Designer Interviews | Feb 14, 2019

Wild yet wearable. A little sexy, a little seductive, a lot of WOW! Uniquely simple, fresh & uninhabited. Everything that swimwear should be! Wearing swim is meant to put you & your body at ease. When you’re by the water it’s about feeling natural, deliciously comfortable & in your purest form. Otherwise, it’s simply not worth it. 

No brand speaks pure, natural and MINIMAL more so than the incredible brand out of the US, Minimale Animale (@theminimalaninmale). Behind these designs is the larger than life, electrical & eccentric LA gal, Cassandra Kellogg. Cassandra has made swimwear her lifestyle, her muse. Genius? Um yes, we agree!!

Current & future designers- you’ll want to read about this powerhouse! She is raw, talented, unapologetic & driven to the next level. When Sports Illustrated reaches out to YOU, you know you’re doing something right! And my goodness - is she ever! 

A friend of the INC team, a favourite of the INC family - this is the queen of her own kick ass’ kingdom … Cassandra Kellogg, in all her glory.

Cassandra, congratulations on such a wildly successful brand! Minimale Animale is sexy, a little risqué and fabulously, flirtatious & feminine. This seems to be the direction swim is heading towards more & more these days ... you're effortlessly ahead of the times! You began your career in styling, was the transition into design intentional or just something that happened naturally? 

Yeah it happened naturally after being burnt out in design school. I moved to LA and pursed styling vs. design. I was so over it after being forced into college & I was honestly very discouraged by my teachers to even pursue the swim industry at all. None of them had any faith in me & told me I couldn't design swim in school - except my last project in a 4 year degree program. They said swim was "too easy." I had to design so many things I hated just to get and A … it took my creative soul in way. 

After moving to LA, my current roommate was launching her collection that would become huge here in the states, called "WILDFOX COUTURE," and through styling for her, I created swim to match. Back then WILDFOX was just a line of  tee’s & tanks.  

Between this and making my own bikinis for Coachella in my mid 20's, I started to find my passion in swimwear design again. Through this I started the concept of MINIMALE ANIMALE.  After tonnes of research, fitting tonnes of brands, dissecting the industry (i.e. what I did/didn't like about it), I then formed the framework of the line and what it would be & stand for from there. 

It’s been 10 years since I began working on the concept of the brand, and MINIMALE ANIMALE has now been out for 7 years as a shoppable collection online + with retailers. It’s been an incredible ride.

Nicky Minaj, Kylie Jenner, Candice Swanepoel, Miley Cyrus - some huge names have been snapped in your range. Which sighting to date has been the most exciting? I recently read you'd love to see Rihanna in MA. Has this happened?! 

I love them all & we did get a suit on Rihanna a few years ago on 4/20. She wore a suit we did with pot leaves on it. I LOVE her. She is the sexiest woman alive as far as I'm concerned. 

Featuring in the iconic Sports Illustrated is no easy feat. How did this come about? Do you keep the mags you featured in? 

They actually contacted me before my line even launched after apparently reading about my line in a magazine article. It was a pretty surreal moment to be in the SI CLUB, thats for sure. Yep I'm sure I have copies in storage :) 

When it comes to your wardrobe for your day-to-day LA lifestyle, what brands or styles do you love/live in? 

I’m currently wearing workout clothes everyday. SASKI pants, NIKES, as well as tanks and tees from a new collection we’ve been working on. During the warmer months, I’m in RE/DONE cut-off’s everyday.

A day in the life of Ms C Kellog. What does this usually look like? What time are you up & how do you kick start the morning? 

Let me just say I'm NOT a morning person! I’m typing this up at 9pm on a weekday, whilst still at the office. 

I typically get up between 8/9am. The first thing I do, is check the phone for pressing emails or factory 911's, then coffee, check in with the office and figure out what to post on Insta for the day. I try to work out a few days a week, at least walk my dogs. Then I shower and head to the office around 12/1pm and work til 7/8pm. To wrap up, I’ll have a nice dinner out with friends and start it all over again. 

When it comes to casting models for MA shoots, what types of women stick out to you? Who is the Minimale Animale range for? 

I look for a girl who exudes confidence and therefore sexiness. When casting we prefer to have models who fill out our suits, vs. the uber thin runway type model. 

The range is for the confident woman, who embraces herself & likes to make statement. She’s daring, she likes things that fit well, that are good quality & and that are trendy but not “so trendy that they fail from being classic. 

Your personal favorite style from the MA range - top & bottom? 

My favorite is the SPLENDOR SUIT. It’s so comfortable & feels as if you're wearing nothing. 

The textures & cuts are pretty spectacular & unlike much on the market (especially in AUS). What's next for you, design wise? 

Thank you! Yeah we are continuing to play with textures, create new colours with the textures vs just choosing from flat solid ones each season. At the moment, we are still in a metallic love affair. 

If you could collaborate with any brand in the world, who would you love to co-design a range with? 


During your career, what has been the biggest "pinch yourself" moment? 

Our 2nd runway that we did for MIAMI SWIM WEEK. We did a motorcycle theme with helmets & combat boots, we blacked out the runway and played Black Sabbath with smoke machine running for the models. IT WAS EPIC. 

LAST QUICK 10 ... 

1. Best bar in LA? Your order? OLD MAN BAR - Martini with a twist, olive on the side. 

2. Favourite breaky spot & your go-to order? I'm not a huge breakfast person. I usually just go for a smoothie (PITAYA specifically), but on our recent visit to OZ, I ate toast with goats cheese, lemon, chilli flakes & cilantro EVERY MORNING with a flat white from up the road. 

3. Pet peeve? Disorganisation and clutter. 

4. Coachellla or Burning Man? DEFINITELY BURNING MAN. Been twice definitely will be back!

5. Five things we'd always find in your purse? Ear pods, Byredo hand sanitiser, a matte lipstick, chapstick & ear plugs (you never know when i’ll be at concert/show and need them) 

6. Five things we'd always find in your fridge? Dates, almond milk, spinach, goat cheese, KOMBUCHA! 

7. Your guilty go-to Instagram accounts for a quick stalk are ... I don't have any guilty go to Insta accounts, only TV shows … The BACHELOR and The BACHELORETTE … I freakin love them! 

8. Design wise, where/who/how do you seek inspiration? I feel like I'm always looking for something to inspire me. Anywhere I go & with everything I see. I feel like this helps us creatives " think outside the box" which can be challenging. Everything has already been done but I think finding new formulas to present is how we can make things feel new. 

9. Podcasts or books? Whichever your preferred, can you recommend something fab? I'm podcast obsessed favourites currently SWORD AND SCALE, TEACHERS PET, COCAINE AND RHINESTONES, Dr Death, Dirty John.  

10. When it comes to Australian swimwear, on the It's Now Cool store, which designers are you loving?  I'm LOVVVVVING the BILLABONG collaboration, well done guys!