Holiday Sparkle! Chatting with Little Miss Galia

little miss galia

Holidays are approaching fast! Besides gifts, it’s time to pick out holiday outfits for those yearly family portraits or holiday cards. One of our favorite go-to haute-labels is Little Miss Galia, made for the coolest, cutest, most fashion-forward little girls. From the funky leopard tights to the sequin covered tee, Little Miss Galia separates are definitely must-haves! This week we got to catch up with the label’s founder, Alia Charvel. She gives us the scoop of what it takes to design clothing for young girls, her inspirations and what to expect for her upcoming collection for Spring 2015.

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Little Miss Galia was named after your daughter-is your daughter’s personality reflected in the line? Has it changed with her as she grows and builds her character?

The line is a reflection of Galia’s personality, cool yet girly. By age three, she was wrapping mannequins with fabrics and pins and making her own designs. She is four years old now, and the more she grows the greater the influence she has on my work. Now Galia’s starting to tell me what she wants to see in the line! The evolution of the brand is really reflected in the SS15 collection.

For me, the color and the kind of fabrics define the path of each new collection. Galia’s influence is seen throughout the line, from the color stories to the cuts and folds of the fabric.

My daughter has a strong influence on me even when it comes to choosing a color palette. While she doesn’t directly determine what colors make the season’s collection, I look to her for color inspiration. I always like to see what colors she paints her nails because she has a knack for picking future color trends!

How do you distinguish your line from others in the market?

I work hard to translate current trends from women’s fashion into pieces for the little ones. My brand is unique, creating timeless looks that are current yet classic at the same time.

Were you a super-fashionable kid? What’s your style now?

I’ve always loved fashion and have dressed myself since I can remember. I remember wearing my mom’s sweaters even though they would come down to my knees. Oh, and she had this great black hat that I loved to wear them with! I was always trying to dress like an adult when I was a kid. I don’t know that I have a defined style. While I enjoy fashion, I always put my own clean and minimalistic spin on current trends.

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When designing specific pieces how do you go about mixing materials and making patterns that are trendy yet stylish? What materials do you like to work with? Why?

The color and the different fabrics that I pick for each season are the two factors that define the path of the collection. Overall I like clean shapes and non-flashy fabrics. I’ll take a top from my fall collection and make it an open back for my spring line. Sometimes these uniquely reimagined designs end up becoming my statement pieces. I love tweeds because they have such a stylish feel. I like any fabric that has its own personality. For example, the animal themed fabrics from my fall 2014 collection were woven just beautifully. I also use vegan leather a lot because it adds some edge to the pieces.

Do moms provide with feedback on your designs? How do you go about incorporating what parents want into the cool fashionable approach?

Yes, I love feedback! I always listen to what my customers, especially their daughters, have to say about my work.

What did you do before this? What’s your background?

My background is in graphic design, and I have a degree in fashion as well. Before Little Miss Galia, I started a women’s clothing line under my name. That line was only sold in Mexico City. We were in our third season when I had Galia. I found it difficult to continue the line with my new role as a mom. Two years after she was born, I started Little Miss Galia to combine the two things that I love the most–my daughter and fashion.

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? Where do you spend it?

Winter is my favorite season. I love the cold weather, the Christmas trees, and the winter clothes. In Mexico we have a lot of traditions. My favorites are the posadas, or the big gatherings and parties held before Christmas each year. Galia gets so excited about Santa-it’s priceless! Overall, I just want to be with my family, in my hometown, or where I live in Monterrey.

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What do we have to look forward to for spring 2015?

Spring 2015 is super special for me because it’s back to basics. I created another women’s line using the same fabrics and styles as I did for Little Miss Galia. My concept is for mothers and daughters to dress alike without compromising style or practicality. I use the same fabrics and similar designs for both. For me, spring 2015 is a more polished collection. Think plenty of tweed, pastel colors with metallic accents, and statement pieces like open back dresses, and basics that work with everything. I really hope you like it!

Check out her most current collection at Babesta.com/threads. Interview by Maria Burgos

 

The Best Hot Chocolate in Tribeca is . . .

