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High-style sportswear that shreds the scene.
Apparel for babies and tweens Legwear for girls and women Flip-Flops for girls and women
J U N E 2 016 FEATURES 8 Malls Malaise Many malls are outdated and in steep decline. Are they the new white elephants of retail? 16 Going Native Scott Hawthorn, chairman and co-founder of Native Shoes, discusses the company’s unique take on kids’ footwear and its inclusive brand philosophy. 18 State of Licensing The licensing world is exploding with characters appealing to kids. A look at what’s hot.
Kristin Young Editor-in-Chief Nancy Campbell Trevett McCandliss Creative Directors EDITORIAL Lauren Olsen Associate Editor Emily Beckman Associate Editor ADVERTISING Caroline Diaco Group Publisher Jennifer Craig Special Accounts Manager
FHE:K9J?ED Katie Belloff Associate Art Director Production Manager
20 Rad Attitude
Mike Hoff Webmaster
From edgy graphics to killer a_Yai"<WbbÊ',^WiiaWj[h#Y^_Y styles to flatter every move. 4 6 10 12 30 32 36
Editor’s Note Hot-Button Issue Licensing News Trend Watch New Resources Kf9bei[ What’s Selling
Left: K-Way jacket, Junk Food Clothing t-shirt, Hayden Girls shirt, Catimini jeans. On cover: Agatha Cub hat, Limeapple sleeveless jacket, ABC123me sweatshirt, Catimini pants, Agatha Cub shirt around the waist, Native Shoes shoes.
Noelle Heffernan Publisher
Photography by Zoe Adlersberg; styling by Mariah Walker/Art Department NY; assistant styling by Dani Morales; hair and makeup by Clelia Bergonzoli/Utopia
Allison Kastner Operations Manager Bruce Sprague Circulation Director CONTACT INFO Sales/Editorial Offices ')+M[ij(&j^Ijh[[j Ik_j[*&( D[mOeha"DO'&&'' J[b0,*,(-.#'++& <Wn0,*,(-.#'++) firstname.lastname@example.org editorialrequests@ 9threads.com Circulation Office (,(&(:[jhe_jHeWZ")&& M[ijbWa["E>**'*+ J[b0**&.-'#')&& email@example.com CORPORATE 9Threads (,(&(:[jhe_jHeWZ")&& M[ijbWa["E>**'*+ J[b0**&.-'#')&& Xen Zapis, Chairman Lee Zapis, President Rich Bongorno, CFO Debbie Grim, Controller
EARNSHAW’S INFANTS, GIRLS AND BOYS WEAR REVIEW ISSN 0161-2786 (USPS-320-090) The business and fashion magazine of the childrenswear industry is published 10x a year by Symphony Publishing NY, LLC, 36 Cooper Square, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10003. The publishers of this magazine do not assume responsibility for statements made by their advertisers in business competition. Periodicals postage is paid in New York, N.Y. and additional mailing offices. Subscription price for one year: U.S. $48; Rates outside U.S. available upon request. Single price copy, $5. Copyright 2011 by Symphony Publishing NY, LLC. Postmaster: Send address changes to Earnshaw’s Infants, Girls and Boys Wear Review, P.O. Box 8548, Lowell, MA 01853-8548. Publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Any photographs, artwork, manuscripts, editorial samples or merchandise sent for editorial consideration are sent at the sole risk of the sender. Symphony Publishing NY, LLC will assume no responsibility for loss or damage. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Printed in USA.
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Looking Ahead Awards, the Centennial issue and things to come at Earnshaw’s.
AS I STEP into the role as editor-in-chief of Earnshaw’s, a magazine I’ve admired for many years, I have to pause for a minute. Throughout my journalism career, I’ve penned hundreds of stories about the fashion industry on both coasts and have earned my share of blisters at trade shows. But when I hold in my hands a delicate Yefoe\j^[cW]Wp_d[\hec'/).WdZh[WZ the Editor’s Letter by founder George F. Earnshaw, I feel, well, humbled. Earnshaw’s is a magazine with an inspiring history. The magazine not only gracefully weathered the Great Depression but this century’s debilitating recession, which mowed down even the most hyped and well-funded magazines. It is a testament to the magazine’s editors and staff that have preceded me and the industry they covered. Earnshaw’s has one of the best creative departments in the business, bringing you visionary fashion spreads, inventive illustrations and beautiful photography every month. In May, creative directors Nancy Campbell and Trevett McCandliss were nominated along with goliath magazines like W, More and New York Magazine at J^[IeY_[joe\FkXb_YWj_ed:[i_]d[hiÊ+'ij Annual Design Competition and took home
a silver and gold medal for their work. I’m privileged to work alongside such an imaginative and accommodating team. Earnshaw’s writers and editors also deserve special mention. They recently worked weekends and after-hours to bring you an entertaining and informative trip through the childrenswear business over the decades in last month’s Centennial issue. From the cost of knitwear during World War I to social networking in the (&&&i"j^[oYecX[Zj^[WhY^_l[ijei^emki just how far we’ve come, discovering wonderful stories and throwback images along the way. I encourage you to pick up or read online the issue that we’ve fondly dubbed Çj^[XWXo_iik[$ÈM[fkj'&&XWX_[iedj^[ cover! Of course, the magazine’s long-standing history is primarily due to the business it has reflected all these years: the ever-thriving childrenswear industry. And it is all of you, our readers, with whom I look forward to having an open dialogue. Throughout the years, Earnshaw’s has always dedicated itself to providing you with relevant information, design inspiration and business intelligence. I’m thrilled to be here and will carry on.
KRISTIN YOUNG k ri s ti n .yo u n g @ 9 t h r e a d s . co m
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IER M RE T P N â€™S E A N V N I E CH ADE ASHIO ai h TR IDS F han K S R ion FO ash Coo
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Boys Rule Stock up! Some industry execs report that—for the first time ever—boys’ assortment is taking center stage at retail.
