Surprise Stops at the Fall 2013 KIDShow

Hannah Banana

From GBYM (Sara Sara)

“High Five”, by Editorial Director David Gaunt, counts down his personal observations, suggestions and shout-outs about the children’s business. In this column, David picks his “best-of-show” favorites on one praise-worthy hand, held high.

Surprise” was my editorial theme for February’s KIDShow, held again at Bally’s, Las Vegas. My pre-show roundup includes surprises about exhibitors:…. Now’s the time to share my own personal surprises. I have attended every KidShow since it began 12 years ago in the massive windblown tents outside of the Rio hotel. At its new home at Bally’s hotel, KIDShow has easily become my favorite trade event in the West for its assortment of vendors, step-saving location just down the hall from the comfortable North Tower rooms, and the unsurpassed hospitality of its show staff, led by Denise Raeside.

It was not easy to choose only one handful of favorites, but these brands made my top 5 for a variety of reasons: Sock Ons, CIRCUS 212, Hip Together, Hannah Banana from G.B.Y.M. and PeryKids.

Sock Ons Knocked My Socks Off!

Sock Ons

Keep socks from falling off
Sock Ons knocked my socks off due simply to their genius little solution to keeping baby’s socks on tiny feet. Sock Ons fit over regular baby socks to keep them in place. Made especially for pre-walkers only, I think every baby should have several pairs of these “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that” sole solutions, available in classic primaries and trendy brights.

Seeing Sock Ons took me back about three decades ago to when our three little crawlers either left a trail of wayward socks or daily lost them forever to dust bunny land. It’s a puzzling fact that socks disappear, and it’s still happening to me! Congrats to the UK mom Kezi Levin that invented Sock Ons and to General Manager Sam Armstrong who leads the sales team to make Sock Ons a newborn’s household name (and time and money saver) in the U.S. and Canada:

CIRCUS 212 Is Inspired by a NYC Vibe


Girls in Tees and Hoodies
Founder/Creative Director GiGi Leung of CIRCUS 212 premiered her vibrant, lively, surprising, eclectic East Coast brand of graphic tees, pants and hoodies to the West at KIDShow Las Vegas. Just when I thought there was nothing more to editorially tease in tees, CIRCUS 212 drew me in for a ringside view of its unexpected, wonder full of awe “did-you-see-that” novelties, fresh with inspired, appreciated finishing touches on every piece.

Tee styles are either felted, flocked, glittered, distressed, burned-out, or appliquéd. All are styled with a subtle and artistic mix of cleverness, whimsy, color combos and on-style, grin-making graphics. This is a collection I had to see in person, as the feel and fresh detailing could easily be missed in 2-D photo representations. Themes are appealing to attract kids to adults. Wear your art on your sleeve.

Step right up to this new attraction and join the CIRCUS 212:,

Hip Together: A Family Gathering

Hip Together

Hip Together is another brand I discovered at KIDShow that benefits from a closer look. The Texas-bred, family-oriented collection of tops and leggings are sized and styled for moms (plus grandmas, aunts and dads), tweens and tots in coordinating designs with hip sayings and age-appropriate graphics. “I Am Loved”, “Faith” and Peace signs are among the favorites, but there really are looks to appeal to most. The variety is vast and the fabrications suit the adjective. I especially appreciated the fact that there was a restrained use of tulle for tots — just a colorful twirl around the pant legs.

Hip Together is perfect for family reunions, vacations and photo ops for every season. Mike Coley proudly showed off his wife Kara’s creations to me. The Coley’s collection that fits every hip to a tee is cute either in a group or sported as a single. They earned my “Hip Hep Hooray” shout out!,

Hannah Banana’s Coat of Many Colors

Hannah Banana

Show-stopping coat of many colors
I admit that for some well-established brands that I have visited for decades, I sometimes focus my attention more on my business friends in the booth than on their collections. Family-owned G.B.Y.M., Inc. is one of those companies that I like the people behind the brand and look forward to seeing them again at each show. (Did you know the acronym stands for “God Bless You & Me”?)

At KIDShow, my wife Nadine, who scouts out “must sees” for me, could not wait to point out to me a show-stopping, upscale “coat of many colors” that reminded her of the Dolly Parton bio-tune that we had just heard on the drive to Vegas. She led me over to my friends at GBYM, and I too was struck by the Bohemian-inspired Hannah Banana collection that included the color-layered sweater/coat with blanket stitch in grey and multi colored squares, with lined hood, available in sizes 4T to 14. The cotton/poly/Lycra blend is bordered in French terry with finishing touches of lace overlays, patterned designs and wooden buttons. It elevated the trend of mixed fabrics with a sophisticated harmony of textures, designs, dusty colors, comfortable fabric and soft, cozy feel. It is a work of art that complements every piece in the extensive collection.

Head designer Amy Chang has the ability to develop several brands with dedicated designers that mirror her visions of different looks and styles from red-carpet-worthy dresses to everyday casual wear. Amy and her team create on deadline season after season, with hundreds of styles in a range of brands, including The Collection by Sara Sara, Hannah Banana, Baby Sara and Truly Me:,

PeryKids Creates Handmade Knits in Peru


I had the pleasure of meeting designer/owner Elida Prieto of PeryKids, a family-owned knitwear brand that since 1981 has produced one-of-a-kind handmade sweaters, hats, scarves, hoodies and stuffed toys in 100% Peruvian cotton, wool and wool/acrylic blends that are as colorful as they are comfortable. The collection includes her takes on owls, frogs, and even mom-&-me or dad-&-me sweater sets. The knit caps are extra fun, featuring animal characteristics on the top.

From a family of older brothers in Lima, Peru, Elida shared with me that her childhood nickname was “Pery”, a pet term of endearment suggesting “little mouse”. It became her namesake corporate brand and the logo of her company. Still a bit on the quiet side, Elida beams with pride when describing her knits and passion for creating colorful, quality apparel for children:

An additional venue for KidShow premiers March 17-18, 2013 in Miami, Florida. For more information about this event, go to

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