on the inside with tina barry

March 2003: Freshly Minted Collections and a Few Returning Stars

There were enough new designers at the ENK Children's Club show, held from March 9-11 at the Jacob Javits Center, to provide buyers with fresh and exciting new merchandise. Some of the designers traveled from abroad to make their American debut. With the state of the U.S. economy and, at the time of the show, our pre-war jitters, these gutsy newcomers must be commended for their optimism.

Below are a few designers exhibiting for the first time. Each of their collections was well crafted and a pleasure to discover. The groups exhibited by manufacturers with two or three shows under their belts, get better and better.



DESIGNER: Margarita Nolan

Margarita Nolan named her collection after her muse PIF (means nose in French). PIF, who happens to be Nolan's cat, has inspired some sophisticated dress and sportswear reminiscent of Fortuny pleated silks. Nolan heat-sets the pleats and sometimes adds beading. Are they washable? "I throw them in the washing machine," she said, "the pleats never come out."

Sizes: 2-12; Wholesale prices: $36-$43.


Outstanding Pieces: The pleated top in light, dusty rose with the full, rose-colored silk skirt. No other collection had anything like it.

90 Prince Street, Penthouse
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 212-274-8515 Fax: 212-941-7007
E-mail: margaritanolan@msn.com


DESIGNER: Patrizia Shelabarger

March was the American debut for this Italian line. Theatre de la Mode is designer Patrizia Shelabarger's take on couture wear for children. The collection includes over-embroidered, fleece lined, silk coats that look like vintage kimonos, hand appliquéd and embroidered skirts, and grown up, body-conscience wool sweaters in rich tones of wine.

Sizes: one year-14; Wholesale prices: $36-$120.

Outstanding Pieces: The color block sweater and wine colored, boiled wool skirt with floral embroidery and sequins. That skirt could be framed and hung in someone's dining room.

Theatre de la mode
Enrique Roland
762 41st Street
Miami Beach, FL 33140
Tel: 305-531-0130 Fax: 305-538-5910
E-mail: rolandl@bellsouth.net


DESIGNER: Kathie Sever

Kathie Sever offers Western-style shirts and dresses for the urban cowgirl. Her t-shirts are hand-printed with cowgirls, cowpokes and horses. Yee-haw!

Sizes: 6 months - 6; Wholesale prices: $13-$41.

Outstanding Pieces: White piping and snaps highlight red, black or floral print dresses. Great for a funky boutique and what a window display!

PO Box 33303
Austin, TX 78764
Tel: 512-619-0371 Fax: 888-753-8634
E-mail: Kathie@ramonsterwear.com


DESIGNER: Jaleh Teymourian

Teymourian uses a fairy tale to narrate her Fall 2003 catalogue. "Just like Anna," says the mother to the child, "you are different, wonderfully different. I think that's marvelous." Wonderfully different is how I'd describe Teymourian's collection. Her palette is deep wine, teal and cocoa enlivened with bright notes of deep pink and olive. Each kimono, apron dress or simple trouser is casually elegant and easy to move in.

Sizes: 3 months to 4T; Wholesale prices: $10.50-$60.

Outstanding Piece: The striped kimono top and layered gaucho pants. The teal piping outlines the clean lines of each piece and the roominess and double layers of the pants look fresh this season.

2246 32nd Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94116
Tel: 415-681-8604 Fax: 415-681-6621
E-mail: info@okandd.com


DESIGNER: Julia Cook

Each of designer Julia Cook's pieces are inspired by "Boo-Land" and "Tickittyboo Island" and its inhabitants the "Booma," but never mind that. Cook, the former head designer of the infamous Oilily line debuts her Alice in Wonderland-like collection that isn't a bit sweet. Mixing traditional tweeds with taffeta and velvet, sequins atop brushed flannel, and a camouflage t-shirt worn over a hand-embroidered floral skirt give you an idea of Cook's aesthetic.

Sizes: 2-8; Wholesale prices: $21-$70.

Outstanding Piece: The overprinted green tweed coat with the gorgeous garnet silk lining and the floral ruffle along the lining's hem that can only be glimpsed when the coat is open. Every little girl loves a secret!

The Cottage
The Street
Hartlip Sittingboure
Kent ME9 7TL England
Tel: +44 (0) 1795 842270 Fax: +44 (0)1795 841409
E-mail: boocatjulia@yahoo.com


DESIGNER: Eniko Danics

Danics does a beautiful job of coordinating simple sportswear that is perfect for any casual occasion. Her jumpers with matching, ribbon-trimmed t-shirts are feminine without being precious.

Sizes: 6 months to 4T; Wholesale prices: $10-$16.


