on the inside with tina barry

Spring 2002 Designer Roundup: New lines we loved, and a few lingering passions

At jamesgirone.com discovering new talent is one of the most exciting aspects of our work. We visited the International Kids Fashion Show and the Children's Club trade shows held October 13-17 in the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and we were delighted by the abundance of great new lines, and happy to see established lines still looking fresh and fashion forward. For buyers who missed the shows (and recent events kept some people home) we are happy to share our finds with you.

If you're one of the many consumers who log onto our site: keep an eye out for the companies mentioned below. Let your local boutiques know you're interested in what you've seen here. The stores will appreciate the tip and the designers will thank you for spreading the word.

Brand New Lines - Ready for Prime Time


Designer, Tanya Amari

In her senior year, Tanya Amari won the prestigious Medal Of Honor in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. It's easy to see why. The recent graduate and Brooklyn native, debuted a collection of modern sportswear pieces that incorporated great tailoring with an eye for color and well-placed detail.

Her collection uses men's wear striped shirting and simple solids in 100 percent pima cotton and linen, but masculine it's not. Mixing neutrals like grays and creams, with dusty pink, light soft blues and a shot of red give the pieces a feminine spin. Simple touches like a small ruffle around the collar of a blouse or delicate buttons add to the charm.

Outstanding piece: Cut from several swatches of striped men's shirting, her mini skirt with a diagonal zipper is a master piece of engineering.

Look for a review of her line in an upcoming issue of Children's Business Magazine.

IVKA, 162 5th Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217

Tel. 718-230-0404, Fax. 718-398-4088, email: ivka22@hotmail.com



Designer, Linde Schlumbohm

Can a person who spent nine years designing jeans for cowboys become a success in the children's wear industry? Yes, if you're Linde Schlumbohn. After selling her line on the internet, Schlumbohn now markets her pieces the old fashioned way. This was her second season selling in the Javits Center.

With an emphasis on infant and toddler boy's wear, Schlumbohm's line is surprisingly sophisticated, with very little blue and not a baseball in sight. Schlumbohm uses ultra-soft linens and brushed cottons with a few playful, 40's inspired prints and solids. A scaled down, boomerang pattern in shades of aqua, lime, black and red was used to great effect in a boxy boy's camp shirt. Rich neutrals in tones of light rust, cocoa, gray and red are used for coordinating solid pieces. Girls look adorable in Studio Bini's pink gingham sundress with a full skirt and interesting button details.

Outstanding Piece: An infant boys short sleeved romper. Designed in either a dusty yellow and khaki combination, or in red and gray, this one-piece is sweet without being girly, and retro without the kitsch.

STUDIO BINI, Julien Design Studio, Inc., 3257 W. 23rd Ave., Denver, CO.

80211 Tel. 303-477-0561, Fax. 303-477-0682, email: lindebohm@aol.com



Designer, Barbara Heil Dean

This is the first show for the Gabby Girls line, a division of The Gabriella Company based in St. Peters, Missouri. What sets this line apart from the others, is Dean's use of unexpected color combinations and the hand-stitched quality of embroidery on the bodices. Pima cotton and silk are her fabrics of choice. Touches like rickrack around a Peter Pan collar give the dresses a lighthearted charm.

Outstanding Piece: A sleeveless silk dress in shades of tomato, light rust and a vivid green. The colors have a sophisticated sparkle and the delicate embroidery is finely sewn. It's an heirloom in the making.

GABBY GIRLS, 6 Crainbrooke Court, St. Peters, Missouri 63376

Tel. 877-706-0700, www.thegabriellacompany.com


I AM . . . .

Designer, Janet Holmes

Specialty dresses make up the I am . . . line. Described as "dreamy," these ethereal creations are dreamy, indeed. A refined sensibility, a great eye for color, and a knack for picking prints, give this line its edge. Luxurious fabrics like silk charmeus, silk shantung and soft netting, sometimes embellished with sequins, have a rich kid flavor. A pale green dress, with a crisscrossed ribbon at the waist, would make any little girl feel like a graceful ballerina.

Outstanding Piece: The bias-cut silk charmeus dress is a beauty in an antique inspired floral. A "tweenage" dream come true.

I am . . . P.O. Box 451, Pawling, NY 12564

Tel. 212-802-5055



Designer, Brigid Shannon

Shannon, along with business partner Melissa Strange, unveiled a line of hip flannel blankets with matching teddy bears. Although their trademark is "something sweet for the sweet thing in your life," it's the happy modern feeling of the prints in not so sweet colors like gray, aqua and cocoa that sets this line of blankets apart from the crowd. Fabrications are soft and trims like rickrack, or a small fringe finish the blankets with style.

