What's New: The March Children's Club Show

The fall/winter 2004 ENK show at the Javits Center (March 7-9) was notable for several reasons. The exhibition featured more start up collections than any show in three years. Some of the collections were impressive for their originality and craftsmanship; others featured a few pieces that revealed the designer's potential. And several exhibitors were former students of the children's wear class that James and I teach at F.I.T. - they wowed us with their carefully conceived lines, great booths and all around professionalism.




DESIGNER: Karen Oronte

Sizes: 12 months to 10; Wholesale prices: Contact manufacturer

Karen Oronte, NickNackPattyWack's designer, produced a first collection for boys and girls that's as playful as its name. Great knits in vibrant colors coordinate with up-market printed separates. Look for the company's freewheeling pieces in the March issue of Children's Business magazine - not a bad way to start!

Outstanding Pieces: "Patty," NNPW's girls' group, features a soft gold tunic and baby soft cords perfect for a day of blowing bubbles. The company's "CJ Jackson" collection for boys offers an elegant cotton vest and matching polo shirt in a sophisticated orange, lime and blue knit.

Lynn Meyer Showroom

34 West 33rd Street, Suite 322

New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212-947-5522

E-mail: lmeyerinc@aol.com


Outside New York contact: gay_hart@bellsouth.net



DESIGNER: Clarissa Lupton

Sizes: 6 months to 6X; Wholesale prices: $10-$25

The simple jumpers and great shirts make this tiny collection a breeze to merchandise.


Outstanding Pieces: The slim fit, pink, beige and cocoa color combinations, and the great mix of vintage and modern prints add up to a winning design.

Jack's Rack (Jack Harlan)

2000 Hamilton Street, Suite 41

Philadelphia, PA 19130

Tel: 215-656-3174

E-mail: jacksrack@comcast.net

tel: 512-291-8972

email: info@babytalavera.com




DESIGNER: Amy Walton

Sizes: 3 months to 10 years; Wholesale prices: $30-$111

Amy Walton's gorgeous collection isn't cheap, but each garment in the line is a treasure. Her Fair Isle-style sweaters are cropped short. Her coats are as elegant as anything you'll find in adult couture collections, and the fabrics she uses are drool-worthy.

Outstanding Pieces: The double-breasted coat in pale pink and deep coral tweed worn over a Liberty print dress in a light gray, cocoa and blue stylized floral pattern. If that outfit doesn't announce a parent's good taste than nothing will.

49 Tregunter Road

London, SW10 9LG England

Tel: 44-20-737-010-02

Tel: 44 (0) 20 7589 7001



DESIGNERS: The Colour design team

Sizes: 2 to Junior 1; Wholesale prices: $9-$21

John and Shelly Blye of JSB Sales have added Colour, a funky, casual, tween and junior line to their collections.

Outstanding Pieces: The lipstick red striped t-shirt over the bright blue striped tee and the red mini. The look straddles sport-inspired pieces and retro sixties style with a touch of sex appeal. What tween wouldn't love that?

JSB Sales

34 West 33rd Street, Suite 318

New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212-695-4112

E-mail: jsbsalesinc@aol.com




DESIGNER: Dagmar Daley

Sizes: 18 months to 6; Wholesale prices: $11-$80

Just a few months after the debut of Dagmar Daley's first collection, two of her outfits made the cover of Child magazine. Daley is influenced by vintage styles, but her pieces are frou-frou free. Just the essence of a 1950's dress - a drop-waisted, multi-gored skirt on a silhouette with no other detail - is a signature of her understated look.

Outstanding Piece: The three-button swing coat in rich blue tweed. It will remind you of your grandma's outerwear but softer, lighter - better.

108 Fair Oaks

San Francisco, CA 94110

Tel: 415-641-1286

E-mail: dagmardaley@mindspring.com



DESIGNERS: Maryellen Donadio and Michelle McCartan

Sizes: 18 months to 6; Wholesale prices: $6.50-$38

Donadio and McCartan give polar fleece a fresh take with their new collection of poncho-shaped, hooded capes.

Outstanding Piece: Dr. Zhivago meets The Mod Squad in the gray, shawl hooded cape with a generous, face framing hood trimmed with soft white faux fur.

4699 Redeux Court

Doylestown, PA 18901

Tel: 215-260-3800

E-mail: giggleadvisors@gigglekidz.com



THE PUUR COLLECTION: Importer Jinny Boer exhibited a collection of bold infant and toddler collections of sportswear, hats and toys from the Netherlands.


DESIGNER: Jacqueline van Nieuwkerk

Sizes: Newborn to 3; Wholesale prices: Contact Jinny Boer

Sporty separates in bright, funky color combinations are the key to this boys' and girls' collection.


Outstanding Piece: The zip-front velour and wool baseball jacket with a single faux patch on one sleeve. The combinations of blues and red, blues and brown, and cocoa, forest green and gold are unusual.