Outstanding Piece: The flannel jumper in a pretty blue-on-blue floral with the light blue ribbon-trimmed t-shirt. The set is soft inside and out thanks to double brushing, and special enough for the first day of school.

7614 Hampton Avenue, Suite 2
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Tel: 323-839-3093 Fax: 323-512-6169
E-mail: eniweardesign@yahoo.com



DESIGNER: Tanja Bucur

Groovy, baby! This new kid on the block's line of bright, hand-knit striped knitwear has a 60's vibe. Great for layering over boys' t-shirts, print dresses - anything.

Sizes: 12 months - 14; Wholesale prices: $30-$50.


Outstanding Piece: If Missoni dropped acid he'd knit a vest like Bucur's over-the-rainbow stripes with bright red trim.

16 Spinnaker Street #3
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: 310-827-7988 Fax: 310-827-6208
E-mail: tbucur@bonbonelknits.com


DESIGNER: Stacey Zinman

Get in line before Sarah Jessica Parker, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Madonna buy out Bloom Love's sweaters for baby. Each cotton sweater is colored in tones of white, pale blue, pale pink and buttercup. They're classic.

Sizes: Newborn to 24 months; Wholesale prices: $28-$59.


Outstanding Piece: The sweaters are sweet, but the black and white poncho has real panache.

2934 Beverly Glen Circle, Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Tel: 310-441-3555 Fax: 310-388-3020
E-mail: stacey@bloomlove.com


DESIGNER: Andrea McNeill

Starry Nights is a new division of the six-year-old company Beaux Enfants. Designer McNeill does a great job making thermal knitwear look fresh and playful. Stretch denim, satin trim, and color combinations like pale yellow and sage or pink and navy make this line a must-have for gift wear boutiques.

Sizes: infant to 6 years.
Outstanding Piece: The stretch denim set with pink satin-cuffed pant and matching T-shirt. The pieces are comfortable enough to crawl on the floor in and pretty enough for a photograph.
22031 Independencia Street
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Tel: 818-884-4020 Fax: 818-884-4150
E-mail: sales@starrynites.com



DESIGNERS: Shayna Samuels and Joe Willis

There's nothing like a good hook and Samuels and Willis have a great one. Their t-shirts, one-pieces and hooded sweatshirts are embroidered with the names of cities and boroughs. How could a store not stock them?

Sizes: newborn to age 12; Wholesale prices: $9.50-$24

Outstanding Pieces: I loved the colors - khaki, olive, dusty red and light gray - of the pieces and the hooded sweatshirt, embroidered with the word Brooklyn, is perfect for the outer-borough baby.
1025 North Kings Road, Suite 212
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tel: 323-822-0581 Fax: 323-822-0898
E-mail: citythreads@aol.com


DESIGNERS: Andy Nistal and Mariana DeBoer

The t-shirts in the Viva La Pepa (means let's have fun in Spanish) collection have just enough couture touches - like hand-embroidery, beading and interesting color blocking - to make them special.

Sizes: infant to 8 years; Wholesale prices: $25-70.
Outstanding Piece: The blue t-shirt with the red sleeves. The faux elbow patches trimmed in navy and the hand-beaded bug crawling along the front are fun indeed.
Mercotrade Corporation
9684 SW 99th Street
Miami, FL 33176
Tel: 305-595-0332 Fax: 304-598-8380
E-mail: gabrielb@bellsouth.net


PETUNIA PICKLE BOTTOM (Children's Business Fresh Face Winner 2002)


This was the first New York show for three-year-old Petunia Pickle Bottom. Jones' line consists of ten pieces - five backpacks and five toddler totes. Each bag opens into a changing pad and has pockets to hold bottles, diapers and the necessary paraphernalia. The bags are practical yet it's the silky kimono-inspired textiles that are the real draw.

Sizes: backpack and the new, smaller "quick trip" transitional bag; Wholesale prices: small $63. Backpack $69.


Outstanding Piece: The kimono silk bags in light blue and beige. Elegant.

305 South Kalorama Street, Suite E
Ventura, CA 93001
Tel: 805-643-6697 Fax: 805-643-6672
E-mail: korie@petuniapicklebottom.com


DESIGNER: Kris Pettit

Kris Pettit wouldn't be surprised if you called her company "pure fluff." Her infant slippers made of angora come in 15 colors from bright to white. They're as light as air and as soft as kittens.

Sizes: newborn to six months and six months to 10 months; Wholesale price: $27.50.


Outstanding Piece: Pettit only manufacturers one style; why tamper with perfection?

E-mail: yomybooties@yahoo.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. This year, Tina begins teaching a marketing course at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.