Carri Munden, the one-woman wonder behind Cassette Playa, lets us in on an exclusive preview of her new collection with JuJu shoes.
The self-declared paganist’s powers have garnered her four MAN shows and a nomination for best menswear designer in 2007 alongside Alexander McQueen and Christopher Bailey. When Carri isn’t busy transforming celebrities like Rihanna and M.I.A. into exotic avatars – complete with horns and headdress – this modest, well-spoken blonde eschews the spotlight, and prefers to visit the British Museum. We spoke to her about her latest collaboration with JuJu shoes.
Carrie, can you tell us a bit about your latest collaboration?
I’ve always been a Juju fan. I got a silver glittery pair when I was 13: I still live in them. I was happy to find that they still made them, since its important to me to support UK manufacturers and industries. So I tracked Juju down to see if they wanted to do a collaboration, and they did.
As if they would say no to you. What do your custom designs look like?
I did a pink and a blue pair, glittery, with 3D hearts and an animal print on the inner decals – the first time Juju did that.
What kind of girl do you want to see wearing your clothes?
Someone tough, strong, who knows herself, and has confidence. But she can be geeky and nerdy too. That’s hot.
What influences can you name?
Subcultures, mostly. Any tribes, whether a group of sports players or in the Amazon. I don’t watch TV except nature programmes to chill out. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I was younger, so I use many animal prints. I’m also a paganist; I celebrate all the solstices. The 90s skater scene – the pastels, fluorescents, that blue sky that you get in California… I was actually there when Kurt Cobain died.
Are you also into grunge?
I grew up on the south coast, so I’m more into rave, jungle, and UK garage. I’m also a fan of hard-core and metal bands like Black Norwegian.
Any sources of inspiration that might surprise us?
Whenever I’ve free time, I go to the British Museum.They have amazing Aztec, Mayan, and Egyptian sections. The building itself is also amazing. And it’s free!
What are you working on at the moment?
I´ve taken two seasons off to do small collaborations, like with Juju. I´m working on the identity of my womenswear collection. It’s still going to be strong, playful – and a bit slutty.
Speaking of slutty, why are your female models often nude, like in the girl-on-girl action in the Power Turbo video?
It is meant to be very empowering. When I visited the Juju factory in Northampton, there was an old framed Sun shoot in the bathroom that was really sexy, and I wanted to recreate that. I didn’t use typical girl models; they’d all had their boobs out before. I didn’t consider a traditional male gaze. I imagined them more as a tribe of Amazons, maybe getting a bit girl-on-girl, but if anyone tried to mess with them, they wouldn’t hesitate to kick their ass. I hope no one considers it degrading.
Is there a political statement behind your brand, like Vivienne Westwood’s?
When I first started, I looked into making sure that none of my T-shirts were made in sweatshops. But I think if you’re going to do it, you have to do it all the way. All levels of production must be self-sustainable. I dream of it becoming economically possible for me one day. I admire women like Vivienne Westwood, who prove that you can be both a successful designer and businesswoman.
What would be your dream collaboration?
I would love to design my own videogame one day.
Can we expect more boobs?
Definitely more boobies. My mum says I´m obsessed with them.
Well, you know what they say about how your mother’s always right…
Yeah, unfortunately it’s true. She is always right.
Words: Christine Jun (Follow Christine on Twitter at @christinecocoj)