BEHIND THE SEAMS
Dapper Dudes Leo & Zachary replaces stiff and pricey with playful and affordable across boys’ special occasion wear.
Spring Ahead Vida Brands releases first full collection of B CB Girls . AFTER A SUCCESSFUL pre-launch for fall, Vida Brands is unveiling its first complete collection BCBGirls for Spring ’19. “We always look for brands that resonate with the consumer, and BCBGirls is a beloved label that has a great emotional connection with girls and moms not only in the U.S. but internationally,” says Luis Gonzalez, director of design for the Vida Kids license. “It’s great when you see retailers struggle to put assortments together because there’s just so many shoes they’d love to carry.” Based on four design stories, the spring collection totals more than 30 silhouettes. In the American Kitsch assortment, denim and gingham take center stage, while the Modern Picnic story is all about elegant fabrics and sweet details such as satin, grosgrain and fur accents. For the Historic Bohemiam group, styles feature soft colors and embellishments like daisies and studs, whereas the Summer Paradise designs showcase bright colors and prints mixed with transparencies that include some functional play shoes on neoprene. The designs are meant to appeal to two style archetypes: the sweetheart and the adventurer, according to Gonzalez. “The sweetheart is our princess that needs no crown,” he says, noting that this girl emulates her mom’s ultra-feminine style in classic pieces with playful details and sweet embellishments. “Our adventurer is our fearless girl who sports on-trend dynamic looks that allow freedom of movement while she discovers her world and expresses her passions,” he adds. In maintaining the brand’s DNA at all tiers, Gonzalez says Vida’s efforts must be strategic when it comes to distribution strategy. “We designed and developed two separate lines for distribution levels with the idea to deliver product that makes sense for each,” he says. “We understand their differences and cater to each tier separately in order to please each most effectively.” For the mid-tier line, suggested retail prices will range from $29 to $39 while the premium distribution line will range from $39 to $59. “Every girl will be able to enjoy our BCBGirls collection,” Gonzalez adds. “And our expertise in building kids’ shoes across all our brands ensures the delivery of fashionable styles that never sacrifice kids’ comfort.” —Emily Beckman
E A R N S H AW S .C O M
UNLIKE THE GLITZ and glam galore offerings in girls’ fashion, parents seeking dressier options for boys are often faced with a sparse selection in stores. Noticing the frustration with lackluster—and overpriced—dress shirts, former children’s retailer Abe Hamui believed the market was in need of a solution. With the help of his friend, Leo Jacobs, and English designer, Zachary Edwards, the team launched the English-themed boys dresswear label Leo & Zachary in the spring of 2016. Dress shirts were the first order of business, which received positive feedback right out of the gate. The shirts were commended for their diverse selection of materials and textures. That quickly dovetailed into dress pants, blazers, suits and sweaters in sizes 2 to 18. “We aim to mimic classic English styling—nothing too flamboyant like what you see from Italians,” Hamui says, noting an affordable price point has been another key aspect of the company’s success. Most styles retail for under $40. “Some parents have three or four kids and not everybody wants to spend $60 on a dress shirt,” he says. In fact, Hamui reports that some retail partners have teased that Leo & Zachary are practically giving merchandise away. “We want to finally provide top quality for a great price,” he adds. Cultivating a fresh and diversified selection is another key aspect of Leo & Zachary’s success. “In today’s fast-paced market, if you don’t offer something new regularly, you’ll bore your customer,” Hamui says. Part of that involves diversifying the portfolio with the addition of the labels Marcelo D’Liola Barcelona and L&Z Royal. “We didn’t want to saturate the market with just one name,” he says. “There’s not too much of a difference between the collections, but this way stores can carry different labels than a local competitor.” Along those lines, Hamui says selling direct-to-consumer is not in the cards for Leo & Zachary. “Our retailers have enough to compete with,” he says, adding, “If a retailer emails us with a special request, we try to get it out to them ‘Amazon style’ by the next day.” For Holiday, Hamui expects pre-washed cotton cardigans, textured dress pants and blue and black colorways to be strong sellers. “Our materials tend to be light and comfortable—like wool-feel pants that are soft without lining,” he says. Between the three labels, there are approximately 50 styles in shirts alone in a variety of colors, prints and designs. Hamui adds, “When seeing our selection for the first time, buyers often say, ‘I don’t know where to start!’” —E. B.