PIFFY LITTLE GENTLEMEN suits are overshadowing \h_bboZh[ii[i"Wjb[Wijj^WjÊim^Wjiec[ik]][ij$@Wd[jj[>k\\" national sales manager at C.R. Gibson, says there has been a sales shift in the past year and, for the first time in the company’s '*,o[Wh^_ijeho"ded#WffWh[bXeoiÊ_j[ci^Wl[ekjiebZj^[ ]_hbiÊ$Ç>_ijeh_YWbbo"]_hbiÊiWb[im[h[,&f[hY[dje\ekhjejWbiWb[i$8eoiÊ now represents 53 percent of our sales,” reports Huff. Rany Mendlovic, Yh[Wj_l[Z_h[YjehWj9^Whc"Wbiedej[iWijhed][hi[bb#j^hek]^_dXeoi$ Dej[l[hoed[_iYedl_dY[Z"^em[l[h$;lWd>WaWb_h"Ye#\ekdZ[he\7dZo & Evan, doubts boys’ has outsold girls’ in any market or capacity, and @[ii_YWE\\[h`eij"ifea[if[hiedWj8WX_[iÇHÈKiijWj[i]_hbiÊWffWh[bij_bb sells at a slightly higher rate. Most agree on one thing: Like their adult Yekdj[hfWhji"\Wi^_ed_ijWi#_d#j^[#cWa_d]dem_dYbkZ[b_jjb[Xeoi"m^e" along with those shopping for them, are turning an eye towards the fact that boys can be in on the retail fun, too. Here’s possible reasons behind why Huff is dubbing it the “year of the boy.” IT’S A BOYS WORLD:
While numbers vary and there is speculation as to why, CBC News reported bWijo[Whj^Wj"_d][d[hWb"WXekj'&+XeoiWh[Xehd\eh[l[ho'&&]_hbi worldwide. Huff affirms that more boys are generally born each year, but it’s only recently that her team has seen an increase in boys’ sales. One reason for this, she cites, is that Millennial moms accounted for almost /&f[hY[dje\d[mcej^[hi_dj^[bWijo[Wh$Ç:k[jej^_i][d[hWj_edÊii_p[ and buying power, I think we will continue to see shifts in sales as this generation grows,” she forecasts. ATHLEISURE TIME:
In step with the Millennial era is the rise of athleisure. Sneakers are Y[b[X#\h_[dZbo"WdZoe]WfWdjiWh[mehdX[oedZj^[ijkZ_e$7iCWhi^Wb 9e^[d"Y^_[\_dZkijhoWdWboije\J^[DF:=hekf"?dY$fkji_j"jeZWoÊi lifestyle market is all about comfort and what’s casual. “All the things going on are on the strength of the boys’ side,” he explains, adding boys’ j[dZijeX[b[ii[nf[di_l[$E\\[h`eijdej[ij^Wj^[hb_d[ÊiXeoWffWh[b is performing especially well, “trending at a quicker pace than girls’.” 6 ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C @ K D ; ( & ' ,
With the increasing popularity of brands like Nike and Adidas, her team anticipates the boys’ category will continue to expand. BOYS ARE ESPECIALLY ACTIVE:
=_hbiYWdX[`kijWif^oi_YWbboWYj_l[Wib_jjb[Xeoi"XkjiekhY[ib_a[ PBS Parents cite that by school age, the average boy is more active than most ]_hbi$>[b[d[8[ha["emd[he\>[b[d[Êi9bei[j"h[YWbbij^Wj_d^[h[nf[# rience this extends into infantswear; her boys’ shoes sell much better j^Wd^[h]_hbiÊ$ÇEkje\ekh*&ijob[ie\i^e[i"j^h[[e\ekhX[iji[bb[hi are boys’,” she reports. “I used to order shoes from China four times a year. Now it’s every four weeks and 75 percent of those are boys’.” Active b_jjb[ed[ihkdd_d]WhekdZcWa[\ehc_ii_d]i^e[i"iWoi8[ha["WdZi^[ credits this, in addition to boys’ preference for bare feet, as the reason i^eff[hiWh[ZhWmdje^[h^WhZ#je#fkbb#e\\"idk]"ieYa#b_a[e\\[h_d]i$ GENDER ROLES ARE CHANGING:
?dWd[l[h][dZ[h#X[dZ_d]mehbZ"\[cWb[ijWa[edceh[jhWZ_j_edWbbo male roles, and the reverse is also true. Target, for example, announced last year it would stop labeling toys departmentally as solely for boys or girls. “We live in an almost androgynous society today,” confirms Cohen. He notes boys can care more about fashion now than previously, adding j^WjYebehiWh[i_]d_\_YWdjboceh[XebZWdZj^kib_a[bo[o[#YWjY^_d]ed the boys’ side. “The marketplace has changed,” sums up Huff. “There Wh[Wd_dYh[Wi_d]dkcX[he\ed#jh[dZefj_edi\ehXeoiÆceh[j^Wd[l[h X[\eh[$ÈÆ Lauren Olsen
L U B A N D P L AYG R O U N D S H OW A N D T E L L : L E E R O S E N B A U M O N T H E F U T U R E O F C H I L D R E N ’ S C
Mayoral jacket, Egg by Susan Lazar T-shirt worn around neck, Molo one-piece and socks, Doodle Pants leggings, Paxley sunglasses.
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[RETAIL REPORT ]
Many malls are outdated and in steep decline. Are they the new white elephants of retail? BY L AU R E N O L S E N
NCE UPON A time, in a very different America, malls were not just places to shop—they served as social meccas for teenagers, stroller-pushing moms and fitness-minded senior citizens. These temples were woven into the fabric of America, where materialism was celebrated, coveted and consumed. But that was then and this is now. We are living in a new world retail order where longestablished formats are in a state of upheaval. Mall anchor stores have been sinking faster than the Titanic. Some are already lost at sea (Sports Authority, PacSun and Aéropostale in the past few months). Others are tossing stores overboard (Macy’s, Sears, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s) in a desperate effort to stay afloat. Nearly all (including such captains as Nordstrom and Dillard’s) are reporting dismal sales. They blame a combination of unseasonable weather, an anemic economy, a growing consumer shift to more experiential purchases and—the elephant in the room—the fact that Americans no longer flock to malls when they’ve got convenient, cost-effective online shopping right at home. It only takes a quick Google search to see that malls have sunk to new lows. Ghostlike images abound in BuzzFeed’s “Completely Surreal Photos of America’s Abandoned Malls,” along with a map that has been put together by a “Dead Malls Enthusiasts” Facebook group. There’s even a dedicated website called deadmalls.com that chronicles the format’s decline. Reports and analysis everywhere from BBC to The New Yorker imply the traditional mall is not just declining, it might be DOA. The press has been writing the obituary over the past few years: Business Insider cited a source forecasting that around 15 percent of U.S. malls would fail or be transformed into non-retail space in the upcoming decade. The New York Times reported that since 2010, more than two dozen enclosed shopping malls had closed and an additional 60 were on the brink. The Atlantic cited that of around the 1,200 enclosed malls in the U.S., about one-third, were “dead or dying.”
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“They’re out of fashion,” declares Bob Phibbs, CEO of The Retail Doctor. In the ’80s, malls were places kids congregated, but with teenagers able to stay in constant contact on social media platforms, that’s no longer the case. Fewer kids means fewer parents at malls. Scott Prentice, executive vice president of Haflinger North America, believes this generational shift is a key reason malls have lost flair. “In the ’70s and the ’90s, that was America—the whole family would go,” he says. “The Millennial doesn’t go and hang out in malls—they shop completely differently.” Elisa Zo, founder of Hero New York, which launches this summer with a Kickstarter campaign, notes that many of the benefits mall settings used to offer have been replaced by online shopping. Lauren Hines, owner and designer of Elizabeth Cate, adds that one of the perks of online shopping is that you can shop at your own pace.“Online shopping eliminates a bustling crowd, or a frustrated salesperson who’s had a long day. If you have an issue, you can simply call customer support or live chat, and your problem is solved,” she says. “If you didn’t like it, or it didn’t fit, you can conveniently replace the label with a return label and place in your mailbox without ever having to leave your house.” Online shopping isn’t the only factor contributing to the decline of malls. Experts say shoppers are increasingly turned off by nondescript chain stores, rejecting them in favor of Amazon, off-price outlets such as Ross Dress for Less and T.J.Maxx as well as inexpensive fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Zara and Topshop. Younger shoppers, in particular, crave individualized, personalized products over trends and logos. “The mall has become a negative term in youth fashion as evidenced by the term ‘mall-core’—slang for lower tier, unhip brands,” says Oliver Mak, founding partner of Boston sneaker boutique Bodega. Prentice says Millennials tend to gravitate toward local shops and specialty stores over malls, which they perceive as carrying generic
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Miffy jumps into production with a new line from Beanstalx Baby.
HAVING JUST CELEBRATED her 60th anniversary with a series of global events and a new apparel deal, the adorable rabbit Miffy is proving her timeless and enduring appeal. “Her graphic, yet simple aesthetic translates well to any trend,” states Richard Collins, president and CEO at Big Tent Entertainment, the North American licensing agent for Mercis’ Miffy and Friends. As part of the milestone, Big Tent announced a new apparel deal with Beanstalx Baby, featuring the classic children’s character based on Dutch artist Dick Bruna’s iconic storybooks. Beanstalx Baby is creating trendsetters out of the littlest Miffy fans by debuting a classic layette collection, including playsuits, gowns and bodysuits, as well as fashion styles such as tunic sets, appliquéd sweaters and bubble rompers. Set to launch in January 2017, the line will be sold at specialty retailers and fine department stores across the U.S. Wholesaling from $3.50 to $16, sizes range from newborn to 18 months. For details, contact info@beanstalxbaby. com. —Emily Beckman
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood pounces on five new partnerships.
