THE ENERGY BEHIND "PERKS" - MISHA HOLLENBACH OF PERKS AND MINI
Drawn together by their mutual adoration of graffiti, belief in aliens and the desire to change the world, Shauna “Mini” Toohey and Misha “Perks” Hollenbach created fashion brand Perks and Mini (P.A.M.). Based out of Paris currently but originally from Melbourne, the company is widely renowned for a varied range of vibrant colour styles that make individual their style of apparel.
A label known for sticking to its unique aesthetics, originality, and psychedelic graphics, the creative entity moves between art, fashion, design and other collaborative creations. We got to catch Misha for a chat about how it all began.
How did it all start, getting together and setting up shop?
MISHA: Shauna and I fell in love, got married undistorted PAM, to be kind of our life path. It’s more than a brand or creative process, it’s something we work on together everyday, and moves as wildly and organically as we do. PAM is about sharing the good things, fun and interests we have, and adding our perspective into the world. It’s a dialogue.
PAM is about sharing the good things, fun and interests we have, and adding our perspective into the world.
Your collaborative and multi-disciplinary art and design approach incites a lot of creativity. What are some collaborations in the past that you are the most proud of?
MISHA: As we move through cities, through projects etc we organically meet other creative humans. Its important that we stick to this natural path. We never choose someone we’d like to work with, we only really work with people whom we meet and resonate with. Edison and Kevin of course, Fergadelic, Skatething, Ari Marcopoulos, Georgia, Barry McGee, 2 Many Djs, Mike Kelley, Jonio (Undercover) etc. These all firstly become friends, and also collaborators. This dialogue is what we like to contribute to, and sometimes facilitate.
What do you do when you're a little stuck for ideas? What are your top sources of inspiration?
MISHA: Never stuck. I have ideas every moment. Now I’m trying to meditate (in the bath) to stop having ideas and try and harness some of them into making sense!
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We've had a few collaborations with P.A.M. in the past that our fans love! How did you meet decide on working on something together with CLOT?
MISHA: We love the energy of Asia, and of Hong Kong and Edison.These energies are unparalleled. We thrive on energy, and especially spiritual/active/wild energy. Edison is a type of shaman, so we resonate with him, I feel the next level when he’s there. This energy you cannot buy, or learn, I think it comes through experience. As experience builds so does this energy. Things become clear, things evolve and things present themselves. Doors open. Personally I am now addicted to doors opening. We are in constant flux. We live in Paris, but are unsure of our tomorrow, we constantly move: Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia. Unfortunately I’m banned from the US so not much movement there, occasionally we go “off-planet” too. Edison is on a similar wild ride.
Where are you based right now after spending quite some time in Melbourne starting the label? And how important is it for you to get out there and be in touch with creatives you work closely with or with new surroundings?
MISHA: Right now we moved to Paris, so we are buzzing on an energy which looks different. Ultimately geographically it’s the same, in Australia we were on an island far away from everywhere else, and now in Paris, we live in another type of bubble. We don’t speak the language and are not from here, so we feel like we are from another place, but in a another place. Travel being a major part of our inspiration and living life, is easier now. From Paris we can travel to other countries and continents easily, from Australia it is way too hard. Right now our position is perfect. and the energy of this city is wild, so we are trying to harness that. Paris is about the street, so it’s perfect for ‘street culture’….Other cities are a mere train away, 2 hours to Africa by plane, I also cycle to other parts of France in the night. We move every week!
Make something, look at something, feel something everyday.
Favourite films that you've been really into lately?
MISHA: To be honest haven’t really watched anything lately. We are busy moving, or working, or cycling. I did just find in Tokyo a documentary DVD on Trepanation. I’m a bit scared to watch it though. It involves drilling a hole into the top of your head for enlightenment.
Some words of wisdom or advice for aspiring artists and creatives out there?
MISHA: DO IT! Join in the chant! Make something, look at something, feel something everyday. Don’t worry about the final outcome, live day by day. And find what YOU like, what turns you on, and share that with others!