Caletha Crawford is an expert in the children’s apparel. Former editor in chief of Earnshaw’s magazine—the leading US children’s trade publication, Caletha is a consultant for children’s wear brands as well as a part-time faculty at Parsons The New School for Design. There, she equips students with the fashion industry knowledge needed to become entrepreneur designers. On March 9th, Caletha Crawford gathered industry insiders at the Parson School of design and asked them to speak about what consumers want now.
The panel of industry professionals represented all facets of the market, including recruiting (represented by Polo Ralph Lauren); design (Ralph Lauren, J Crew’s Crewcuts and Tawil Associates); retail (Yoyamart) and sales (Thread showroom and Playtime trade shows). Throughout the hour-long discussion, the panel provided valuable information on how to break into the industry but one of the most interesting aspects of the conversation centered around defining who today’s customer is and discussing how she ultimately determines what ends up in stores:
· The economic outlook is improving, but consumers are still demanding value. “In Europe, we all have the feeling that we’re working more for less so you have the feeling that you have to give more to people. Everyone’s asking for more these days.” — Sebastien de Hutten, event director for Playtime, a juvenile products trade show with editions in Paris, Tokyo and New York
· The market is evolving, incorporating more contemporary styling into this age group—as a result a new customer is emerging for tween clothes: Moms! “People are a lot less conservative than they used to be, especially at the luxe level. At mid and mass, things tend to be more traditional.” —Amy Pang, design director for 7 for All Mankind Kids at New York-based Tawil Associates
· Grandmothers continue to be the No. 1 consumers to court, especially in the smallest sizes. —“She’s got a lot of income and a lot of time to fill.” —Ashleigh Crawford, vice president of children’s design at Ralph Lauren
· The woman who purchases high-end better goods for herself buys the same level of goods for her children. “If mom isn’t going to wear a rayon sweater, she has the mentality that my kid’s not going to wear it so it justifies buying $200 Loro Piana cashmere for their kid.” —Michelle Copelman, accessories designer and brand buyer at Crewcuts
· There’s a market for everything from $795 jackets to $20 T-shirts and from preppy to boho, it’s just up to retailers to know their customers and buy accordingly. “It’s like music. Anything goes,” stated Fazio. “You can mix hip hop and rock these days. You can mix California laid-back with European collections and Crewcuts accessories with your Ralph Lauren riding boots.” — Terra Fazio, owner of the Thread Showroom in New York
View the event in its entirety on YouTube
Caletha Crawford consults with designers to help them better understand the industry, communicate their positioning through branding and public relations, and grow their market share. Her contacts within the industry span independent start-ups to multimillion-dollar design firms. She’s a regular at domestic and international trade shows and market events. Learn more at calethacrawford.com.
Posted in CultureMarch 27, 2011
Posted in CultureMarch 25, 2011
I like this book because the images are beautiful with many colors. The women, who are models of the painter Klimt, have very long and thick hair, and there is gold on their dresses. The story is full of adventures and travels and it is also about brushes and paints which I like very much. I like to copy the drawings of this book.
Klimt and his cat – Written by Berenice Capatti, illustrated by Octavia Monaco
Commented by Iris, 5 years old
If your child wants to present a book, submit pictures and text to email@example.com
Posted in CultureFebruary 23, 2011
It’s half term here in the UK, time for mums and nannies to find crafty ideas to entertain the children (it’s raining, but it’s London after all…). Here’s a wonderful book, perfect to fit the purpose : Beasties – How to Make 22 Mischievous Monsters That Go Bump in the Night (Perigee Books). This fun craft book teaches readers how to sew a collection of monsters from around the world. Some swim in the sea, others live on land, and a few fly through the air. The book came from the author’s interest in monsters from folklore, mythology, and cryptozoology. Readers may recognize familiar characters such as a Fairy, Yeti, and Werewolf as well as some lesser-known characters such as the Chonchon and Eloko. Each Beastie is photographed in their environment so you can see where they live. The book also includes an overview of sewing stitches, a description of the characters, instructions, and patterns for sewing. Very Exciting.
About Diana Schoenbrun, the author : “I am a published illustrator, writer, and crafter living in Brooklyn, NY. I received my BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design. I have worked as an art assistant in publishing, taught writing and puppetry workshops, for children, and worked as a freelance illustrator. I currently work as a puppet builder at Puppet Heap Studio”.
Beasties is available on amazon (Click here)
Posted in CultureFebruary 19, 2011
I played with these toys when I was a little girl… sewing machine and washing machine “comme maman“, cash register like a real merchant. So much fun! They are all available at Bianca and family, and I am sure that they are still fun for our children. I still occasionally read some good old “Martine” to my girls and they love it. A real piece of French culture…
Great news for all the Design lovers : some smart people are cooking up an exclusive project around children’s design, to be displayed during Milano Mobile in April. Exactly what that vibrant, exciting and very international furniture fair was missing.
“Kids room – ZOOM! is a special home exclusively designed for children, staged and curated by unduetrestella founder Paola Noé together with Austrian children’s furniture designer Thomas Maitz. The project provides a snapshot of contemporary design for children and aims at moving this young, emerging creative scene into the center of public attention. An elegant apartment on the third floor of a residential building, located in an exclusive area in the heart of Milan, will open its doors to international design for children as well as to contemporary artists, publishers and food installations“.
The exhibitors, carefully selected, come from all over the world; some well established, some less known. The list includes byBODesign, Collect Furniture, Jaell und Tofta, Kalon Studios, Kidsonroof, Liliane, Momoll, Ninetonine, Nonjetable, Perludi, White Elephant Design Lab.
National Geographic photo contest is an endless trip around the world; it’s fun to browse through the archive with children. For those who share a passion for photography, there is a kid’s contest and they can submit their best shots to http://kids-myshot.nationalgeographic.com/. Above, from the adult’s contest, below from the kid’s section.
Posted in CultureDecember 21, 2010
Yes, there is now a Foodie Bible for Kids: Food is Fun by Anorak. It’s the healthy option this Christmas for all foodies and artists in the kitchen, the bible you will need to get inspired and excited about food. Fun recipes (“Super Easy Cake a Monkey could Make”), foodie games (“Spot how many ‘chews’ you can find in Chew-Ville”), vegetable profiles (“I am not a maniac, I am a celeriac!”), a brief history of the fork, what to do with tarts and toasts, yummy word searches and plenty plenty more. Designed by award winning artist Supermundane (Anorak’s art director) and written by not-award-winning-yet Cathy Olmedillas (Anorak’s mum). Suitable for the whole family and for little foodies over 5. 160 pages- £15. Check it here.