AWARD-WINNING PBS Kids series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood of The Fred Rogers Company gets ready to roar with five new licensing partners. Happy Threads (apparel), Komar (sleepwear), Berkshire (outerwear and hosiery), Smilemakers (stickers) and FAB Starpoint (bags) are excited to join the rapidly growing licensing family. The full range of new Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood products will be showcased at Licensing Expo from June 21-23. Happy Threads will produce a range of fashion in sizes newborn to 7 years, including tees, fashion tops and hoodies, while Komar plans to offer a snuggly line of kids’ sleepwear. In addition, Berkshire is designing an extensive fashion collection of children’s headwear, cold weather accessories and rain gear, while FAB Starpoint creates a broad range of bags like backpacks, sportsbags, luggage and travel accessories. Last but not least, get ready to smile with an assortment of stickers and temporary tattoos from Smilemakers. For more details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. —E.B.
Disney’s Dory dives into childrenswear after summer film release. THE FORGETFUL FISH will set out on another under-the-sea journey with the rest of her aquatic friends in the highly-anticipated summer sequel Finding Dory. But the silver screen won’t be the only place kids find Dory and the gang. “From sleepwear and summerthemed apparel, to swimwear and hooded towels, the apparel collaborations around Disney·Pixar’s Finding Dory have combined the characters families love with quality products so all fans can bring home the fun,” says Mindy Puente, director of softlines for Disney Pixar & Animation. Popular names like Hanna Andersson, Okie Dokie and Jay Franco have taken to the maritime madness this summer. Hanna Andersson’s character pajamas, printed on organic knit material, retail from $40 to $48. Spanning size 18 months to size 14, the line can be found in store and online. Jay Franco induces more summer smiles with character-inspired hooded towels, retailing from $17 to $23 at various retailers. Tots can also ride the wave with Okie Dokie’s Finding Dory easy-to-wear play clothes in sizes 2T to 7 for boys and girls. Retail prices span $16 to $18, available only at J.C. Penney. For details, contact email@example.com. —E.B. 1 0 ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C @ K D ; ( & ' ,
Stride Rite shells out a line of TMNT footwear. STRIDE RITE IS welcoming the famous crime-fighting reptiles to a line of footwear just in time for the June release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. The line will include a TMNT light-up athletic sneaker with straps featuring all four turtles, as well as the Stride Rite “snoot” (a.k.a. sneaker boot), so kids can save the day straight through winter. “Our partnership with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles allows us to offer parents the durability, comfort and performance that they trust from Stride Rite shoes, while incorporating kids’ favorite characters into the design,” says Gillian Meek, senior vice president of product and marketing for Stride Rite. According to Meek, there is so much happening in the licensed entertainment space that with a movie on the horizon the team couldn’t pass up a chance to share these beloved characters through a special Stride Rite line. Available in little kids’ sizes 7 to 10 as well as big kids’ sizes 10.5 to 3, the TMNT Radical Reptiles Sneaker will become available this month (MSRP $55) at Stride Rite stores, striderite.com and other fine retailers. Fast-forward to later this year and the Made2Play TMNT Sneaker Boot will be on the market in September (MSRP $60). “Parents today grew up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” says Meek. “And now they can share the experience with their kids.” For more info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. —E.B.
On Your Mark
Sesame Street’s furry team befriends Puma, Crocs and Quiksilver/Roxy. PICKING UP NEW licensees is easy as ABC for childhood education dynamo Sesame Street. Get ready for new character-inspired apparel and accessory ranges from Puma, Crocs and Quiksilver/Roxy. Puma’s new apparel, accessories and iconic footwear styles can be found at the company’s retail locations and online, along with specialty and department stores. Puma executives also hinted at more Sesame fun slated to release later this year. The line is designed for kids’ ages 2 to 8. For Fall ’16, Crocs is launching Elmo fuzz-lined clogs, in kids’ sizes c6 to j3, wholesaling for $20. The shoes will be available at Crocs stores and online, and at other select retailers and e-retailers. Lastly, bundle up with Quiksilver and Roxy’s winter snow collection, from snowsuits and helmets to mittens and goggles. The line will launch in September at Roxy, Quiksilver and BoardRider’s stores and online, along with department and specialty locations. Wholesale prices range from $12.50 to $75, available from newborn to kids’ size 7. Contact beatrice.chow@seasame. org for details. —E.B.
NASCAR races off with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants and TMNT.
SPONGEBOB AND TEENAGE MUTANT Ninja Turtles have the need for speed this summer. Utilizing key NASCAR licensees including Fanatics (apparel), New Era (headwear) and WinCraft (gift/novelty), Nickelodeon and NASCAR have developed several new products. The initial SpongeBob SquarePants line debuted at the NASCAR Trackside Superstore (the in-venue shopping at race events) on May 5. The collection will evolve over the next couple months, along with the TMNT collection slated for release online later this summer. Other retail channels are still to be determined. Both collections are available in newborn to adult sizes, with wholesale prices varying upon vendor. You can expect the lines to include everything from T-shirts and one-pieces to koozies and decals. According to Blake Davidson, vice president of NASCAR licensing and consumer products, “Partnering with two of Nickelodeon’s key franchises, SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, helps bring our sport to a densely-populated, youth-focused audience.” For details on this summer’s SpongeBob and TMNT collections, contact bdavidson@ nascar.com. —E.B.
Vans powers up with Nintendo.
Wild Kratts gets wilder across co-branded apparel.
LOOK NO FURTHER, gamer parents! Vans has partnered with Nintendo to present a kids’ and toddlers’ collection honoring the early days of video games. Little gamers can enjoy exclusive kids-only Vans x Nintendo footwear styles including Mario, Luigi and friends on the Sk8-Hi Zip and Classic Slip-On, Yoshi on the Classic SlipOn and Princess Peach atop her Mario Kart Motorcycle on the Authentic. Rounding out the collection is an Authentic with collage-printed Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controllers, matching back to the adult collection. Each style is finished off with a “Game Over” print embedded in Vans’ iconic waffle sole. “Vans and Nintendo each have unique histories and very dedicated fan bases,” says Dabney Lee, Vans senior director of global footwear merchandising. “As we continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary year, this collection is a fun way to blend classic Vans style with retro characters from Nintendo for the ultimate throwback collection.” The new collection is available as of June 3 in Vans stores and online at vans.com/nintendo. Available in toddler sizes 4 to 10 and kids’ sizes 10.5 to 4, the shoes will wholesale from $18 to $25. For details, contact email@example.com. —E.B.
THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES as The Kratt Brothers partner with leading apparel manufacturer Isaac Morris Limited to help young ones suit up for animal adventures with printed T-shirts, hoodies and bottoms, set to debut at Kmart and Fred Meyer stores this spring. Available in kids’ sizes 4 to 20, prices are still to be determined. “We’re very happy to welcome Isaac Morris to the Wild Kratts team, as we continue to work with each of our licensing partners to create offerings that answer the call of kids’ natural fascination with animals,” says Chris Kratt, creator, producer and co-founder of The Kratt Brothers Company. In addition, AME Sleepwear also joins the wild side with a range of children’s nightwear like pajama sets, sleep shirts, gowns and thermal underwear. The line will become available in August in kids’ sizes 4 to 16. Other partner offerings slated for this summer and fall include: master toy licensee Wicked Cool Toys along with Pressman Toys (games and puzzles), Random House Children’s Books (books), PBS Distribution (DVDs), PBS Kids (apps) and InCharacter (costumes). For more info, contact kristen@ wildkratts.com. —E.B. ( & ' , @ K D ; ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C 1 1
Trend Watch Pediped shoes
Kidscase long-sleeve shirt
Baby Starters tunic and leggings
Cigogne BĂŠbĂŠ sweater
Iglo + Indi puffer jacket
Haven Girl leggings Soft Gallery sweater 12
Petite Lucette dress
Rylee & Cru t-shirt
Catimini skirt Andorine shrug
Fowl Play It isn’t just aviphiles flocking toward Fall ’16’s highest-flying trend. From cuckoo couture to fledgling frocks, bird motifs have undeniably ruffled fashion’s feathers. In terms of pecking order, womenswear was first to brim with birds in Fall ’15, from Givenchy and Rodarte to Gucci and Michael Kors. Now, the trend has swooped into fall styles for chickadees. Aves take flight from head to toe, soaring across shirts, perching even on the tips of shoes. Colorways are limitless from the passion of a peacock to the subtlety of a sparrow. So keep an eye out for wholesale racks doubling as aviaries—no binoculars required. —Emily Beckman
Tutu Du Monde dress Raspberry Plum vest
Shoo Pom sneaker
Malu Organic scarf
Everyone will be viewing the children’s market through rose-colored glasses with dusty rose as this fall’s prominent hue. Several womenswear designers showcased these blush tones as the “new neutral” in 2014 with menswear following suit in 2015. Finally, dusty rose has begun to seep into the perennial baby pinks of childrenswear, offering a more sophisticated edge to timeless styles. The understated warmth of this universally flattering color exudes an elegance that typical neutrals, like tan or nude, will never muster. Whether played up in a fun metallic or toned down in a soft knit, this sultry shade is an easily forecasted favorite. —Emily Beckman
Elephantito shoe Louis Louise jumpsuit
Les Lutins hooded poncho
Oh Baby! dress
Milk & Biscuits coat
Elks & Angels hat
Marco & Lizzy dress and bloomers
Deux Par Deux fur vest
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Going Native An entrepreneur at heart, Scott Hawthorn, Chairman and Co-Founder of Native Shoes, discusses the company’s unique take on kids’ footwear and its inclusive brand philosophy. By Kristin Young
CANADIAN SHOE COMPANY, a tasting restaurant, investment banking and an orchard have nothing in common unless you happen to be speaking with Scott Hawthorn. The former Tokyo-based investment banker turned chairman and co-founder of Vancouver, B.C.-based Native Shoes, never expected to be involved in any of these ventures (he designed Salt Tasting Room in Vancouver and still owns and operates an orchard four hours north in Penticton, B.C.) and yet he says he tends to let his curiosity lead him down many unconventional career paths. “No, but it’s consistent with my life,” says the salt-and-pepper-haired 48-year-old when asked if he’d ever thought he’d be in the shoe business. “I would not expect to be where I am now. I tend to lead with intention
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but without expectation. It allows you to be open to things you’ve never thought about or things you’ve never thought you’d be involved in.” And yet all of these experience inform the way Hawthorn runs Native Shoes. “One of the most important things I learned is how to work with people,” he says. “You have your values and reason that you’re there, but it’s also a business and you have to take care of budgets and timelines. Most people don’t think that’s sexy but you need to do it to fulfill the bigger mission you’re trying to accomplish. It starts with good people and leadership.” Although he has his hand in many pots, it’s clear Native Shoes is >Wmj^ehdÊiXWXo$J^[YecfWdo"bWkdY^[Z_d(&&/"iWm[WhboYecc[hY_Wb success, catching onto the Crocs hysteria, with its unisex men’s and women’s shoes and then, a few seasons later, with the introduction of a kids’ collection. But internally there were problems leading Hawthorn, the company’s original financier, to refinance and bring in outside
