When artist Nick Hernandez decided to transform his dynamic artworks into wearables for little people, the result was bound to be spectacular. His brand Chocolate Einstein is filled with quirky styles that kids love and that have their parents reminiscing about the duds they wore when they were young...
We asked Nick a few questions about his vibrant brand...
What is the idea behind your brand and how did it start?
It all came about when I broke my ankle and was ‘house bound’ for a period of time. I had been doing some sketches and a friend encouraged me to explore art. So I started painting. The rest followed!
Later someone said to me 'I would like to see what your artwork would look like as a fabric yardage' - it just made sense. So then began the process of creating Chocolate Einstein.
The designs are playful, fuelled by colour, shapes and symbols. The artwork is all completely original, I myself am a painter and it is a translation of the many artworks that I do. Each patterned garment is cut from a length of fabric making no two garments completely alike. I want children to be able to look unique and feel very comfortable. They are not gender bound; sitting outside of the traditions of many other children’s wear brands.
The pieces are all very practical too; they are designed to not only look cute and charismatic, but to also disguise any splotches that may occur. There is also (of course) the opportunity for parents to live vicariously through their children’s outfits! To my surprise, I am getting requests from parents asking if I can make certain garments in their size, I’ve made a couple so far and they look great.
What is your background?
My family is originally from South America, so we grew up in a vibrant and colourful home. I remember my brother and I painting all of our friends skateboard grip tape. I also taught hip-hop to kids in the neighbourhood from our 3-car garage! Work wise, I’ve done a bit of everything over the years, assisting photographers and stylists, production runner, scenic painter, hospitality, I’ve even restored furniture.
What do you love most about designing children swear?
I honestly have so much fun designing these clothes! I feel like with children’s clothing there are a less limitations in terms of colour and patterns. I think that’s probably the main reason my artwork translates so successfully into little peoples clothes! It also provides me the opportunity to be free with my creativity. And what I enjoy most is seeing the garments come to life when they’re on.
What inspires you?
First and foremost in life, my family are by far the biggest inspiration. Artistically, I am very easily inspired by so many things, photography, sculpture, film, music and just about anything that’s been hand made.
Also, tribal and indigenous artworks are a big influence. Big names like Picasso, Miro, Kandinsky, Herring, Reg Mombasa, Ken Done - the list goes on... I love artists who work fluidly, in bold line and colour.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a big daydreamer, throughout school I never really, truly knew what I wanted to be. When I was little, I wanted to be a pilot. On the weekends my mum and dad would drive me to airport to watch the aeroplanes take off.
If you were a kid in Sydney, where is the first place you'd go?
I actually grew up in Sydney during the 70’s & 80’s and some of my best memories are of heading to the beach, so that’s where I’d go.
What is your favourite kids movie of all time?
My all time favourite kids movie is without a doubt, hands down - The Goonies! I’m also a huge cartoon nerd, I love all of them anytime, anywhere – and anything by Studio Ghibli.
If Chocolate Einstein were to design the ultimate ice cream what would it look like?
A delicious Chocolate Sunset or you could try sharing with someone a Piece of Peace - take your pick!