tomorrow for a fun children’s alebrijes cultural activity printout.

Explore all of our graphic tee options for girls and boys.


November 18, 2011

Jaguar & Butterfly Masks: Activity Download

Mexico is filled with wonderful creatures- such as the Jaguar which inspired our Jaguar Mask Boys Tee and the Monarch Butterfly which inspired our Butterfly Girls shirt.  At Tea, we want to bring our designs to life- literally!  Download the masks below and have fun watching your child color their character mask and then transform into either a fierce jaguar or a playful butterfly!

We want in on the fun.  Post a picture of your child wearing the finished mask in our comments section below.

November 17, 2011

Cultural Connections: Tigers

1st row: early Tea design, traditional Chinese paper cut tiger

2nd row: Tea’s design, Japan Fall 2009, “Tiger Mask” Japanese anime character

3rd row: Tea’s design, Korea Spring 2010, Korean tiger stamp

4th row: Tea’s design, Old World Hungary Fall 2010, lion from Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest

5th row: Tea’s Design, Barcelona Spring 2011, Barcelona street art

6th row: Tea’s design, Modern Mexico Fall 2011, Mexican jaguar

I can’t believe that I am designing my 8th season at Tea!  Time flies when you’re having fun! The more seasons I design, the more connections I see through the different cultures we’ve visited for inspiration. One obvious connection is the importance of tigers. Some cultures may not specifically celebrate tigers, but every country we have visited has some large cat that is important to their identity. I find it so interesting to see the differences and similarities in the ways foreign civilizations celebrate the same subjects.

Be sure to check out our tiger pinboard on pinterest, showing tigers interpreted by artists from all over the world.

learn more about Barcelona Tiger, Old World Hungary Lion, Modern Mexico Jaguar