_dl[ijehi$Ç?h[Wb_p[Zj^WjX[YWki[?^WZj^[h[bWj_edi^_fim_j^j^[ fbWo[hiÆj^[Z_ijh_Xkjehi"j^[\WYjeh_[iWdZ^Wl[Yh[Z_X_b_jom_j^j^[ _dl[ijehiÆ?mWij^[ed[je\_n_j"È^[iWoi$Ç?Z[Y_Z[Z_jmWimehj^iWl_d]$È J^h[[o[WhibWj[h"m_j^Wd[mYh[Wj_l[Z_h[Yjeh"C_Y^W[b8[b]k["Wjj^[ ^[bcWdZFh[i_Z[dj:Whh[d>Wmh_i^_dY^Wh][e\j^[ZWo#je#ZWoef[hW# j_edi"DWj_l[I^e[i_ij^h_l_d]"]hem_d]\heci_n[cfbeo[[ijeWj[Wc e\*+$:_ijh_Xkj_ed^Wi[nfWdZ[Zje*+Yekdjh_[i$ÇM[Êl[Yedj_dk[Zje ]hemWdZj^_im_bbX[ekhX[ijo[Who[j"È>Wmj^ehdh[fehji$ BWkdY^_d]a_ZiÊYebb[Yj_edi[nWYjjWa[#Zemdie\j^[WZkbjijob[i fhel[ZjeX[ed[e\j^[ceijfh[iY_[djYecfWdoZ[Y_i_edi[Whboed$ Oekd]Y^_bZh[dbel[Zj^[_dZ[f[dZ[dY[e\j^[de#j_[ib_f#edi_d^k[i hWd]_d]\hecd[kjhWbiWdZfh_# cWhoYebehijeYWdZoWdZi^[hX[j i^WZ[iWim[bbWiYebehXbeYa_d]" C H AT cWhXb_d]"_h_Z[iY[djWdZ]b_jj[h Z[jW_bi$J^[h[Êi[l[ded[ijob[ j^Wj]bemi_dj^[ZWha$ What books are on your nightIWb[i_dj^[a_ZiÊYebb[Yj_edi stand? I’m a Kindle guy. I’m readgk_YabocWjY^[Zj^[WZkbji_Z[ ing Only Love is Real by Dr. Brian e\j^[Xki_d[iiWdZDWj_l[dem Weiss. I’m also reading Loving hWdaiWied[e\j^[j^h[[ceij What Is by Byron Katie and fefkbWha_ZiXhWdZiedPWffei$ Viktor Frankl’s, Man’s Search for ÇBWijcedj^"m[^WZj^[jef# Meaning. i[bb_d]IAKQedPWffeiS"m^_Y^ mWiekh@[\\[hied_dhWjjW Who would you like to share a Xbk["È>Wmj^ehdiWoi"dej_d] beer with? Kevin Spacey. I was ^[fbWdije[nfWdZc_d_#c[ watching him on Facebook the ijob[i\ehIfh_d]Ê'-$ÇA_ZiÊ_i other day talking about his expeikXijWdj_Wb\ehkidem"È^[WZZi$ rience in the Middle East teaching :emdj^[heWZ">Wmj^ehd a class to all women. He really [dl_i_edifb[djoe\cehhemj^ gets the human component of the _da_ZiÊ\eejm[Wh$J^[YecfWdoÊi impact you can have on someone Yeh[lWbk[ie\\kd"^Wff_d[ii" else. It’s profound, I think. _dYbki_l[d[iiWdZWYY[ii_X_b_jo Yekfb[Zm_j^_jiÇ8[Wij<h[[È What pair of shoes could you fheZkYj fei_j_ed_d] YWd X[ not live without? I wear the [n[Ykj[Zedceh[\kbbo$?dWZZ_# Native Apollo Moc all the time. j_ed"^[X[b_[l[iDWj_l[I^e[i YWd_dYh[Wi[_jiieY_WbYedjh_Xk# j_edijej^[mehbZ$Ç?\oek^Wl[WXhWdZj^Wjh[\b[Yjij^[lWbk[ioek^Wl[ oekhi[b\WdZ_jh[iedWj[im_j^ej^[hf[efb["j^WjÊickY^ceh[fem[h\kb j^WdWfheZkYjj^WjZe[idÊj^Wl[WdolWbk[iWjjWY^[Zje_j"È^[e\\[hi$ ÇM[d[[ZjeX[fWhje\WieY_WbYedl[hiWj_edWim[bb$È M_j^WijWcfe\WffhelWb\hecF;J7WdZY[hj_\_[ZlWdX[YWki[ e\_jiÇ8[Wij<h[[ÈijWjki">Wmj^ehdiWoiDWj_l[I^e[iYWd`e_dej^[h ieY_Wbbo#YediY_ekifheZkYjiedj^[cWha[j$Ç?j^_daoekÊhe_d]jei[[ kicel[\ehmWhZWiWXhWdZj^Wj^WifheZkYjhWj^[hj^WdWfheZkYjj^Wj ^WiWXhWdZ"È^[iWoi$ How did you get into the shoe business? ?mWi_d_dl[ijc[djXWda# _d]_dJeaoe\eh'&o[Whi$J^[d?YWc[XWYajeLWdYekl[h"WdZ?]ej _dlebl[Zm_j^j^[[djh[fh[d[kh_WbYecckd_jo$?ijWhj[Zjeikffehj ]hWiiheejiWhj_ijiWdZZ[i_]d[hi$DWj_l[QfWhjd[hiSWffheWY^[Zc[WdZ
iW_Z"ÉM[^Wl[j^_i_Z[W$ÊIe?[dZ[Zkfi[jj_d]kfj^[_hXki_d[iifbWd$ J^WjÊij^[i^ehjl[hi_ed$ What were some early challenges and how did you overcome them? M^[doekÊh[meha_d]edWd[m_Z[W"oekZe_j_dWped[e\i[Yh[Yo$M[ m[h[Z[l[bef_d]j^[fheZkYj\ehed[#WdZ#W#^Wb\o[WhiX[\eh[jWa_d]_jje cWha[j$J^[dm[jeea_jjeWjhWZ[i^em_d7k]kije\(&&/WdZj^WjmWi j^[\_hijj_c[m[ef[d[Zkfjej^[jhWZ[ehj^[fkXb_Y$M[m[h[lkbd[h# WXb[1m^WjmekbZf[efb[j^_da5J^[h[ifedi[mWil[hofei_j_l[\hecj^[ ijWhj"ie_jmWi[Wioje][j[nY_j[Z$8kj"ikZZ[dbo"j^[h[Wb_joi[ji_dj^Wj oek^Wl[jefheZkY[$CWa_d]iWcfb[i_ied[j^_d]$I[jj_d]kffheZkY# j_ed"\_dWdY_d]_dl[djeho"][j# j_d]iWb[if[efb[_dj^[h_]^j Y^Wdd[biWdZYec_d]kfm_j^ ROOM WiWb[iijhWjo_iWdej^[h$ What is your motto? Keep it light. If you could hire anyone, who would it be? I’d like to do a designing mosh pit with Jonathan Ive from Apple. And if the laws allowed it, I’d like to hire a 10-year-old to design shoes for us. What would people be surprised to know about you? That I lived in the Philippines for three years when I was a kid, that I designed a restaurant that’s been open for 10 years now and I have a cherry, apple and pear orchard. We’ve given apples to the food bank over the years. So, yeah, I’ve had my hand in a few different pies. I’m very curious.
What was one of the first lessons you learned in the kids’ shoe business? J^Wja_Zie\j[dcWa[j^[Xko# _d]Z[Y_i_ed$M^[doek]e_dje Wijeh[WdZmWjY^j^[a_Zijho edi^e[i"oekÊbbi[[j^[fWh[dji ik]][ijiec[j^_d]jej^[_hY^_bZ WdZj^[doekh[Wb_p["ÉE^"j^[a_Zi hkdj^[i^em^[h[$ÊJ^[Y^_bZ_i WbejicWhj[hWdZ^WiWbejceh[ Yedjhebel[hj^[_hZecW_dj^Wd iec[f[efb[h[if[Yjehh[Wb_p[$ J^[o^Wl[W]eeZ_Z[We\m^Wj j^[ob_a[$
How did you build a unique identity for Native? J^[eh_]_dWb_Z[WmWij^WjfbWi# j_Yi^e[im[h[h[Wbbok]boXkj j^[oÊh[Yec\ehjWXb[$Iej^[ d[njgk[ij_edX[YWc["ÉM^WjÊi j^[ijob[e\i^e[ij^Wjm[Êh[ ]e_d]jeZeWdZm^WjÊih[b[lWdjWdZm^WjÊi\Wi^_edWXb[5ÊIem[ijWhj[Z jeYec[kfm_j^WleYWXkbWhom^_Y^m[\[[bi_jiedjefe\Wbbi^e[ij^Wj m[YWbbÇ<kjkh[9bWii_Yi$È?jc[Wdim[jWa[WjhWZ_j_edWbi_b^ek[jj[\hec j^[fWijWdZm[Wffbo\kjkh[j[Y^debe]oje_jWdZm[Yh[Wj[Wi^e[\eh dem$J^[eh_]_dWbi_b^ek[jj[mWi\eWc#_d`[Yj[ZcebZim_j^^eb[i\eh Xh[Wj^WX_b_jo$?j^Wi\kdYj_edWb_joWdZXh[Wj^WX_b_jo"Xkj_jWbieYWhh_[i el[hj^[l_ikWbW[ij^[j_Yj^Wjb_daiWbbe\ekhZ[i_]dije][j^[h$ Why work strictly with this plastic-like material as opposed to more traditional fabrics or leathers? ?j^_da_j]e[iXWYajeekhZ[i_]df^_beief^oe\Ç<kjkh[9bWii_Yi$ÈM[ Yec[kfm_j^d[mfheZkYjij^WjXh_d]iec[j^_d]jej^[cWha[j$M[Êh[ dejh[Wbbo^[h[jeYecf[j[edfh_Y[m_j^iec[j^_d]j^WjWbh[WZo[n_iji$ M[Êh[^[h[jeWZZWd[m\bWlehjej^[bWdZiYWf[WdZfkjWic_b[ >34 ( & ' , @ K D ; ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C 1 7
[STATE OF THE MARKET: LICENSING ]
Ice Age 5, Grumpy Cat or YouTube Celebrity JoJo Siwa?