DESIGNER: Ineke Grovenstein

Sizes: fits babies through toddler; Wholesale prices: Contact Jinny Boer

The hats are knit in rich reds, cocoa and deep blues. The shapes fit snuggly to the head; a few styles have flaps to cover little ears. The look will remind you of flying aces and hippies.

Outstanding Piece: The grandma's crocheted afghan cap with earflaps. You won't find a hipper looking hat in any collection.

Puur, Inc.

350 7th Avenue, Suite 1603

New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212-239-1805

E-mail: jinny@puurinc.com



DESIGNER: Laurie Rasch

Sizes: Newborn to 6 Wholesale prices: $4.50-$25

Look for Laurie Rasch's organic cotton collection when buying for kids is about comfort, practicality, and understated good looks.


Outstanding Piece: Rasch's garment-dyed, deep red cotton dress can go to school, a casual birthday party or any not-too-dressy occasion. The light blue stitching along the sleeves and puckered front bodice give the dress a little panache.

1355 South Mesa Court

Superior, Colorado 80027

Tel: 303-543-5766

E-mail: laurie@supstitches.com




DESIGNER: Bernadette Villard

Sizes: Newborn to 8; Wholesale prices: $21-$63

Cashmere, raw silk and embroidered wool are a few of the fine textiles found in Bernadette Villard's first collection.


Outstanding Piece: The red, silk-lined coat with the modern, Asian-inspired shape and details. Like any great work of art, the design looks effortless.

22 Rue Beaujon

Paris, 75008 France

Tel: 33-60-8742-454



DESIGNERS: The Mila Schon design team

Sizes: 5-14; Wholesale prices: $40-$130

The fabrics. The craftsmanship. Utterly chic.

Outstanding Dress: Photos don't do this stunning dress justice. The charcoal wool body of the dress is soft to the touch and its full lining has that "swoosh" sound when the dress moves. The insets in the dress's skirt and the rich off-white floral embroidery add playfulness. Hands down the greatest dress at the show.

C & C Childrenswear

131 West 33rd Street, Suite 911

New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212-564-3031

Email: sales@cc-childrenwear.com



DESIGNER: Julie Barger

Sizes: 3 months to 16; Wholesale prices: $33-$38

Layer it on! Julie Barger's one-of-a-kind denims sport a treasure trove of flea market patches and funky trims.


Outstanding Pieces: The jackets with their lovely hand-embroidered pieces make great gifts.

1015 New Hampshire Avenue

Lynchburg, VA 24502

Tel: 434-846-0471


Email: info@morfsbrand.com



DESIGNER: Lauren Gropp

Sizes: 3 months to 4; Wholesale prices: $12-$35

There's nothing tiny about designer Lauren Gropp's talent. Her first collection for infant boys gives stylish mothers everything they're looking for - a mix-and-match group of coordinates in unusual colors and simple shapes. Solids in deep teal, pumpkin, cocoa and gray, pair with richly striped t-shirts, fleecy tops and velours. This line's a winner.


Outstanding Pieces: The Kimono jacket in deep cocoa lined with teal blue fleece and the lap-shouldered t-shirt in soft, horizontal stripes. Both pieces are cuddly and the colors make an impact.

8-10 West 19th Street, 10th Floor

New York, NY 10011

Tel: 917-922-9327

E-mail: lauren@tinyrhino.com




DESIGNER: Jennifer Hughes

Sizes: 3 to 24 months; Wholesale prices: $13-$15

"You gotta have a gimmick," according to the great Broadway show "Gypsy." Hughes' is creating adorable one-pieces that mimic layered garments. Hidden snaps under shirt collars allow easy entry, and each piece opens with snaps at the crotch for a quick diaper change.

Outstanding Piece: A mother will be complimented for the time and care spent selecting the beige sweatshirt with snap detail and the rust bottoms with the cozy, quilted knee pads. Only she'll know it took two minutes to dress her son.

526 West 14th Street, Suite 266

Traverse City, MI 49684

Tel: 888-440-3013

E-mail: JHughes@stylease.com




DESIGNER: Tree Brush

Sizes: 3 months to 4; Wholesale prices: $13-$25

The little bit of Lycra in Tree Brush's cotton wrap tops give the pieces body and endurance.


Outstanding Piece: The "Oonie." The top has an Asian feeling with its obi-like center panel and wrapped neckline. The piece comes in solid black and white or black and white with a cotton print center panel and trimmed sleeves. Great with jeans.

145 Barrington Road North

Horseheads, New York 14845

Tel: 607-796-0224

E-mail: tree@togs2go.com




DESIGNER: Lynn Coffland

Sizes: 6 months to 6; Wholesale prices: $12-$45

Lynn Coffland showed two groups: Black and pink pieces with a 1950's feel, and "Tribute to Kate" an elegant gray and taupe group.