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Oh, have we got some awards to hand out! We’ve been traipsing around Tribeca in search of some sweet sips, and we have found a gold mine of deliciousness to be had in the area. Yes, it’s a job & someone’s gotta do it! Want to follow in our tracks? Here are the cocoas we’re just nuts about!

kitchenette

SUNDAY AFTERNOON PLAYDATE: Kitchenette (156 Chambers between Greenwich St. and West Broadway) This is a childhood sweet spot dream. Bring your child and a friend along for a delicious dessert during a playdate. Sample the colorful frosted cupcakes peering out behind the display amidst the cheery polka dot interior. Pure, silky and topped with tons of whipped cream and cinnamon or caramel to your liking this will definitely please the sweet tooth!

 

 

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DATE NIGHT NIGHTCAP: FIKA (450 Washington St. between Watts & Desbrosses) Psst…Mom and Dad you might want to leave the kids behind for this one. Need a chocolaty start to your morning or after-dinner liquid dessert? Well then Fika is the spot. Decadent, ultra-smooth, slightly bitter and made from the finest chocolate, FIKA has multiple awards to boast. The precision that goes into each cup is obvious from the handmade designs displayed right on top! The chocolate is so rich no whip cream necessary.

 

gee whiz

JUST BECAUSE: Gee Whiz (295 Greenwich St. corner of Warren St. heading North toward Chambers) This neighborhood diner is just the relaxing spot for the whole family after a weekend outing ice skating on the waterfront. Amid the hustle and bustle sit back and savor your hot chocolate. So creamy, the drink seemingly becomes more sugary with each delicious sip. Amid elaborate New York creations this is your classic hot chocolate.

 

 

laughing man

AFTER MORNING DROP OFF: Laughing Man (1 North End Avenue near Vesey St.) Enjoy the thickest, richest hot chocolate of the bunch. Stroll into this ultra-teensy super friendly neighborhood spot. Indulge after sending your tykes off to school for the day.  The frothiness hits you mouth after the first taste and the gourmet chocolate is evident and divine!

 

 

tribeca treats

AFTER SCHOOL PICK UP: Tribeca Treats (94 Reade between Church & West Broadway) Tribeca Treats is a truly aptly named bakery! Rush your kids here after school and let them see the bakers hard at work! Your kids will thoroughly enjoy all this shop has to offer. The chocolate is foamy, luscious and absolutely delectable! It will be hard looking around to settle on just hot chocolate!

 

 

kaffe 1668 hot chocolate

SATURDAY MORNING, WITH A BOOK (KIDS ARE AT PRACTICE) Kaffe 1668 (275 Greenwich St between Warren & Murray) Kaffe 1668 is kitsch chic. Have a few extra hours to yourself?  With its sheep décor this local coffee shop sets the mood to sit back and indulge- so do just that! The consistency is just right to linger with each sip. You’ll want to make this cup of cocoa last.

 

 

baked hot cocoa2After a Long & Busy & Hectic Day: Baked (279 Church Street between Franklin & White Streets) Long overdue for that 3 pm pick me up? Head into Baked as your day shuffling the kids around finally has a quiet moment. Opened for slightly longer than a week, in Tribeca, this Brooklyn original, has already made its mark on Church Street. Just walking inside will make your mouth water. Plus the super friendly service and numerous pastries make this bakery stop a must! The delectable hot chocolate is decked out with fresh marshmallows and an extra drizzle of dark chocolate sauce to add the perfect finishing touches. If you are in the mood to splurge try the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake perfect to share with you and your little one!

CHILL NIGHT IN: Your Apartment (Tribeca, NY) Want to spend some quality time at home time doing something creative? Why not! Make some hot cocoa of your own?! Let your kids grab their Yummy Pillow  for inspiration, take what you’ve learned from the hot chocolate  you’ve tried at local sweet spots, browse some tips  and then melt that chocolate away! Sip, Cozy Up & Repeat. -Pia Finnigan

Spotlight on a Growing Baby Empire & the Innovator Behind It All

Who would not want to cuddle up in a knit piece? As the weather chills we decided it was an ideal time to spotlight Lindsay Degen, Brooklyn-based designer of what is all the rage in babywear: babyDEGEN. Lindsay’s newest line (coming on the tails of her successful adult line DEGEN), slightly over a year old itself, is chock-full with hats, separates and booties to keep those tiny head to toes toasty. Irresistible, eye-catching, beautifully detailed are just a few of the superlatives we would use to describe the clothing and accessories crafted for infants to 24 months.
lindsay degen As we chatted with Lindsay we discovered her collaborative style, what drives her and how her knack for keeping classic knitwear current, wearable and all the rage lead to her taking on baby apparel!