The licensing world is exploding with characters appealing to kids. A look at some of this year’s hottest franchises. BY K R I S T I N YO U N G
F YOU’RE A retailer carrying licensed goods, you, like everybody else, are trying to anticipate the next huge character, movie or television show. Turns out, this isn’t an easy task, even for the biggest players and most seasoned experts in the industry. Marty Brochstein, SVP of industry relations and information at the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), explains the business of licensing: “Licensing is essentially a manufacturer renting emotion or nostalgia that is evoked by a character or a brand or a piece of artwork. Whatever that piece of intellectual property is, you’re saying I can make many more T-shirts with this character, than without, and make more than enough to cover my royalty.” And quite a business, it is. Global retail sales of licensed goods hit an astounding $241.5 billion in 2014, the last year LIMA tracked the market. The U.S. and Canada were, by far, the most dominant regions in the study, accounting for more than $144 billion in sales, or 60 percent of the worldwide total. By contrast, Europe saw $57 billion in
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retail sales, under one-fourth of the total global market while Asia, even with its huge and growing population, accounted for only 10 percent of total sales. Character and entertainment is by far the most dominant ranking category, particularly in childrenswear, pulling in $107 billion in 2014, according to LIMA’s study. Less than half—$53 billion—went toward corporate trademark goods while fashion, sports, publishing, collegiate, celebrity and music rounded out the mix. To break it down further, retail sales of licensed apparel merchandise reached $19.63 billion in the U.S./Canada in 2015, up 6.6 percent from 2014, according to The Licensing Letter, a networking and information resource for the industry. The segment makes up 19 percent of all licensed retail sales. Consolidation is overshadowing the licensing world. Retailers are consolidating with retailers, manufacturers are consolidating with manufacturers and licensors are following suit. That means big companies like Disney or Universal Studios are getting bigger and squeezing out smaller players. That said, it’s not simple, even for behemoth players like Disney, to anticipate a blockbuster. The runaway success of Frozen, released in 2013, was one recent exam-
ple. Disney was caught off-guard by the movie’s success and was forced to play catch-up with the demand for licensed merchandise through 2015, says Brochstein. “They were surprised, everybody was surprised,” he says. “I was getting calls from the press wondering if Disney was intentionally keeping supply down; the only place you could get Frozen [merchandise] was in Disney stores. But in fact Disney stores had to buy it to support the corporation mission. Nobody was really all that excited about it. The industry is rife with examples of things nobody expected to be big.” At the major retail level, buyers are becoming more conservative because the cost of a mistake increases exponentially. They will more often stick with recognizable names such as Angry Birds, Star Wars or Ice Age 5: Collision Course as well as Nickelodeon, PBS Kids and Despicable Me franchises. Upcoming summer movies also expected to make waves in licensed goods involve Tarzan, Star Trek Beyond, The Secret Life of Pets, the all-female cast of Ghostbusters and, later in the year, Trolls. “If they’re not top A-list brands, it’s really hard to get them on the shelves,” says Karina Masolova, executive editor at The Licensing Letter. At this year’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas in June, A-list toy brands, like Hasbro’s My Little Pony, Transformers and Nerf; Mattel Inc.’s Barbie, Hot Wheels and Thomas & Friends, will be featured alongside popular characters like Grumpy Cat, Hello Kitty and Strawberry Shortcake. On the flip side, some of the biggest successes slipped in under the radar. The good buyers, according to Brochstein, are spending extra time looking for unique things that are bubbling up from below. An increasingly important place to look is online. Consider YouTube personality JoJo Siwa. The 13-year-old star of Dance Moms says she is “obsessed” with social media to communicate with her fans. Siwa will be featured at the expo plugging her new music single, music video and merchandise line to be launched in time for the holidays. Another lesser-known property expected to make inroads in licensed goods, says Masolova, is Nickelodeon’s animated show Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. Set in Paris, high school kids by day are protectors of Paris by night. Marinette and Adrien transform into Ladybug and Cat Noir. “We’re seeing these characters in very fashionable brands and accessories,” she says. “This apparel is girl-power conscious.” And then there are the old classic characters like Betty Boop, Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse. Even in the rehashing of movies like Ghostbusters, there’s an opportunity to connect with nostalgia for the original movie. As for the infant market, where Sesame Street once dominated, sports franchises are showing big growth. Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer and the National Football League have branched out from jerseys for men to everyday wear for women and children’s apparel. In the end, however, what franchises a buyer may bet on may come down to gut instinct. It’s as good a strategy as anything, say the experts. “The fun of the business is trying to figure out what’s going to appeal to the consumer and why,” says Brochstein. “Everybody’s looking for a certain alchemy where 1 plus 1 equals 15. But if there was a formula to this, somebody would have had it and retired a bed]j_c[W]e$È
F r o m E D G Y G R A P H I C S t o K I L L E R K I C K S , F a l l ’16 i s r e a d y t o g r i n d w i t h S K AT E R - C H I C s t y l e s t h a t f l a t t e r e v e r y m o v e . P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y Z O E A D L E R S B E R G • S T Y L I N G B Y M A R I A H WA L K E R
Malibu Sugar cap, Paul Smith Junior shirt, Calibeth jacket, Limeapple pants, Livie & Luca shoes; Soft Gallery shirt, Agatha Cub t-shirt and pants, Goldtoe socks, Dr. Martens shoes. 21
This page and opposite: Puma cap and leggings, Hayden Girls shirt, Vintage Havana shorts, t-shirt and sweater (around waist); Converse shoes, Henny and Coco necklace, modelâ€™s own bandana. 22
Agatha Cub hat, Egg by Susan Lazar shirt, Catimini jacket, Paul Smith Junior pants; Opposite Page: AnaĂŻs & i hat, Agatha Cub reversible vest, Junior Gaultier shirt. 25
From left to right: Malibu Sugar hat, Catimini sweatshirt, Appaman shirt; Imps&Elfs pants, Converse shoes; Malibu Sugar hat, Nununu sleeveless jacket, ABC123me jacket and pants, Goldtoe socks, Dr. Martens shoes, Malibu Sugar hat, Vintage Havana sweatshirt and jeans, Puma socks, Vans shoes; Boy with blue shirt and girl with glasses, see page 21; Junior Gaultier jacket, Go Gently Baby shirt, Egg by Susan Lazar pants, Western Chief rain boots.
Hayden Girls shirt, Soft Gallery sweatshirt and pants, AnaĂŻs & i sweater (around waist), Goldtoe socks, Dr. Martens shoes; Opposite Page: Puma cap, 100% Gumdrop necklace, Vintage Havana sweatshirt, Oil & Water faux fur vest, ABC123me pants; K-Way jacket, Junk Food Clothing t-shirt, Hayden Girls shirt, Catimini jeans.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane—No, it’s Hero New York! The USA-made children’s backpack brand swooped into February’s edition of Playtime New York with impressive designs and even more impressive morals. The ethically-inclined brand is partnering with High School of Fashion Industries to host workshops, contribute to scholarship funding and help with fabric donation. The brand also will design a limited-edition backpack where five percent of proceeds go to Solving Kids’ Cancer. Standard offerings include colorful yet genderneutral backpacks and pencil cases. Wholesale prices range from $11 to $47. www.herobackpacks.com
Fall ’16 keeps kids humble with motivating missions and down-to-earth designs.
