Given NYC’s capital-of-fashion status it’s little wonder that we’re swamped with covetable kids labels. From designers up-cycling mens shirts into sweet summer dresses and Kickstarter-funded ‘Dope’ tees to these adorable wood and pastel beaded accessories – there’s so much to choose from, we say, why buy anywhere else? Which is why we love the ethos behind new online retailer Fantaserini, which launched last October and will focus on NY-based children’s designers. There are 17 so far, but they have plans to expand in 2014 with knitwear from Misha & Puff and Lucky Fish’s ultra comfy hand silk screened t-shirts as well as more one-off collaborations like these limited edition stripy merino leg warmers.
“We wanted to create a fun place where parents could find lovingly made things that are special and well made,” says co-founder Melissa Dadourian who lives in Carroll Gardens and has two girls, Ismene, 8 and Valentina, 5. “We also found that there we so many wonderful local designers making great stuff that were hard to find outside flea markets or Etsy.” So thanks for doing all the hard work for us folks at Fantaserini. Here are the five designers we’ve been ogling on your site.
OUT THERE KNITS
Knitting maestro Lindsay Degen has been churning out wool creations since the age of three. Her kids line babyDEGEN is a total joy – every babe needs a pair of merino “Block Sockies.” The whole kaleidoscopic collection is made out of her Brooklyn Navy Yard Studio. And her adults stuff is pretty rad too – eye ball sweater anyone?!
THE UNDER WARE GURUS
The inspiration for Goat-Milk was a case of underwear frustration – its founders, Roland and Tatiana, couldn’t track down the type of beautifully made, minimalist kids under kit in the US, that was common place in countries like Spain, so they decided to make it themselves. The result is simply faultless basics: underwear, thermals and onesies, that make winter layering a cinch. Everything is made from 100%, ridiculously soft, organic cotton in a color palette of muted shades and Breton strips – not a seam of bubblegum pink in sight.
The concept behind Kallio is brilliantly simple: reworking unwanted clothes – mostly men’s vintage shirts – into stylish kids threads. The brains behind the operation is Aussie transplant Karina Kallio. Under her vision, off-cast office shirts become lightweight dresses; colorful checked numbers are remade into cozy “sleeve” pants with cuffs at the ankle; and heavy flannels find new life as cozy capes.
BROOKLYN-BORN BOLD PRINTS
Husband and wife team Stefanie Lynen and Todd Warnock are the talented Brooklyn duo behind Winter Water Factory. They started in 2005 when Lynen started to screen print her designs from a small studio. Nine years on they are beloved for their happy-go-lucky prints – think sail boats, whimsical scenes and bold geometric patterns – all made from 100% organic cotton. And their keep-it-local philosophy: every piece is dreamt up, screen printed and stitched in NYC.
Designer llama Anger started Little Lief as a reaction to NY’s stonking hot summers; she wanted to dress her little girl Lief in clothes that were practical and pretty but worked in 90 plus temperatures. So she’s obsessive about using natural fabrics and LL is a polyester-free zone. Expect breezy cotton jumpsuits, snug woolen sweaters and bags of personality in all her pieces – just look at this super-sweet button dress. These are clothes that you’ll hand down to the next generation of little-uns.
Happy Shopping! XO