Behind the Brand: Teeki
Deer Medicine. Love The Elephant. Rainbow Priestess Coffee. These aren’t standard names for leggings, but then as our Creative Director Paul found out, Teeki are far from your standard printed legging brand.
On a quintessential Los Angeles summer day, I found myself stuck in the city's infamous traffic. Our stylist Joe was mapping Teeki HQ’s mystical location -- across downtown LA, recalling studios from previous shoots in edgy warehouses, past garment factories that make the majority of LA’s fashion market, through industrial plants far from your regular image of wide LA streets lined with palm trees. If you’re into printed leggings, you’ll know Teeki yoga pants - they’re the ones where the more colourful, mystical and energetic the print, the better. The location seemed very industrial and barren for such a fun and spiritual company. But pulling up and noticing the love heart parking sign, and the constant rainbow that shines over the lot - I knew we were in the right place.
Peering into the warehouse space, we were greeted by Candace and the Teeki sales team. Immediately we felt the laid back Teeki vibe. Candace led us to the Spirit Animal nook, and guiding us into connecting with our spirit animals - (I am guided by Mouse - whose gift is paying attention to the minutest detail, whilst Joe found guidance in Beaver - a guide for building our lives up around our dreams). Candace’s business card reads Elephant (a card I cherish in my cardholder normally filled with endless corperate cards) and she’s guided by strength, honour, stability and patience -- a perfect match for dealing with fashion wholesale!
Teeki offices are a happy, spiritual place. Their leader Moonshine was out of the studio, but above her desk is a huge poster of her in the Eagle Feather Green Hot Pant, writhing around, mermaid-like, on a tropical beach, an image that’s become quite iconic in the company. I can’t really imagine Moonshine being in an office, but I guess this isn’t really a typical office.
Dream catchers, quirky timeless design pieces, and huge chunks of crystal adorn the rooms, and the wood-panelled walls make you quickly forget you’re anywhere industrial.
The inspirational reading shelf ranges from Magic Branding to Modern Yoga to fashion glossies. A wide range of inspiration goes into Teeki’s unique handmade prints. I spot a sombrero and Mexican blanket -- could it be a hint to a future Teeki print? The colour purple is a recurring color, similar to the shades seen in Clouds Hot Pant… could this be the original colour inspiration?
Elephant introduces us to Moonshine’s original business partner, Maria. She’s in charge of all Teeki’s production - overseeing the large warehouse out back with lines of sewing machines working hard on the next pair of unique handsewn Teeki leggings.
She guides us through into the main warehouse, where first we reach a quiet shielded off corner, an area of calm in the busy warehouse - the Teeki yoga space. Flanked by a huge freehand sketch of a powerful unicorn with a spiritual lady appearing within him - a sketch that immediately shows off Teeki’s unique aesthetic - mystical, and beautiful with an edge.
The piece was created by Calen Blake, a long time collaborator and freakin' cool street artist / illustrator - check out his insta @calenblake if you can.
Teeki’s strong aesthetic is instantly recognisable in the iconic bestselling Teeki Deer Medicine Legging. This printed legging showcases the brand’s magical inspiration with a street edge perfectly. It’s that effortless unique style their pieces have that are going to look hot in the studio, or in the street with killer heels and a biker.
Moonshine, Maria, and the rest of the Teeki team have come a long way since selling their yoga leggings out of a backpack at yoga festivals a few years ago. They’re now shipping stock all over the world, along with maintaining their roots - the yoga festivals and community events they’ve always supported.
Being shown round the manufacturing area, Candace is excited to show us two pieces she’s pumped to introduce to the Teeki UK market. Farmer’s Daughter is one of Teeki’s latest styles - a classic olive green legging with punk-inspired laser cut slashes up and down the leg. It’s been flying off the production line. The way the laser precisely cuts the slashes ensures they are sealed and not prone to fraying.
The next piece has huge flower power daisies set against a black background. I see a girl teaming it back nonchalantly with an oversized white tee and black leather biker slung over her shoulder as she emerges from her yoga class…
We’ve got to have them, and we’re in luck - a new batch has just come off the production line and ‘The Sports Edit’ is quickly scrawled onto the box.
As we leave, I feel lighter and that the world is a happier place. Meeting a team of people who genuinely love what they do, have fun, and stay balanced has that effect. I want to take a slice of this life and deliver it back to London for everyone to enjoy. It excites me that we can showcase their creations at The Sports Edit as the leading Teeki UK stockists.
Thanks to Elephant and all the team at Teeki - can’t wait to see you guys again.