Some very exciting things are happening for you as a designer right now! Congratulations on winning the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award in January and being featured by Vogue editor, Jorden Bickham, as one of her baby-sized fashion obsessions! How has the recent transition from DEGEN to babyDEGEN been overall?

Thank you! It has been great.  It’s funny how making the exact same products baby sized changes the appeal completely.  I think people see DEGEN as kind of out there, not wearable.  The same people have definitely been dressing there children in babyDEGEN which is just a scaled down version.  I love working in the baby market.  I find it a lot more fulfilling.  Seeing the garments on sweet, cute babies is the best.

BabyDEGEN baby model!You have said in other interviews that you wanted to keep the “cute” in baby apparel is that the biggest motivation behind babyDEGEN?

A lot of the other lines out there right now are very chic, minimal, and lux- in cashmere and neutral colors.  That stuff is too serious for me.  I prefer to dress babies in color and pattern.  I think when you have an adorable baby wearing color and pattern you smile at them.  Babies need to be smiled at.

What have been the most challenging and the most appealing aspects of designing for a much younger demographic?

The most challenging part is knowing what moms and dads want in apparel from a functionality standpoint.  I do not have a child so I learn things from parents every day about what they want.  It turns out its always more cardigans and layer-able clothes.

What are some of the most valuable lessons that you learned from RISD and Central Saint Martins where you studied?

I think the most important things I’ve learned from both schools is that the personal relationships you make during school are the most helpful part of school.  I work with a silk screener, web designer, fellow knitter, and hand drawn animator still to this day who I met at school.  We all help each other out. 

For your Spring 2013 collection of DEGEN you collaborated with Converse to create platform shoes based on children’s roller skates! How did that collaboration come about? Did that start your wheels turning for baby apparel or more specifically for the adorable knit baby booties?

I designed those Converses as a part of that collection and just reaching out to Converse to see if they wanted to do it.  They were immediately really interested and easy to work with.  I think all of my designs sort of have a childlike feel.  It was really my mom who pushed me to go into the baby market.

BabyDEGEN baby hat model! (2)We read you started knitting at any early age, after a gift of knitting needles from your grandmother! Is there a piece you created very early on that you keep today or would like to pass down someday? Do you have a piece from the most recent babyDEGEN collection that is a personal favorite?

I did! I started to knit when I was 3.  I have, here in my studio, the first scarf I ever made.  It still stays here as inspiration.  I tend to not like anything I make but then when I look back on it I feel more proud.  My favorite pieces from the season are the booties and hats.  The accessories are so playful and functional.  I love the idea of the shearling sole of the booties.  I wish I had some slippers like that!

We wouldn’t mind a pair either!! Your studio is located in Brooklyn Navy Yard, what are some of your favorite haunts in the neighborhood you can walk to even without booties?

The Navy Yard is actually a pretty desolate place so we usually step out for lunch.  My favorite spot nearby is Brooklyn Roasting Co on Flushing.  We also have a great supermarket that does packed lunches and deli sandwiches called Fresh Fanatic. 

Can you share any locations where you draw inspiration for some of your really bright and eye-catching designs, like the baby eyeball pants?

The most inspiring space for me is on my balcony over-looking Manhattan.  We have a great view.  I also get a lot of inspiration from my maker friends.  We all are constantly influencing one another.

Do you have any advice for designers that are starting out or trying to transition or branch out in their own lines?

My only advice is to take it day by day, enjoy the roller coaster, and when things are going really well celebrate. 

Interview by Pia Finnigan

Shop the entire babyDEGEN line

Get Fit at Babesta!

