Archive: Interviews

Chatting with Rowdy Sprout Rocker Tee Royalty, Laura Angotti

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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.

BABESTAGRAM : Chatting with fashion stylist and instagrammer Lynn Levoy


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In between snapping super cool shots she’s done for  Babesta’s Instagram, many times featuring her adorable son Callum, fashion stylist Lynn Levoy tells about her love for social media, cool kids’ style and raising a child in New York City.

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“I love Instagram because I can tell a story with images,” says Lynn Levoy, a seasoned fashion stylist who’s worked for magazines like Elle, New York Magazine and Vanity Fair. “It creates more of  a mood than other social media outlets and allows me to be more personal and take it to the next level.” Levoy has been lending her talent to the Babesta Instagram account and often shoots looks on her 4 ½ year old son, Callum, our cover model.  We caught up with her to chat about her fab sense of style and the fun of raising a kid in the city.

What’s your definition of cool?  

Rather than “cool,” I like to think in terms of “effortless.”  Which for me is the ultimate–creating a vibe without trying.

Do you have a signature style?

I don’t overthink fashion. I dress for my mood. I usually have one thing in mind that I want to wear and then base my outfit for the day around that. I try to pass that on to Callum. I never want him to think of clothes as more than just a form of self-expression, like art.

He’s only 4 ½ but he already has quite a bit to say in terms of what and how he wears his clothes.  I just let him do his thing and guide him when I can, so he can continue to develop his own unique style…

How would you describe raising a child in NYC?

…ahhhhhh, where to begin…Beyond amazing because of the amount of exposure children have to so many types of people and the everyday world around them. Challenging for parents for that same reason.  There’s so much stimulation on a daily basis and we’re all just trying to find that right balance of parenting, work, social…

I love being a part of Callum’s universe and experiencing life through his eyes.

How do you get ready for back-to-school?

Nothing is better than Back to School shopping ! Each Fall season it still brings back such vivid memories upon returning to school each year. The sheer excitement of those first Fall brisk mornings, bundled and layered with sweaters, jackets, cool scarves, especially after a long hot summer. So, as Callum prepares to return to school this year, I’ve already begun to plan his must haves…
I am all about layering and I think for kids, its essential.  They are always running around, inside and outside, so I find they are always hot or cold, never in between. I love long sleeve tees layered with hoodies and cardigans.  Bobo Choses’ green hoodie is the perfect layering piece with a pop of color.  And as with everything they do, it’s super comfy and
so easy to wear. I also love Be Lucky’s smiley cardigan.  And for girls, they’re so cute over dresses.  I just adore Mini Rodini’s Weightlifter and Clown dresses this season. Denim of course is a must-have.  I also love NuNuNu drop crotch pants and Quinn and Fox’s track pants.  For girls, I just love cool, patterned tights with dresses and tunics.  Bobo Choses and Hansel from Basel are my faves. Paired with Dr. Martens…so good. And speaking of Dr Martens, I am loving them this season.  They work for both girls and boys.  They truly stand the test of time, super cool with skinny’s, track pants, tights, dresses – everything ! It makes me want a pair again.
A great jacket is a must have.  Ruff & Huddle, Jordan and Mini Rodini all have amazing choices
Fall is definitely all about the accessories.  You can have so much fun with scarves and hats.  Bobo Choses leopard hats are must haves.
Back to School would not be complete without a new backpack.  Munster Kids’ splattered backpack is the coolest.
And then of course lots of hugs and kisses as we send them off to school !

Project Runway’s Bad Boy of Fashion, Jeffrey Sebelia, and his brand, La Miniatura Kids

Project Runway's Jeffrey Sebelia and La Miniatura Kids cool fashion line

  Project Runway winner and designer behind kids’ fashion line La Miniatura, Jeffrey Sebelia dishes about his über cool kids’ line.

“First question (it’s on all of our minds!): Given that you and Heidi Klum both have kids’ lines, what are the chances of an upcoming Project Runway Kids show?” He shakes his head and laughs. “She’ll have to really step up her game before that happens.” That’s Jeffrey —the bad boy instigator who had us glued to Project Runway (Season 3) and most recently, Project Runway All Stars.

     “What would be fun,” he continues, “is if the kids worked with professional seamstresses, and you could tap into their minds for design, but a seamstress sewed the garments.”

     Now on his fifth season in kids’ fashion, Sebelia admits that it surprised him how much he connected with childrenswear. “As a designer, of course I love womenswear. I also love menswear and making things that I like for myself,” he says. Although initially rebuffing the idea of childrenswear, he found he was compelled by the challenge of it. “I love creating something that’s both exciting and appropriate, elevated without being too sophisticated.”

 La Miniatura green bird print dress for kids

Babesta Chats with Xenia Joost for Bubble London

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Having shown on runways from Moscow to Milan, Estonian fashion designer Xenia Joost is known for her high style women’s collections, but this season she tries her hand at kidswear. From our recent chat, it’s clear Joost is having fun in this new market and eager to make her mark in children’s fashion.

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Why did you decide to bring your line from adult fashion into children’s fashion?

Fashion is not a job for me, rather a lifestyle—and it’s not only for me, but for my family as well. In 2008, my first daughter Aleksandra was born (she quickly hopped on the fashion train too), and came to work with me, touched the fabrics, cut and crafted. We picked fabrics together and I sewed little dresses for her. My friends saw these designs and wanted the clothes for their children also! A whole collection grew from one dress.

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Read more of Babesta’s interview with Xenia on Bubble London’s Blog: http://bubblelondon.blogspot.com/2013/11/introducing-xenia-joost.html

Hip Tips: Designing a Nursery with Style

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Elyse Kroll, the interior designer who transformed Babesta Threads last year, offers some tips on designing  a standout nursery, toddler or kid’s room.

1. Create a comfy reading nook.

Instill a lifelong love of reading with a special spot devoted to it. Choose a grown-up sized upholstered chair (for reading together) with an easy-care slipcover that can go in the wash. A reading chair should have its own lighting source. Skip the overhead lighting when reading in favor of a nearby standing lamp or table lamp.

2. Involve your child in the design process. 

The surefire way to create a room your kid will love is to let him make some of the key choices, particularly with color. Since a favorite color can change from one year to the next, limit these decisions to things that are easy to change as well, like an accent wall or pillowcases.

3. Pick an easy rug to maintain.

Indoor/outdoor area rugs are a great choice for kids’ rooms – they now come in more patterns and colors than ever, and can literally be sprayed clean with water. Or consider a colorful mix of carpet tiles – it’s easier to replace a stained tile or two than an entire rug.

4. Choose furnishings that grow with your child.

Invest in pieces that don’t scream “baby furniture.” While bedding and accessories can be easily changed wiht your child’s evolving tastes, a foundation of white and neutral furniture with clean lines will last through childhood and even the teen years.

5. Mix old & new.

The most interesting, dynamic rooms contain a mix of newer furnishings combined with unexpected vintage pieces. An old chandelier can be painted a fun color and used as the main lighting source of a nursery. Or turn an ornate, antique picture frame into a magnetic chalkboard. The charm is all in the mix.

-JC