Nina Brags About Her Mom
And justifiably so: The Beatles were among her mother’s fans.
Pieces from the duo’s spring collection hanging in Nina’s Fort Greene apartment-slash-studio.
Nina Egli of the Brooklyn- and Zurich-based line Toujours Toi Family Affairs fell into fashion without intention, but her mother and co-designer Kaya made her mark in the field years before, bringing hard-earned skills and some real hippie cred to their young company. Here, Nina shares her mom’s early work, which influences their creations today.
One of Kaya’s sketches from her Apple shop days, circa 1969.
“My mother went straight from high school to design school in Paris where she started dating a guy who was big into the textile industry in Marseilles. She moved there with him in the sixties. His parents had a cinema, so my mom and her boyfriend opened their first shop in the foyer of the theater—which is so cool. They had a mix of vintage and designer, and she had her own line there.
By then, my uncle was a soloist at the Royal Ballet in London, and he convinced my mom to move there. She ended up being hired by the Beatles for the Apple shop! Like, her work visa is signed by one of the Beatles. Her setup was downstairs. Jimi Hendrix or whoever would come in, and she would design him a shirt, a one-of-a-kind thing—she would draw it, and a seamstress would make it. There weren’t photos of everything then like there are now—she can’t say, ‘Here’s a picture of Brian Jones wearing these pants I made.’ But sometimes we’ll see footage on TV, and she’ll say, ‘I think I might have designed that.’
We take a lot from her archives, from what she did in the sixties and seventies. I’ll have a story in mind—an idea for lengths and for shapes—and we’ll say ‘Oh, maybe we can pull from ‘68 or ‘74.’ Eventually, she moved to Switzerland and did a whole line for this really cool store called Brasilia. She worked until I was born and didn’t design again until she launched Toujours Toi Family Affairs with me.”
Get a taste of the Egli aesthetic and score the tunic Toujours Toi Family Affairs made exclusively for Of a Kind right here.