Outstanding Piece: All 4 colorways of a very stylized animal head print are terrific. The flip-side is a fun, confetti dot. Add a matching teddy bear and you have the perfect gift for baby boys!

BEBE BLANKETS L.L.C., 86 SW Century Drive #166, Bend, OR 97702

Tel. 541-390-7676, email: contact@bebeblankets.com, www.bebeblankets.com


Nearly New and Gaining Momentum


Designer, Eileen Haber

Eileen Haber bills her line as "Retro clothes for kids" and, it's an apt description. Retro-inspired textiles and simple styling give the designs a decidedly 50's flavor. The craftsmanship is impeccable, and the shapes are cut with enough ease to keep squirmy kids comfortable. Matching hats pull the look together.

Outstanding Piece: An infant dress with a white Peter Pan collar looked old fashioned, but its print, in a dusty rose with soft gray flowers seemed right at home in 2002.

Natalie and Friends, 131 West 33rd St., Ste. 401, NYC 10001

Tel. 212-947-2019, Fax. 212-947-2019, email: natnfrnds@aol.com



Designer, Claudia Anderson

For Claudia Anderson shopping the world for one-of-a-kind textiles is all part of the job. Keeping shapes simple lets the textiles shine, and adding special trims like lace and embroidered ribbon, make this line a "must-have" for the boutique trade.

Outstanding Piece: A simple A-line divided into 3 diagonal bands. Each band is a different textile, and the tones of soft periwinkle and rose have a vintage quality. The look is simple and clean, not fussy.

CLAUDIA ANDERSON, 1829 Palmer Ave. #C-2, Larchmont, NY 10538

Tel. 914-834-7270



Designer, Shannon Svensrud

Before Shannon Svensrud begins designing she asks herself one basic question, "Would I wear this if I were ten?" And, children of all ages have enthusiastically said "yes" to her funky sportswear looks. The pieces are all cotton or linen and her shapes have a 60's sensibility. Her forte is picking the perfect print to complement her designs. An apple green, two-piece skirt set, with big orchid colored flowers, could go from a day at the country club to a pizza party in the evening.

Outstanding Piece: A beige linen dress printed with aqua and cocoa bubbles, teamed with an aqua cardigan. The shape is serious but the pattern will make you smile. The color combination looks especially fresh this season.

KIDS WEAR THIS, 407 California St. #8, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Tel. 650-473-9690, Fax. 208-730-5526, email: shannon@kidswearthis.com, www.kidswearthis.com


Older lines that keep getting better


Designers, Lauren Murphy and Celeste Bayer

This company keeps getting better (and bigger!) Not willing to coast along on the success of their toddler line this designing duo have added layette groups to their lineup. Using only super soft, 100% organic cotton, colored with low impact fiber reactive dyes, the pieces are fashionable, comfortable and practical. Buyers and celebrities such as Tea Leoni and Cyndi Lauper love this line, and the media thinks it's special, too. Oprah featured it in O Magazine and InStyle liked it enough to feature it in the What's Hot for Tots page.

Outstanding Piece: The Cardigan Kit contains a French terry cardigan, knit pants and a knit hat. Presented in a wooden basket and tied with a bow, it's a great gift idea that's perfect for a baby shower.

LAURENCELESTE, 1800 West Larchmont Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60613

Tel. 773-281-1960, Fax. 773-281-2710, email: contact@laurenceleste.com, www.laurenceleste.com



Designer, Barbara Wilk

Going strong for twelve years, the Sprouties line still looks trendy and fun. A-line dresses in splashy cartoon prints are a hoot, and solid colored T-shirts worn with comic book print bell-bottoms make a great gift set.

Outstanding Piece: The A-line dress with a smooching comic book couple. The bubble over their heads reads "true love."

SPROUTIES, INC., 11135 Blix St., W. Toluca Lake, CA

Tel. 818-760-4060, Fax. 818-760-0345



Designer, Uli Belenky

Who doesn't love this line? Each season Belenky and company come up with the freshest colors and cutest prints and, it's no exception for pring 2002. Using a palette of bright pastels to color a modish floral print, and adding lots of great stripes, her "Collectibles" group wins Best in Show in the infant knitwear category.

Outstanding Piece: I can't be limited to one. The Flower Power print shirt, the wide striped hooded jacket and the crocheted, flower strewn tank all get the thumbs up.

ZUTANO, 1785 Coits Pond Rd., Cabot, VT 05647

Tel. 800-287-5139, Fax. 802-563-2174 email: zutano@zutano.com, www.zutano.com




















Tina Barry has been involved in many facets of the fashion world. She has traveled domestically and to Europe to research color and design trends. For many years she styled textiles for the apparel and home furnishing industries. After designing her own line of children's wear she now freelances as a children's wear buyer and private label designer. In the Fall of 200l Tina will begin teaching a marketing course at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.