Nine-year-old Kayla Ogunsemore was tired of getting turned away at volunteer animal rescues because of her young age. But she quickly reformed her frustration into positive action by creating Brown Sugar Kids (with a little help from Dad). Her growing collection of T-shirts, made from super soft, lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric, contains original photos of four-legged friends Ogunsemore has met during her nascent journey in fashion. All tees wholesale for $15, available from XS to XL in both children and adult sizes. Ten percent of the brand’s proceeds go to animal rescues, with Ogunsemore working toward finding corporate sponsors to match their donations and double the love. www.brownsugarkids.com
Feeling The Blues
By leveraging the best practices and product expertise from her own family history of designing and manufacturing for world-renowned brands, Blu & Blue Founder Aaina Jain unites quality denim clothing with elevated style for kids. “At Blu & Blue we are passionate and committed to using our product and fabric expertise toward our innovative, eco-friendly and sustainable new venture,” Jain explains. With fabrics hand-selected from the best mills in the world, Blu & Blue only settles for the highest quality denim materials such as Tencel fabrics, cotton denims and chambrays. Exclusively using mercerized denims, the brand ensures each garment its signature soft quality. In addition, all hardware is nickel-free, making each garment 100 percent baby-friendly. With a debut at Children’s Club in March, the FW ’16 collection contains everything from delicate rompers and detailed dresses to playful skirts and stately jackets. Available in sizes newborn to 5T, wholesale prices range from $15 to $35. www.bluandblue.com 3 0 ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C @ K D ; ( & ' ,
Conversational prints with a “too-coolto-care spirit” define the hip kids’ brand Calibeth. “The brand has a very laidback, tomboy vibe inspired by my childhood,” says Designer Callen Hoss. Calibeth’s space-themed fall collection uses original prints spanning illustrations of moon phases to falling stars. Loose-fitting silhouettes in muted colors like Nova Nude to Ultraviolet make the collection easy to mix and match, with several unisex options. “If your five-year-old has decided she no longer needs help picking out clothes, she can grab one of our tops and bottoms and create her own Calibeth collage,” explains Hoss. Available in kids’ sizes 2 to 6, wholesale prices range from $19 to $34. www.calibeth.com
Top It Off
How do you achieve a sucessful product? Go straight to your toughest critics. Wool Candy Berlin’s founders Carola Koerner and Stephanie Raatz have every new style tested by kids before being manufactured. After no luck finding high-quality organic knitwear manufactured in Europe, the mother-daughter duo decided to create a brand reflective of their environmentally-conscious and sustainable work ethic. Winter styles are crafted from 100-percent organic wool while all summer styles come from 100-percent organic cotton. With its U.S. debut at the February edition of Playtime New York, the brand showcased a fall collection of bright colors including cobalt blue and emerald green. All styles, from cardigans to dresses, can be combined with quality matching scarves. Sizes range from 4 to 12 for boys and girls, wholesaling from $18 to $120. www.woolcandy.berlin
Every little prince and princess will adore Wyatt Rose’s posh headwear designs that complement everything from peacoat to puffer. Created from incredibly soft lambswool and alpaca blends, children can be both stylish and warm during those crisp back-to-school mornings. “We specialize in designs featuring bows for girls and the influence of the European aesthetic,” says Founder Andrea Anderson. The Fall ’16 collection is comprised of dusty hues: light purples, mints and heather gray. Offerings include classic silhouettes, berets and one Peruvian design. Branded with bows and multi-pompom embellishments, Anderson notes how “the goal is to have fun with design and color while still allowing any style to pair with a child’s posh apparel.” Wyatt Rose officially made its debut at Playtime New York in February. Available in sizes newborn to 6 years, wholesale prices range from $15 to $20. www.wyattrose.net
Yin and Yang
Capitalizing on a desert-meetsocean vibe that blends its Southern California surroundings with Co-Founder Mali’s upbringing in the Middle East, kids’ brand Malu Organic offers a collection of breezy garments made from organic cotton. “Aside from the sustainable practices we employ at every level, from design to marketing, we are committed to sharing a portion of our profits,” says husband and Co-Founder Kalen Allmandinger. The brand donates one percent of its profits to charities that share its commitment to the environment and the community. During its debut at Playtime New York in February, Malu Organic showcased its fall collection inspired by frontier life, from hemp blouses to organic cotton harem pants. Available in sizes newborn to 8 years, the line wholesales from $20 to $50. www.maluorganic.com
What do you get when you fuse the festive flamboyance of African Ankara prints with demure Western designs? Meet Shells Belles Kidz. By taking the original cotton Ankara print to more luxurious and quality silk, chiffon and sequin fabrics, Founder Shells Naija designs eccentric kids’ apparel, creatively tailored to the Western party and preppy look. “Our Fall ’16 collection merges the hallmark colorful vibrancy of the African Ankara print with the multiple view formation created by a kaleidoscope,” Naija explains. The line weaves the earthy tones of fall with the vivacity of the vibrant African print across dresses, skirts and tops. Available in girls’ sizes 2 to 10, wholesale prices remain negotiable. www.shellsbelleskidz.com ( & ' , @ K D ; ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C 3 1
UP CLOSE slapwatch
N G I S DE E R A H S VOTE
CHILDRENS CLUB NEW YORK JULY 31 - AUG 2 KIDSHOW LAS VEGAS AUG 15 - 17
Clean Cuts Huxbaby’s minimalistic, pared-down essentials from Down Under prove that, sometimes, less really is more.
HEN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA-BASED Jennifer Admon noticed a gap for gender-neutral, simple designs in childrenswear, she sought out to create a minimalist brand that was kid-friendly but offered an “adult level” of style. The result? HuxBaby was born in 2013. The creative director and co-founder (her husband, Elad, is also at the helm) felt it was time for a brand that offered clothes that allowed kids to be kids, without sacrificing style. “We like to dress ourselves in gorgeous designs,” she explains. “[I thought] ‘Why not translate that to our children?’” The dare-to-be-different approach didn’t stop there. The brand’s philosophy extends into sustainability, as well. “I was inspired to create a sustainable range of clothing that is both kind to the environment (in addition to cotton blends, much of the brand’s clothing is made from Global Organic Textile Standardcertified organic cotton) and is sustainable in the way it can be reused and shared amongst siblings, being mainly unisex in color and design,” says Admon. The brand, which launched in the U.S. in 2014, wholesales from $7 to $30, with sizes ranging from newborn to age 5 and the line spans from apparel and accessories to deluxe gift sets and bibs. Edgy and playful graphics (think fun bear prints and metallic rabbit faces) are a mainstay 3 2 ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C @ K D ; ( & ' ,
of the brand and Admon describes the FW ’16 collection as being “all about texture,” showcasing new sumptuous knits, stitching detail and embroideries. Dusty warm colors mixed with gold highlights and the brand’s signature monochrome staples—many of which skew black and gray— are other features. Showroom execs have confirmed the brand’s popularity and Huxbaby is now sold in more than 100 boutiques across the country, with that number expected to grow. The SS ’17 line will be showcased at ENK’s Children’s Club in August. “We are growing every season,” Admon confirms. But it’s more than just a focus on super-soft cottons that keeps this brand at the forefront of the minimalistic movement. From great attention to fabric quality, design aesthetic, labeling, brand identity and its philosophy centered upon simplicity, gender-neutrality and sustainability, Huxbaby’s success seems to be grounded in the decision to leave no stone unturned. As Admon puts it: “We feel that every detail is important.” –Lauren Olsen
CMC_Earnshaws_ThirdVertical_051916.pdf 1 5/23/2016 9:05
Big in the USA No Biggie’s whimsical, free-spirited designs inspire children to have fun in comfy and easygoing styles.
