Alumnae Designers back to school

Mount Mary campus is backdrop for designers incorporating bold, collegiate themes in fall collection

"We both went to school at Mount Mary and knew the school would be the perfect backdrop for YUNG RULER visually but also because it embodies the values that we were taught while in school there-to be bold, be confident, and to be a leader."

Andrea Dotzauer ’06

Up-and-coming designers Michelle Lopez ’03 and Andrea Dotzauer ’06 of the MINIclassy recently chose Mount Mary campus as the backdrop for their new fall line. Photographing in mid-September, the children’s fashion label has been busy making new partnerships with Nordstrom department stores as well as debuting their newest photo campaign.

Released for the autumn/winter 2017 season, the YUNG RULER collection is inspired by collegiate themes like studious pleats, sporty stripes, and spirited gold graphics. Beyond the look however, lies the drive for success behind every dreamer. “YUNG RULER is all about empowerment for children to not be afraid to be different, to know that knowledge is power, to always be a leader and a reminder that we are all different on the outside but the same on the inside. “ said Lopez.

An early Sunday morning, the production crew, parents and kids all got an early start on setting up for the photo shoot. Parents helped dress their kids as Lopez and Dotzauer directed each shot-their own children included as models. When looking for the right environment to host the photo shoot, both Lopez and Dotzauer agreed Mount Mary was just the place. “We both went to school at Mount Mary and knew the school would be the perfect backdrop for YUNG RULER visually but also because it embodies the values that we were taught while in school there-to be bold, be confident, and to be a leader,” Said Dotzauer.

The photo shoot ranged all over campus, staying mostly outside.  The most shots seemed to be taken on the front lawn, under the Memorial Archway, and against the Notre Dame tower. “The tower was built to be a symbol of strength and beauty,” said Sister Joan Penzensladler, SSND and Mount Mary historian. “When people even drive past the front lawn, and see the tower rising over the hill, there is the impression of great endurance.” She said. The Miniclassy sees YUNG RULER as a reflection of the inner strength both designers found as students at Mount Mary. “Mount Mary gave me the confidence to be a strong woman, and that helped me a lot.” Says Lopez.

In less than two years, the MINIclassy went from sewing at their dining room table to selling at Barneys New York and serving upscale clientele like Kourtney Kardashian. This past July, the pair landed their biggest deal yet: MINIclassy collections can now be found at Nordstrom department stores across the country and online. 

“Partnering with (Nordstrom) has definitely helped us with exposure and brand awareness and tapping into a broader market. We are currently in talks with the buyers there and are excited that they have picked up our SS18 Bring Da Ruckus collection available online and possibly in stores by February,” said Dotzauer. “Dealing with Nordstrom has set (the MINIclassy) up on a platform that allows us the ability to work with a wide range of retailers.”

Though they have enjoyed the success of their newest partnership, the designers say their mission is focused on the kids, “The reason (we) get out of bed everyday is to inspire kids to dream big too- to do their own thing and pave their own path.” Transforming dreamers here in Milwaukee and now all over the world-Here’s to the bold.

For more on the MINIclassy, find them online at theminiclassy.com or follow them on instagram @theminiclassy.

Keeping it classy and ruling school

MINIClassy

For more on the MINIclassy, find them online at theminiclassy.com or follow them on instagram @theminiclassy.