Being called "basic" has never looked this good. With their warm earth tones and water-coloured blobs quickly becoming a signature, Cliff & Max is a self-illustrated and designed brand that creates a mindful lifestyle through minimal and modern narratives in their collections. We talk to the sister-duo on how their eponymous brand came to be.
Can you share with us the story behind Cliff & Max (the brand and people)?
Cliff & Max is founded by two sisters. The brand started with an intention to create a different perspective towards art by embracing a mix of quirkiness, self-expression, minimalism and mindfulness in their products. With the focus of intentional living as the brand's core mindset, all of our designs are self-illustrated to bring a sense of human touch into our products. We want to invite you into our world and experience this journey of art with us.
We are a sister duo business. Hence, each of us takes on multiple roles in building the brand. We manage everything from designing, illustrating, photography, marketing to packing the orders. Each and every detail in what we create is thoughtfully crafted with an intention to bring consciousness to the present.
What is your brand philosophy?
Our brand focuses on intentional living — a concept that serves as a reminder for us to embrace self-expression, celebrate challenges and cultivate gratitude.
In your opinion, what makes Cliff & Max products unique?
Our daily lifestyle inspires the process of designing Cliff & Max's products. The specially hand-drawn illustrations give a real human touch and authentic customer experience to our products. With slowing down, we learn to observe and appreciate little things around us, which influences the choice of colours and patterns in our designs.
Your products range from scarves to stickers — how do you decide on what kind of products to work on and their corresponding themes?
In this fast-paced world, we look to resettle with simplicity. Cliff & Max wants to go back to basics and create designs that highlight minimal and modern narratives. We emphasize the daily essentials of what makes a routine feel more connected, grounding and well-balanced.
One of our bestsellers, the Oolong Collection, was inspired by the gradient of Oolong teas through abstract prints and patterns. We transformed the experience of tea drinking into a form of art. The design brings us on a journey of art, flavour and serenity, reminding us to slow down and be in the now. This notion is then translated into our lifestyle products like the Tea Ceremony sticker, Oolong Tote, Oolong Scarf and the like.
How would you describe the artistic direction for Cliff & Max?
The year 2020 has taught us that we should start living in a conscious state of mind. This has inspired our brand to embrace earth tones, which symbolises mindful living, warmth and wellness.
You've mentioned that the brand is inspired by the "balance of modern and classic living". What do you think is the secret for Malaysians to achieving this type of lifestyle?
With the rise of technology, we often find ourselves lost in the digital world. In Cliff & Max, we want to create designs that balance modern and classic living. We want to connect our community back to an offline world, to start appreciating simple things around us and embrace self-care. That's why our collections' themes are surrounded by ideas to help keep us grounded and mindful of present living.
How are your products sourced and made?
The line of our products are sourced with nature in mind. The materials we used are carefully picked as we thrive on being an eco-friendly and sustainable brand.
We want to connect our community back to an offline world, to start appreciating simple things around us and embrace self-care.
What are 3 things to keep in mind in order to live in a mindful manner?
Slow down, live intentionally and celebrate yourself.
What are your visions for Cliff & Max in 2021?
In 2021, we hope to bring wellness practices into the brand, embracing the concept of rest, recover and reflect onto our line of products. We want to encourage the journey of self-discovery in you and to adopt rituals to cultivate the self.