If the news of Céline Dion designing a clothing line came out of nowhere for you, then the clarification that it’s a children’s clothing line was even more surprising. And to that, we say: Célinununu is here and it’s not for the average tyke. The gender-neutral clothing line sees the French-Canadian music icon (and mother of three) collaborate with nununu, a Tel Aviv-based children’s clothing brand sold in the United States at stores like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue. And we must say: the clothes are very Céline (no, not that Celine).

What we mean by that is that Célinununu is just as dramatic and striking as the singer herself. (You saw that commercial, right?). Co-founders Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg worked with the superstar to create a line that “liberates children from the traditional roles of boy/girl, and enables younger people to grow on values of equality with the freedom to strengthen their own power of personality based on mutual respect,” as written on its website.

So, we had to know more: We spoke to Dion herself about Célinununu and how it came to fruition amidst her busy performance schedule, what she has to say to those who’ve called it “satanic” to the reason behind its gender-neutrality that involves a story about a trip to Disneyworld with her own children, and more. The “My Heart Will Go On” singer (reminder: she’s sold over 250 million albums worldwide) has a lot to say about the impact fashion has on people from a young age — and what better message than letting little ones find their individuality on their own terms, through their own style? Click through the slideshow ahead to hear Dion speak her truth and to see some of our favorite looks.

How are you hoping to shift gender norms with this clothing line?
Céline Dion: “It’s not that we’re hoping to shift gender norms with Célinununu. It’s more about offering [a] choice and giving children a chance to feel free to find their own individuality, their own true essence without being tied to stereotypes. I think that every child needs to have their own identity, to express themselves freely, and [to] not feel like they have to be like someone else.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

You’ve gotten some pushback from detractors who don’t see the point of the line. What do you have to say to them?
CD: “Anytime you introduce change, you’re going to get a bit of pushback — this is normal. We’re also getting a lot of great feedback from people who understand that I’m not trying to tell parents how to raise their children. Every parent should do what they feel is right for them and for their children. We’re just offering other choices and letting them know that you don’t have to follow stereotypes.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

In the commercial for the line, you’re playing a savior of sorts against gender norms for the babies. What inspired this visual?
CD: “The video is about positive change, about promoting individuality and equality. It’s a bit tongue-in-cheek. We’re trying to deliver a message that will get people thinking, but we wanted to do it in a fun way.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

Speaking of the commercial, the narrator says, “Fashion has the power to shape people’s minds.” How has fashion shaped your mind?
CD: “I love fashion, I always have. I like to have fun with it. I love to experiment, to try different things and keep an open mind.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

You launched a handbag line last year at Nordstrom. How is this line a continuation of the work you’ve already done?
CD: “I’ve been a fan of nununu for several years. I love their designs, my kids love the clothes, and the clothes have this amazing scent. I told my team that if there’s one company that I’d like to work with on a children’s line, it’s nununu. Collaborating with nununu is very exciting; a natural next step.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

Did designing kids clothes make you rethink how you view or consider your own clothes/fashion in general?
CD: “With Célinununu, I left most of the designing to Iris, Tali, and the amazing nununu team. They presented different concepts and ideas to me, and asked for input, and we tweaked a few things. Honestly, we rely a lot on their expertise and incredible talent.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

Why do a kid’s line now? What were some lessons you learned while shopping for your three son?
CD: “My oldest son [Rene] is 17, so no it’s not for him. Eddy and Nelson just turned 8 and even though they’re twins, they are very different from each other. Both wear the line and they both think it’s great.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

You’re one of the biggest global musical icons of the past quarter century. What can you say about the intersection of music and fashion, and how that’s influenced your own creative output?
CD: “Both music and fashion are a way to express yourself creatively and, of course, in the case of live performances, they go hand-in-hand. When we’re working on my stage outfits, we’re obviously thinking about the song that I’ll be performing, what it’s about, and how that idea or feeling can be expressed through fashion.”

Photo: Courtesy of nununu.

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