Outstanding Pieces: The no-fuss pieces in "Tribute to Kate" captured the late actors throwaway glamour. A dress is given a grown up twist with a silk ruffle at the neckline and cuffs and a square, rhinestone belt buckle. Hepburn would've swooned over the unembellished beige top and cuffed wool pants with a big silk bow in place of a belt.

P.O. Box 39398

Baltimore, Maryland 21212

Tel: 443-858-8848

E-mail: sales@zeezeegrowing.com





DESIGNER: Bernadette Chen

Sizes Newborn to 3; Wholesale prices: $26-$80

When you're paying for cashmere it's nice to get versatile pieces too. Many of the garments in Bernadette Chen's silk and cashmere collection are reversible so a single garment can have different personalities.


Outstanding Pieces: The pale, gray-blue cashmere top with deep charcoal blue star details on the sleeves and matching pants. Turned inside out the look is as dramatic as the evening sky lit with silvery stars.

115 West California Boulevard, Suite 320

Pasadena, CA 91105

Tel: 310-766-7661

E-mail: bernadette@fleur-de-chine.com





DESIGNER: Cleo Sofra

Sizes: Newborn to 7; Wholesale prices: Contact manufacturer

They're not kidding when they say "couture." Each garment in this special occasion collection, designed and manufactured in Greece, has the dressmaking details one finds in costume work. Hand embroidery, hand-stitched bodices and full linings make each exquisite dress or boy's ensemble an heirloom.

Outstanding Pieces: The Christening gown with matching velvet jacket. Days went into the hand-tucked pleats and pale pink embroidery on this fantasy dress. The quilted velvet jacket with soft fur trim keeps baby warm and smartly dressed.

2000 North Florida Mango, Suite 203

West Palm Beach, Florida 33409

Tel: 561-478-5849

E-mail: eva@sofracouture.com





DESIGNER: Cathy Berse-Hurley

If Berse-Hurley's collection of backpacks reminds you of the fine crafts pieces seen in museum gift shops, there's a reason for that. She's been selling to better boutiques and museums for eight years. ENK was her first trade show. Each of Berse-Hurleys intricately pieced, faux-leather designs, with their graphic animal portraits, will delight kids who possess a strong sense of personal style.


Outstanding Piece: The yellow rectangular pack with the red giraffe head. The heart-shaped ears pop up.

315 Lost Lake Drive

Groton, MA 01450

Tel: 978-449-0222

E-mail: info@littlepackrats.com





DESIGNER: Andrea Ljustina

Sizes: 3 months to 6; Wholesale prices: $37-$85

Ljustina added ponchos to Bognar & Piccolini's second collection of casual dresses and sweaters.


Outstanding Piece: The light, alpaca wool and silk poncho in natural oatmeal and soft russet makes the perfect cover up on cool fall days and chilly evenings. Add the matching beret and the look is about as cute as it gets.

2606 Ponce De Leon

Coral Gables, Florida 33134

Tel: 305-444-2278

E-mail: jcannan@bellsouth.net




DESIGNER: Doug Cooper

Sizes: 12 months to 13; Wholesale prices: $7.50-$60

Each booty, cap, poncho, and sweater is hand-knit of 100 percent Merino wool and hand dyed by artisans in the Mexican state of Michoacan. The colors are intense and furry loops of "shag" are important features.


Outstanding Piece: Think of a rainbow on acid and you've got this poncho's vibe.

4394 North Talmadge Drive

San Diego, CA 92116

Tel: 619-795-6868

E-mail: info@chibella.com




DESIGNER: Zna Houston

Sizes: 4 to 16; Wholesale prices: contact manufacturer

Zna Houston started her collection with t-shirts sporting "Heirnyms" or words that sound the same but have a different meaning or spelling. "Something is in the heir," was one of them. For fall, Houston adds sportswear with a hip-hop vibe.


Outstanding Piece: The heavily fringed, furry poncho in sky and deep blue. What's wrong with putting on heirs?

6651 Garth Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90056

Tel: 310-702-7175

E-mail: info@heirapparel.com





DESIGNER: Anne-Claire Petit

Wholesale prices: Contact Jinny Boer

Anne-Claire Petit crochets a menagerie of charming animals for babies. They're soft to the touch and the colors are a little different than you'll find in American nurseries.


Outstanding Piece: All of the animals are crib worthy.

Puur, Inc.

350 7th Avenue, Suite 1603

New York, NY 10001

Tel: 212-239-1805

E-mail: jinny@puurinc.com



By Carin Berger (Chronicle Books, 2004, $15.95)


First time author Carin Berger's book is marketed to children ages four and up, but parents will love it for its humorous rhymes and elegant cut paper illustrations. Berger, a New York-based designer and illustrator, uses animal characters riding trains and driving galactic cars to narrate her story.

For more information, call 1-800-722-6657.


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