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We discovered a nifty new app that’s set to revolutionize kids shopping! We all know that there is no standard sizing in kids’ wear, and when the newest must-have fashion collection comes in for back-to-school, you don’t want to accidentally buy the wrong size. The AlvaKids mobile app, available on ioS and Android,  finds the right size for your kids in each brand you love. It’s simple to use, you just make a quick profile for your child with a few details (age, height, weight, body proportion) and then when shopping online or in-store, grab your phone, choose the child you want to buy for, pick the brand, and let the magic happen. AlvaKids will tell you the perfect size to buy (note you can share with friends & family, otherwise, only you can see your kids’ info). What a relief it is to leave fit up to Alva (named after the original smartypants Thomas Alva Edison) so you can focus on the fashion.  Now that’s geek chic!

Visit Babesta Threads November 10-17 to get “fit” by the AlvaKids fit app and get 10% off your same-day purchases.* The AlvaKids app can help you get ready for your oh-so-fashionable holiday wish list!  Make your wish list at Babesta here!

*Offers cannot be combined.

 

Rock out Your Nursery!

 

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Does your nursery rock? We’re mad about these standouts for baby and kids rooms. Give your crib some pizzazz with the coolest furniture and decor for kids. Clockwise: KISS Dolls by UglyDoll; Fresco Chrome Highchair by Bloom, Black+Silver, $550; Rocking Rabbit by Playsam, 4563, $190; Amsterdam Storage Cabinet by This is Dutch, 12658, $1299; Bee Igloo Striped Footmuff by 7AM Enfant, 14161, $102; Flip-In Hamper Bin by Oxo, 12858, $40; Loog 2 Guitar by Loog Guitars, 13017, $149; Vola Glider by Monte Design, Vola Glider Charcoal, $995; Travel Kid Light by Baby Bjorn, 18250, $299.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Must-Have Super-Cool Baby Shower Gifts

baby shower gifts Want to get Rock Star Gift-Giver status? Check out some of our favorite Baby Shower gifts that will be definite crowd pleasers! Clockwise from top: Brooklee Dr, Martens, $65; Metrocard Rattle, $16; BabyLit Sense & Sensibility board book, $19.99; Hansel from Basel Mexican wrestler socks, $10; 7AM Enfant Doudoune snowsuit, $98; Aden + Anais Twinkle gift set, $50; Late Greats Biggie Smalls doll, $39; BabyZen YoYo stroller, $469; Rockabye Baby David Bowie CD, $17; Rowdy Sprout Bob Dylan onesie, $37; Naif milky baby body oil, $17.95.

Why We’re Lovin’ It! 7AM Enfant Doudoune Snowsuit

7AM ENFANT DOUDOUNE SNOW SUIT BABY

Spotlight on: 7AM Doudoune buntings

We love the Doudoune for so many reasons. This is a great option for babies who are little and for whom a one-size-fits-most footmuff is cumbersome. They’re easy to get on and off with their two zippers (normal snowsuits have one zipper) and the legs can be separated or not, depending on whether they are chilling in a bassinet , being carried, or sitting up in a car seat or stroller. Not too many blankets fit comfortably without a lot of fabric when baby is strolling around in the bassinet, so this really fits the bill. There are even little hand coverings, a scarf and hood to keep fingers toasty when on the road.  The Doudoune also features waterproof fabric (so when you’re walking along the water (read into the wind) baby is better protected) and a plush inner making it super comfy.

It’s the snowsuit with the mostest! 

Trick or Treating, NYC-style

halloween treat

We’ve already gotten our candy ready (we are trying to not nibble throughout the week!) so be sure to come by on the 31st for some treats at Babesta! And after hitting the Tribeca shops, make a plan to head on up to “Seal Park” in Chelsea, known as the coolest place to trick-or-treat in Manhattan.  In the area around Tenth Avenue and 22nd Street, families gather for the Halloween festivities on October 31 around 6pm. It’s sure to be jam-packed, but, between the magnificently decorated brownstones, awesome treats, and delightfully dreadful atmosphere, Seal Park never fails to be an unforgettable Halloween experience in the city.  October 31.

photo from http://www.thekitchn.com/5-small-diys-for-halloween-treats-211241

Chatting with Rowdy Sprout Rocker Tee Royalty, Laura Angotti

the clash shirt

Babesta scored a backstage pass with a brand that’s been rockin’ the cradle since 2003 with a top-of-the-charts kids’ fashion line.

