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Goat Milk
Dandy Star

Caramel in Brussels, little shoe heaven






Freshly opened in Brussels, Caramel is a shoe heaven. The stores carries brands like PèPè, Nathalie Verlinden, il Gufo, Petit Nord, Petit by Sofie Schnoor. Owner Ludovica Zagrebelsky explains her philosophy and her choices.

How did the idea of Caramel come to you? Caramel is a project I had in the back of my mind since I started buying shoes for my daughters. For many years I kept looking, inquiring, asking questions, tracking what’s new and here I am, 13 years later with boutique and my shoe selection.

How does your store look like and how do you welcome clients?The store is rather small, all white with a comfy grey couch. Clients can take the time to look at the shoe selection, enjoy a tea or a coffee, try the shoes on their children’s feet. But they can also just pop up quickly, take a pair to try it home and change if it’s not the right fit. As many times as needed.  I want people to feel nice and welcome.

Can you tell us more about the brands you selected for Caramel? On top of my list comes PèPè, the cutest Italian shoe line. I love the retro-meets-contemporary feel and the strong “child” spirit. With Pepe shoes, children look elegant and stylish in a natural way, they don’t look like disguised as little adults. Il Gufo, also made in Italy, is more fashion driven, but nothing too bling or too shiny like Italian can sometimes be.  The shoes are extremely well done. Nathalie Verlinden is a Belgium designer from Antwerp who creates simple and sober shoes produced in Italy with vegetal and organic dies. A real luxury for children. Her shoes are wonderful objects to look at and to touch. Then I carry L’artigiano italiano (beautiful shoes, simple with an attention to detail), C’est entre maman et moi (French brand produced in Spain so a little cheaper but very cute), Petit Nord (Rabbit or sheepskin slippers, hats and chapkas), Petit by Sofie Schnoor, Andrea Montelpare, Chupeta. They are all expensive shoes because they are extremely beautiful and well made, in Europe and often by artisans.  I like the idea of paying for the quality, not for the brand. You will never find, for instance, a black leather pattent sneaker with a big name written on it in my store.
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Finding beauty on the net






Every time I venture on the blogosphere, I am amazed by the incredible creativity and beauty I find. It is really a place of inspiration, provided you know where to look. These images from estaminetcoquet are incredibly well composed and moving. The spontaneity is truly unique. A delight…

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Interview of a photographer’s agent

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Photos Diane Vasil

Marketing and sales in the photo biz have always been a focus and passion for Sarah Galperin. Six months ago, shestarted Treehouse Repsan agency specilizing in children’s illustration and photography. Sarah adds a social outreach component to her business, supporting a different charity each year, donating a percentage of the company’s income. She tells us a bit about herself and her new adventure.

How did the idea of Treehouse Rep come to you? I have been working as a photography agent for over 13 years, beginning in New York and transitioning to Los Angeles which invariably led me to becoming the Marketing Director for a well known photo studio. Throughout all, my clientele were high fashion campaigns and celebrity shoots. Of course, when the economy started to tank I saw our client base begin to dwindle, but was amazed to find children’s brands not only remained steadfast but started to flourish. This is when my idea came together. As a new parent, I had a vested interest in this market and knew from experience that you must really know and love any product you sell. It was time to carve out a niche, collaborate with like-minded individuals and create an agency that cared about the subject matter over the final product. That is precisely why every artist I choose to work with has to really love and understand children. I don’t want this to be just another job, not for me or for anyone who is part of Treehouse. Although it is not always easy or idyllic – it is very rewarding to work with children. I know all of my artists share this sentiment as well. To document and see life through the eyes of a child keeps me grounded and allows me to have that connection with childhood I still crave (time to time).

Can you name some of your clients as well as the charities that you will help with donations? We just started but ?we have been so fortunate that clients have embraced us. Our client list includes: Vogue Bambini, Lucky, Carters, Polo, Billabong and several local charity organizations that we have collaborated with. It was important for me that this agency be more than just about revenue and giving back to the community is an important aspect to this company – and not just once a year during the holidays.  I donate a percentage of my income to a different children’s charity each year ( 5-10%) and each artist has their individual charity they promote as well.  For 2010, I am working with the www.makeawish.com foundation.  I not only donate monetarily, but am aiding with fundraising efforts for their local event in Los Angeles.  Some of the charities Treehouse artists are working with include Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and Cleanwater.org.  I will also never turn down a children’s charity that is in need of our assistance, either on a discounted rate or pro-bono.

