The search for the perfect baby shoes usually begins with the “aaaaww” factor. Are the shoes colorful? Are they soft? Do they sport characters that babies might like? Of course, parents are looking for more than cuteness in a baby shoe; many are also concerned with quality and craftsmanship, especially if the child will be wearing the shoes while learning to walk. Eco-conscious shoppers may also have questions about whether the materials used are sustainable and safe. Companies like Silk Road Bazaar are stepping up to create baby shoes that meet all these criteria.
Trends come and go, but nostalgia is always in fashion: people like to remember the “good old days”. manny & simon develops products and clothing that cater to that sweet spot where happy memories and the perfect product meet. The company was named for the owners’ grandfathers — a reminder that grandparents have an enduring impact on grandchildren throughout their lives. manny & simon focuses on creating environmentally responsible products that enchant children but are sturdy enough to be passed down as family heirlooms.
What’s not to like about Eggnogg? The nog under discussion is a quirky English brand with a humongous sense of humor. Birthdays are brighter when the host or hostess colors personal invitations sold in packages of twelve. There are also postcards and Thank You notes to combine learning essential lessons in politeness, while having fun coloring. Flags, banners and tablecloths are also available, designed to keep kids happy and occupied. Other items to personalize include fairy wings, color-in masks, a hero cape and a pirate hat — all perfect for a party.
Having a baby but don’t know whether to expect a girl or boy? Shopping for someone in this situation and bored by gender-neutral offerings? A clever company has helped solve this dilemma with a line of charming clothes for babies without a green or yellow item in sight. Take a look at Twotara, a company offering spectacular baby outfits that are right on the money gender-wise. Parents will be thrilled knowing they only need bring one set of clothes to the hospital. Whether that new little bundle is a he or a she, a Twotara outfit looks sweet and is also just the right thing.
“We are always working on re-creating kids’ fashion with a clever, modern twist,” explains Christian Simard, co-founder of Electrik Kidz. The Canadian company has an eye on creating fun designs that charm parents and enthrall children. But it also sees itself as more than a trendy style setter: Electrik Kidz takes its stewardship of the future seriously. All garments are made in Quebec with an emphasis on organic fabrics, so parents can be assured that only snuggly fabric is resting on their child’s skin.
The 7th edition of Playtime New York took place August 3-5, 2013 with ninety-plus international brands proudly showcasing their Spring-Summer 2014 collections. This was the first appearance at Playtime for more than one-third of the exhibitors. 51% of the exhibitors were U.S. companies; the other 49% were from other countries. Buyers were aided by three trend spaces: Supergraphic, with hypnotic geometry and flashy colors that included work by artist Melissa Godoy Nieto; Starfish with sailor motifs and work by Dana Haim; and Green Carpet featuring natural tones and materials with art by Ritsuko Hirai. 1,412 visitors attended. Liberty London, Dizzy Dress, Little Italy and Merino Kids were brands that captured our attention.
RED BANK, N.J. (June 3, 2013)—Kissy Kissy by Tatiana and Company is set to woo moms and gift-givers with the seasonal colors and themes they fancy along with a few surprises to keep them smitten. As always, the Spring ’14 collection is wedded to the brand’s signature Peruvian Pima cotton. The vast assortment—which spans preemie through size 4T—captures every aspect of baby’s life from sweet looks in the Kissy Kissy line, and bolder statements from Kissy Kissy’s Qt-Qt, to keepsake-quality christening apparel in Besos by Kissy Kissy and embroidered and smocked garments from Kissy Kissy Premier.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (August 27, 2013)—City Threads puts its spin on classic warm-weather must-haves for a spring collection that’s fun and carefree. The relaxed lifestyle label punctuates the line with innovative graphic themes, images and placement designed to excite kids’ imaginations. It comprises T-shirts, soft jersey polos, hoodies, shorts, dresses, one-pieces, swim trunks, pajamas and underwear for a 24/7 style that touches every aspect of a child’s life. The brand continues its devotion to comfort with soft, quality fabrics, solid construction, and easy fit.
Stories that feature animal characters are so prevalent in the children’s’ book section that in many libraries, they outnumber books with human protagonists. Kids love animals and always have; they tend to be able to connect to these furry or feathered creatures and identify with their curiosity and innocent view of the world. Kids also may find it easier to face fears and work out moral dilemmas when these challenges are seen through the eyes of a friendly non-human character. The Extraordinary Love Story of Aye Aye and Fedor is a heartwarming story that shows kids how “human” animals can be, and how important it is for us to protect them and their environments.
The setting and presentation for a meal is as important as what is being eaten. This is the philosophy of Modern-twist, a San Francisco Bay area company that has pioneered the use of pure food-grade, hand silk-screened silicone for many items. One of the newest offerings is the mark-mat, a non-creasing, non-ripping placemat that brings art into kids’ dining. Mats encourage doodling and can be wiped clean in a jiffy with a damp cloth, saving paper, trees and parents’ sanity. This same, eco-conscious company also offers the bucket-bib. The soft silicone is comfy against a baby’s tender skin and cleans like a dream.
The tween niche can be a challenge to effectively target. Businesses need to be catering to adult, parental notions of style and utility, while developing an understanding of the evolving nature of the child. Designers have to be sensitive to the growing child’s changing moods as well as parents’ desire to preserve the essence of pure childhood –– no easy task. Companies like Dragonwing Girlgear, Purple Pixies, Max & Bean, and Matooka Kids Couture are forming a vanguard of tween fashions that acknowledges the edgy, while still promoting all that is good about children.
Peace. Passion. Positivity. is a company that makes colorful, soft, braided bracelets and assorted pewter bracelet charms. First, customers pick the bracelet color they like best. Next, they can choose from a wide variety of charms that reflect their passions and interests. It’s a long list that includes themes like dance, sports, faith, music, and animals. They make great gifts and kids enjoy trading them, so it’s not surprising that their popularity is on the rise. These bracelets have the look and appeal of a trendy tween accessory, but the real draw lies in their message and the vision of their creators.