Fashionista toddlers have met their match in Donald Robertson's debut picture book Mitford at the Fashion Zoo. Robertson made his name in fashion working with the founder of the uber cool MAC Cosmetics and as the creative director at Estée Lauder — though social savvy fashion fans probably know him now as The Andy Warhol of Instagram, where he came up with his titular picture book character, Mitford the giraffe. Combining traditional picture book animal characters with fierce illustrations and a love for fashion's biggest names, Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is a picture book even grown-up readers with an eye for style will want on their bookshelves.
Mitford has dreamed his whole young life to work at the glamorous COVER magazine, and now he has his chance in this picture book. But first, he has to jump through hoops laid out by his notorious, yet fabulous, editor, the Anna Wintor-inspired Panda Summers. (Adorable.) Finally, Mitford gets the chance to work at New York Fashion Week, where he meets huge-name designers like Zap Possum, Shark Jakobs, and Mikael Boars — but it's not all sunshine and rainbows because we all know how quickly the chaotic Fashion Week can run amok.
Donald introduces our beloved Mitford this way:
Mitford is a giraffe.
But not your everyday, live-on-the-savannah giraffe.
Mitford lives in the city.
But not your everyday, filled-with-people city.
This city is filled with animals.
Animals who like to dress up,
especially the animals who work at COVER magazine.
Mitford would do ANYTHING to work there.
But first Mitford must prove himself.
Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is a clever satire full of keen observations into the world of fashion, but it's also bright and lively and shows that, though it can be hard, you should always pursue your dreams.
Robertson believes that all of us grown-ups should feel like the book is for us, just as much for our little nieces and nephews.
"The thing about Mitford in the Fashion Zoo is that it is actually for childish adults who may or may not have kids. That's why I'm launching it in high-fashion joints," Robertson tells Bustle. "Panda Summers would approve!"
Robertson noted that he credits Vanity Fair editor and mega-star in the heyday of magazine publishing Graydon Carter for teaching him that it's "fair game to make fun of fashion folk."
Alongside his publishing team at Viking Books for Young Readers, Robertson passed along some exclusive spreads from Mitford at the Fashion Zoo for Bustle readers, so you can see the fashionista giraffe, Panda Summers, and Zak Possum for yourselves.
You can get your hands on Mitford at the Fashion Zoo in all its stylish glory August 11.
Images: Courtesy of Penguin Random House