What’s next for Treehouse Reps? I am so fortunate to work with a wonderful roster of artists. When I set out to create this agency I wanted to make sure I had a nice mix of young and established artists who were all very different from one another; artists who have their own identity and strong points of view. Building an Agency is definitely a work in progress and I hope to add more artists as time goes by…. maybe stylists and other talent as well but most importantly, I am excited to see how it will all come together.

Treehouse represents Diane Vasil, Harten, Claus Wickrath, Sara Jane Franklin and other artists. For more info, visit www.treehousereps.com





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La gallina matta, Italian home decor



La Gallina Matta (which means “the mad hen”) is an Italian company selling a playful collection of fabrics as well as bespoke furniture. I like this chair, quite unique even more the background wall with its blackboard aspect. www.lagallinamatta.it.

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Swiss design






Daphna and Nurit, a graphic designer and an architect both passionate about design, are the two founders of a company called Noon. Based in Switzerland, they create a collection for the house and more precisely for children’s rooms. They put attention to the smallest design details (the legendary Swiss precision), while using harmonious combinations of patterns and colors of beautiful, high quality fabrics. The aim of Noon is to provide children their own soft, quiet space as well as a fresh look at everyday objects surrounding them. The Play Curtain (also available in pink) as well as other products, can be ordered on www.noonsoftspace.com.




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Ten years for Kidscase….





It’s been ten years already that the Dutch company Kidscase was founded. A small independent company, Kidscase cooperate with factories that work with respect for their people and for our planet. They create tranquil, versatile and fashion-forward children’s clothes for boys and girls up to eleven years. I love their “basic plus” look: inventive, simple designs, made of soft fabrics of very high quality. Their clothes just make you feel you did the right choice for your kids (and for the pleasure of your eyes, of course). A combination of comfort and cool chic. www.kidscase.com

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Books : what's new?

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In this big, beautiful, astonishing book, more than 50 animals are hiding. In elegant drawings and graphic, eye-catching layouts, Out of Sight will enthrall children with the amazing variety of the animal kingdom.


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Mini scale, maxi pleasure!

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This is the new “Stockholm” house by Lundby, mythical Swedish dollhouse company created in 1947 by Axel and Grete Thomsen. There are about 70 different kits of accessories for the house. That promises hours and hours of playing with this dreamlike modernist habitation, over years!


For wholesale inquiries in continental Europe, contact asatoys@wanadoo.fr.


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Doudou 6 at Pomme, Brooklyn




It has become a tradition: every Fall, Pomme invites New York children to be photographed with their most treasured possessions. On October 2nd and 3rd, Davina Zagury will be back to capture the attachment they have to their security objects. Like its 5 previous installments, this “Doudou Project” (doudou is the French word for security blanket) will result in a month long exhibit, during which prints will be available for order. So, lucky New Yorkers, hurry up and contact davinaz@davinaz.com for additional inquiries. A Doudou Project picture is the sweetest memory you can keep from your child’s early years.

Pomme, 81 Washington St, at York. Dumbo, Brooklyn. Tel 718.855.0623




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Animalask height chart

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Want to know how tall you are compared to a lion? Or a monkey? Are you as tall as a horse? Find out with the Animalask height chart, designed to be a great educational tool for children. Lovely matching clock…Check out www.westergaarddesign.co.uk for more info.

Nimalask height chart in ply wood £55, in vinyl £30.


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Sweet William loves Bobo choses



Fresh arrival at Sweet William.

Bronagh Staley, owner of the Brooklyn boutique and e-store recommends : Strike a playful note this season with Bobo Choses’ vibrantly colored and poetic sweaters and cold weather accessories”.

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Lila&Tom, image + story makers









Most designers know that image and communication tools are key for their brand. Some are lucky and have the skills to work on it, some have talented friends in their network. But for others, finding the right photographer, stylist, set designer, graphic designer, i.e. all the people who contribute to a successful image, isn’t an easy task. Not to mention coordinating the jobs AND giving the appropriate art direction. Fortunately, there are agencies that can beautifully handle creation and production for brands and Lila & Tom is one that I would highly recommend. The agency, based in Barcelona, is owned by Kathleen Boonen and Jan Dönhardt, a couple with Belgian, Dutch and German origins who lived in Paris, Berlin, London and Madrid. Speaking many languages must be the key for their accurate understanding of client’s needs and expectations. Between the two of them, they create appropriate stories and they deliver images that really work.  Their clients include Tammy Donohoe, Massimo Dutti, Dandy Star. Their contribution to Milk Magazine and Naif is an evidence of their precious talent.

Photos Juan Carlos Ponsa – Enric Montes.


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