Last week we went to scope out Playtime New York, the springtime get together of more than 120 indie kids brands from around the world. It was a total inspiration. Here are the 10 things we learnt. Warning..this article will induce the need to shop!
1. THIS SUMMER’S HOTTEST ACCESSORY IS GONNA BE PACK-MAN SUNGLASSES. Canadian duo Shiva and Calvin are pros when it comes to cool, handmade shades. Their new XO and Pac-Man styles stood out from the crowd – find them at Barney’s, Yoya and Stork.
2. MINI BAKERS HAVE NEVER BEEN BETTER DRESSED. Australian native, Brooklyn Flea regular and mom to little Ned and Opal, Odette Williams churns out beautifully crafted items like apron sets, tees and wall art from her NYC studio. We adore her stars and ice cream apron kits.
3. WE NOW ONLY WANT TO BUY FAIR TRADE BLANKIES. As a child, Sarah Lin was so attached to her ‘elephant-pei’ blanket that she would clutch onto its corners as it hung out to dry on the washing line. So it’s little surprise that she’s started her own business; Elliefunday, creating organic, fair trade muslin blankies.
4. THE CO-FOUNDER OF ALLEGRIA IS LAUNCHING A KIDS LABEL… AND IT’S SERIOUSLY CUTE. Lula Aldunate’s style philosophy (think vibrant Latin fabrics, classic European prints and whimsical crafts), is so popular with clients at her Williamsburg boutique, Allegria, that launching her own label was inevitable. A mix of beautifully constructed dresses, shirts, waistcoats and pantaloons in dainty floral and fiery Mexican hues, Lulaland will launch this spring.
5. THINGS GET WAY MORE AWESOME WHEN THEY’VE BEEN KNITTED OUT OF SOFTEST ALPACA. Oeuf won us over with snuggly ‘Viva Brooklyn’ sweaters, knitted taxis, rats, coffee cups and a killer-cute fox outfit.
6. UNICORNS ARE THE NEW TEDDY BEAR. Known for their 100% cotton, hand-made in Peru knitted cuddly creatures, eco-minded Blabla have come up trumps with their newest addition to the crew: a sweet little unicorn.
7. FRUIT IS FOR YOUR HAIR (AS WELL AS FOR SNACKS). We loved this trio of fruit-inspired hair clips from Cali-brand Hello Shiso, known for their adorable, ultra affordable kids accessories (think dainty cat head bands and color blocked bow tie clips).
8. NEONS + STRIPES + STARS ARE THE DREAM COMBO. German-based clothier Noé & Zoë, purveyors of zingy bright prints, hand-stamped patterns and star-emblazoned onesies, celebrate their third birthday this year. Their new candy-pink-on-tangerine zip-up sweater (below, left) was one of the show’s most coo-ed over items.
9. THE WORLD’S MOST HIPSTER KIDS BOOKS ARE MADE IN BROOKLYN. We love the ethos behind Brooklyn book makers Home Grown Books. The founder is reading expert, Kyla Ryman, who teams with artists to create innovative sets of children’s books. Each is printed in South Slope using wind power, recycled paper, and no-VOC vegetable inks. Their newest release, “The Adventuering Set” features the work of watercolor artist Case Jernigan. They also sell a trio of hard-to-resist Alpaca knitted animals (below right).
10. KIDS BACKPACKS ARE NOW NICER THAN OURS. We flipped right past the adult offerings in Herschel’s new catalogue, because the kids versions were just way cuter – covered with zippy prints like hound dogs, tiny race horses, vibrant polka dots and tartan.