What’s the playlist of your closet? If you’re a fan of hip baby tee company, Rowdy Sprout, your rotation might include Johnny Cash, Sublime, Jimi Hendrix, Blondie, Bruce Springsteen—and lots of Grateful Dead and Dylan. California native Laura Angotti, the brand’s founder and self-proclaimed “hippy at heart,” has been rocking the kids’ fashion world with her band tees since 2003. Formerly an art installer (she used to hang classics on the walls of everywhere from the Guggenheim to the New York Historical Society), Angotti got an opportunity to appease her love for fashion. Ten years ago, at the behest of a friend, she says, “I made 26 iron on transfer band tees.” She was excited by the idea of shaking up the very pink and blue baby world with something more edgy. Her concept quickly made its way up the fashion charts, and now a decade later, the hits keep coming.

We got to chat with Angotti about what’s new at Rowdy Sprout, her new collection “Unplugged” and why, when other trends come and go, the music always plays on.

 Were you ever in a band? OMG I have serious musical envy—I’ve never been in a band and don’t play an instrument. I sing, but not well!

 If you ever started a band, what would be your band’s name? The name of my band would be “The Blistered Nipples.” We’d play a mix between folk and punk rock. I would be a singer/guitar player. We would definitely hit small venues all over the world—Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, NYC, and all over USA.

OK, you’ve been making band tees for a decade. Music changes a lot in 10 years. Does musical taste in fashion change? It’s funny because the truth is the same bands are still my best sellers. ACDC, Beatles, anything with Grateful Dead. I constantly am searching for new bands and new licenses but it’s harder than you would imagine to find the people who have the authority to license merch. And then you come across a lot of companies that do everything in house and won’t work with anyone else which is a real bummer.

How has Rowdy Sprout changed over the years? The longer I do this, the more seriously the bands and merch companies take me. At first it was really hard to get bands and companies to give me license rights. Over time it’s gotten a little easier but unfortunately the bands and companies are getting harder and harder to work with. I have found that I have to work five times as hard to get the same amount of shirts approved. However, over the years, I have also created a much better product than what I first started with—lots of variety in color and style. I also now have two children which has made a huge difference in my design. In fact, my daughter has inspired me to create a whole new look for girls (coming spring ’15!)

This season, you launch your new Unplugged line–how did that come about? I’m so excited about Rowdy Sprout Unplugged. The bands are great but many have gotten harder and harder to work with. Unplugged was originally started so I could have something that I have complete control over. I love a good tee shirt and vintage inspiration is always big for me. Of course, I also design things out of need in the marketplace. The sweatpants were created because I simply can never find cool sweats for my kids. I think comfort is key for kids and why not look cool at the same time?

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Why do you think it’s so important for kids to be exposed to music? I think music shapes us from a very early age. I have memories of music that are almost more palpable than any other memory. Like chocolate, I think music is one of the finer things in life and very important to share with your children!

What do you listen to at home? We listen to a lot of everything. My husband is the DJ of the household mostly! We listen to Spotify all the time and get lots of new music from there. Our current favorite song is by Lord Huron “Ends of the Earth” It also happens to be in my kids’ favorite movie “Walking With Dinosaurs.”

 If you could meet any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Easy, that’s Bob Dylan! Lyrical genius.

Shop the entire Rowdy Sprout collection.

Super easy costumes using Babesta faves!

Got some Babesta greats in your closet already (or do you want a costume that you can keep wearing after the 31st? We are remixing looks into easy Halloween costumes all week for inspiration! Here’s our Baby Mickey, Dark Night and Tootsie Pop Owl, using fashion faves like Nununu, Popupshop, Dr. Martens and Bobo Choses!

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(From left) Tootsie Roll owl inspired outfit using our fave Popupshop jacket and Animal Digital print jeans by Munster Kids; Our little spin on the caped crusader: our own “Dark Night” with its own “Robin” (a la Project No. 8), Nununu dress and a silver pair of Dr. Martens; Or add a Bobo Choses Mickey Mouse onesie with a pair of ears & gloves from the closest Halloween pop up!