FTER THE BIRTH of Yael Marcovitz’s second baby in 2012, she decided to follow a long-held dream. “I wanted to do something fulfilling for myself that implemented all of my abilities,” she explains. The Israel-based former interior designer sought out on a new mission in 2014 to create babywear brand No Biggie, the free-spirited brand she owns and designs, completely from scratch. “I bought a sewing machine and started to sew little overalls for my new baby, explored all kind of printing options and just dived into this world,” she recalls. “I found it fascinating.” The brand, which launched in the U.S. in 2015, has transformed into a mecca for babies and kids offering an array of styles, from pants and sweatshirts to dresses and newborn gift packages. Garments are sewn in Israel, often in organic cotton, with great attention paid to each “stitch and snap,” and the prints are done in silk-print, by hand. Beloved for its whimsical prints (think Mad Hatter bodysuit dresses in an “Alice in Wonderland” collection, “Pirates Only” prints featuring patch-eyed Dalmatians, and “hipster” animal prints, like lions in bowties), the brand is known for loose, easygoing fabrics and patterns (many of which are gender-neutral) that encourage
kids to “move freely, make a mess, and have fun.” No Biggie is currently sold at about 25 U.S. boutiques, and wholesales from $9 to $27 in sizes newborn to 11 years. No Biggie’s Fall ’16 collection revolves around “pampering fabrics” and soft colors, with illustrations of “magical fantasies” that “fire up” a child’s imagination. “It’s based on the amazing ability of children to create complex, elaborated tales that help them discover the real world,” explains the owner. Marcovitz cites highlights of the collection as “warm and comfortable” French Terry dresses and “oversized, easy-towear, cool-looking” overalls. Marcovitz attributes her brand’s success to unique designs, persistence and “a lot of hard work.” But it’s her willingness to pay attention to what children really want that is likely at the heart of the brand’s high esteem—she cites her two children’s feedback as integral. “I personally monitor every single style—I try them on my kids to get their reactions and to see if they, too, like it and integrate their opinions in my work process,” she affirms. Observing their responses—and also her own as a mother— results in a brand that aptly celebrates what Marcovitz describes as “the endless possibilities of childhood.” –Lauren Olsen ( & ' , @ K D ; ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C 3 3
Q& A continued from page 17 on people’s faces, and do something socially responsible as well. We use the “Beast Free” vocabulary, which is that no animals were used to make these shoes. What role does technology play in the design process? Technology plays a significant role. We don’t have a research and development budget like Adidas or Nike. We’re not a performance company. We’re an inclusive lifestyle company. We try to access technologies that are available and we’ll do some experimentation with materials. The injected material is very light, and that set us on a path of wanting to continue on with super-comfortable, lightweight [shoes] and bring a different take to the market. Our tagline, “Keep it Lite,” has two components to it. One, is the physical lightness of the shoe. But it’s also a spiritual lightness, which focuses on fun and happiness and that which is accessible and inclusive. Speaking of spiritual lightness, the brand’s “Beast Free” positioning seems to be an important component. It’s a fun one. No unicorns were used to make the shoes or any other animals. I think it’s a conversation that speaks to more than just vegans. That’s for us to define and show people what “Beast Free” activities can mean. “Beast Free” activities are not using animals inappropriately. Walking your dog is a healthy “Beast Free” activity. Growing your own
vegetables is a “Beast Free” activity. When you grow your own garden, you appreciate it more. I know kids do that for sure. This is the kind of stuff we’d like to explore a little bit more. What styles are performing well at retail of late? Well, the Jefferson is our bestseller for sure. And [solid] colors we’ve expanded now with the marble treatment, glitter and iridescent. So those are helping us build out that product category. But we just launched our kids Apollo Moc (the moccasin) which is a direct take-down of the adult styles. It’s arriving on Zappos now and it will be in Nordstrom in July. That will be kids size C6 to juniors 3. We have our sales meeting coming up in a couple of weeks for Spring ’17 and we’ll be expanding the line then with more derivatives of what we have and also some more styles as well. What do you think draws kids to your shoes? Some of our kids get really attached—we get pictures sent by parents of their kids sleeping in their shoes. Or they are cuddled up with them in their hands or on their chest. One of my theories as to why that is has to do with personal freedom. During my childhood, I remember having the most freedom riding my bike. I could explore and be away from my parents a little bit. Well, one thing that kids (and parents) really love about our shoes is that they don’t have to be tied. With lace-up shoes,
until you learn how to tie your shoes yourself, you actually have to ask your parents to put them on for you. With our shoes, you can put them on without having to ask anyone to help you. That’s liberating and one of the reasons why I think kids are drawn to our shoes. What is the best feedback you are getting from customers? We get emails from people that when springtime comes, families go out together to get a new supply of Native Shoes for their summer activities. It’s become a real identifier for us. There are not many brands or products that every member of the family can use together. Are there any licensing deals or collaborations in the works? We just partnered with this funky Israeli kids brand called Nununu. They approached us and we liked their imagery so we created two boots (Native x Nununu Jimmy 2.0 and AP Luna boots in all black). The product comes out in the fall. How do you navigate the recent retail challenges in the marketplace? The retail landscape is challenging. We’re seeing some big sportswear companies file Chapter 11. It’s something that we have to be a little bit more aware of—that there are factors in the market more powerful than we are. We need to be humble, aware and cautious. The consumer is being a little bit more careful with their dollars and also where he or she is spending them. [The dollars] are shifting to other channels. In the end, the customer decides where they are going to shop. Whether it’s Zappos, Nordstrom, Amazon or an independent boutique, we help them out by having a conversation with the end purchaser, inspiring them and making them aware of what we’re doing so that they will then support the retailer of their choice. You have to look at these challenges as an opportunity to get better, to learn from it and not to freak out. If you had a magic wand, what would you change about the business? I’m a big believer in accepting the reality of what’s out there. People are smart enough to make their own decisions. You have to let them decide and you must give them the information to make the best decision they can for themselves. What do you love most about your job? It’s pretty awesome building a team of people—a young group of people—and watching them grow. When you walk through the office now, there are a lot of people in their 20s here. There’s this amazing, fun, positive energy in the office, which I think reflects our values as well—fun, happy and accessible. I’m 48 now so I’ve had other winds in my career and as you get older you take on an advisory and spiritual role. I see the landscape as hierarchically flat. We all have good ideas, and they can come from anywhere. Where do you see Native Shoes in five years? The retail climate, both online and brick-and-mortar, can change so quickly. I lead with intention and hope we’ll be in a better place than we are in today. And I hope to bring smiles to people’s faces. >emcWdoi^e[im_bbm[X[cel_d]5?jÊi^WhZjeiWo$ ( & ' , @ K D ; ; 7 H D I > 7M I $ 9 E C 3 5
what’s selling Lizards & Lace “I’M A VERY organized person,” says Shannon Dunn. Talking at a quick clip with a hint of a Southern twang, you get the sense she’s probably just made the understatement of the year. Dunn, the owner of Lizards & Lace, the eight-and-a-half-year-old children’s shop in Goodlettsville, Tenn., along with its four-year-old sister boutique, Happy Girls, has all the telltale signs of a businesswoman who makes the trains run on time. It was a circuitous path that brought her to children’s retail. Upon moving to Tennessee from Texas, the mom of two started running consignment fundraisers at schools and churches—a very big thing in the South, she says. Fast forward a few years and Dunn was soon leasing out space for pop-up shops. From there, it was a short hop to investing in inventory and coming up with a concept. Lizards & Lace is primarily a girls’ shop with newborn sizes up to 14; 1. Peaches ‘n Cream added rompers in the past year and they have sold extremely well. www.peaches-n-cream.com
she carries boys’ sizes newborn to 12-months. When her clients began to outgrow smaller sizes, Dunn opened shop-in-shop Happy Girls for teens, tweens and womenswear. And she keeps the price points for women, in particular, affordable. “There are always two things that moms and grandmothers will spend money on,” she says. “They will spend money to have their hair done and they’ll spend money on their kids.” The shop’s ability to produce custom pieces and in-house monogram, embroidery and appliqué work—anything from dump trucks to slogans—keeps customers coming back for more, says Dunn. And when three dance studios opened in the neighborhood, she responded by stocking leotards, ballet and tap shoes. “We really try to listen to our customer and accommodate them,” she says. “We’re not afraid to go in a different direction.” —Kristin Young 6. Dunn says: “What’s nice about Bearington Belly Blankets is that we monogram them and they’re machine washable, soft and fluffy.” www.bearingtoncollection.com
2. “We sell a ton of bracelets, earrings and baby rings” from Cherished Moments’ sterling silver jewelry, says Dunn. www.cherishedmomentsshop. com
7. Isobella & Chloe dresses do “phenomenally” at the boutique. www.isobellaandchloe.com
3. Feltman Brothers’ classic sets are a top-seller for boys in the store’s conservative region. www.feltmanbrothers.com
8. JoyJoy Wrap, a reversible headband that’s made in Tennessee, is a bestseller. Flowers are removable and a portion of sales goes to orphanages in Haiti. www.facebook/joy-joy-wraps.com
4. Bébé Monde gowns are “just beautiful,” says Dunn, and the right price point at $45 to $50. www.bebemonde.com
9. “We sell a ton of Sun-San Saltwater Sandals, especially going into summer,” says Dunn. www.saltwater-sandals.com
5. RuffleButts’ frilly bloomers, skirts and tank tops check briskly. www.rufflebutts.com It’s all in-house custom embrodiery at Shannon Dunn’s boutique.
10. Mud Pie’s gifts and pieces for boys, along with birthday lines for girls, fly off the shelves. www.mud-pie.com
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