July 9, 2013

Hot Tots In The City!

With punky graphic tee's, leather pants, and a fur -yes, fur!- hooded coat, CHaLKnyc has all the makings to be the next "It" label, coveted by models, celebs and street bloggers alike. Now, imagine for a second, if we replaced New York City street style mavens with equally stylish tots?

CHaLKnyc is thinking just that! Just take a look at their adorable lookbook video!
 Deemed as the "Clothes for Kids That Moms Want too," CHaLKnyc's inception the idea to make a pair of stretch leather pants for kids, it then blossomed into a full line of high-end clothes.

We recently met up with CHaLK designer, Colleen Crivello, to discuss the line, motherhood, and the future of CHaLKnyc.

Q: When did you realize the need to start a children's collection?  
 CC: For some time now, we have seen an opportunity in the children's market for high-end clothes that are edgy, not fussy with a "high-low" look and fall into the mid-tier price-point in the luxury sector. With our daughter Alba as the catalyst, CHaLKnyc was a natural progression. As a womenswear designer, I have applied the same strategy, fabric selection and though process, as I would to a women's collection and adapted it for kids. I wanted to create something that spoke to moms like me: slightly unconventional, wearing brands like Isabel Marant, Celine and Reformation. Plus, I have always had an affinity for the kids market; the clothes just make you want to smile! What's better than that?
Colleen's Daughter, Alba
Q: You've said your Daughter is a big source of your inspiration, does she like to be involved while you are designing?
CC: Alba is definitely a source of my inspiration and possibly an employee! She is full of energy, slightly bohemian, born in the city and a little spicy to top it off! All of which influences and speaks to the ethos of the brand. In truth, I have created a monster! She has a definite opinion about what she will be wearing and a penchant for dresses, especially silk ones. She is also our resident fit model, along with her best friend, Coco. I throw samples on them and let them wear them around the city and out at the beach for the day to gauge reaction and wearability. 

Q: How has VOGUE Bambini influenced your creativity as a mother and a designer of children's fashion? 
Alba and Colleen
 CC: Roberto began his career in Italy in the fashion industry, at which time he became a huge fan of VOGUE Bambini vision and later introduced the magazine to me. VOGUE Bambini's approach to content and their point of view toward the children's market resonates with us and CHaLKnyc. I think only CHaLKnyc and VOGUE Bambini share a number of similar qualities by not only engaging with kids on a higher lever, but also reaching the parents through elevated concepts, superior quality and refined aesthetic rather than a lot of the fluff the market is now saturated with.

Q: As a mother, what do you think is the most important thing to look for when shopping for your children's clothes?

CC:Quality, because you can’t fake it, and origin.
This goes for anything I buy or make, be it fabrics, food, clothes or leather and has become increasingly important to me, not just as a mother but as a designer and a consumer.  I lean towards brands and products that are made in the US, Europe and certain parts of South America.  Many items produced out of Asia today are processed with chemicals such as formaldehyde, among other unconscionable treatments…I believe the more local you are, the more traceability and understanding you have as to what you are wearing, eating, drinking, etc.  Without being a fanatic, I'm a huge proponent of eating well, locally and organically.  I try to buy fair trade when possible and only buy top quality bi-product leather and mainly overstock fabrics that will enhance the performance of the garments, so they will have the longevity to not be thrown away after 6 months.
For example, CHaLKnyc is 90% made in the US and 10% in Peru and uses only bi-product skins and furs and mainly overstock fabrics from Europe and Japan.
Q:  What's next for CHaLK NYC? What can we expect for the collections to come?
 Currently we are developing our spring collection, which will be colorful, edgy and a bit beachy…I'm really excited to present this next season.
CHaLKnyc has been really well received thus far (especially our furs and fun stretch leather pants) and we anticipate an equally warm and enthusiastic reception of our spring looks. Spring 2014 will embody all of the effortless chic NYC downtown vibe that CHaLK currently has, but with a lighter fresher spring take...city kids at the beach wearing metallic, stripes, whites, bright pops of color and ethereal fabrics.
As for the near/distant future we will add an official boys line to the brand, it's only fair to the boys! We launched the brand exclusively online and with Barneys but will now begin to look for global distributors.


 CHaLKnyc designer, Colleen Crivello and her husband Roberto, own creative brand consultancy, FDS [Federation Design Studio] where they design men's and women's apparel,
shoes and accessory collections for large companies.

And, with special projects and collaborations in the pipeline, there are sure more insanely cute things to come from CHaLKnyc!

Till then, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite CHaLKnyc pieces!  

Perry Lamb Fur and Leather Jacket  - $698

Charlie Lamb Leather Jacket - $398

Alba Silk Crepe Dress - $198

Olympia Harlem Pants - $148

Xane Leather Pants - $498

Boe Tee - $48

CHaLKnyc is currently available at Barney's stores in New York and Los Angeles or Shop online at www.CHaLKnyc.com

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