If you were walking through Playtime NYC in August 2011, you would not have missed a large display of eclectic clothing for tots (2 to12 years in age). A vibrant mix of colors and patterns made even the otherwise typical plaid boy clothing look exciting. I decided to research the inspiration behind KicoKids. The story of this globetrotting mom is more interesting than the collection itself. Tia Cibani, the founder, was 19 when she decided to join her elder sister Fiona, then a menswear designer, at a Canadian company called Ports International. The long journey that started in Libya to Vancouver, detoured to Xiamen – China and finally ended up at Seventh Avenue in New York. After spending seven years overseeing Ports brand development in Xiamen, Tia returned to the US in 2003 to launch Ports 1961, she opened stores in New York, LA and London. She stepped down from her creative director at Ports 1961 in mid 2010. I believe this is when she turned her hobby of designing clothes for tots to a serious business in partnership with Shu Pu (a.k.a Kitty) and expanded it into a complete collection of knits and woven, as well as accessories and fun lifestyle products. Tia’s creations at Port 1961 as well as at Kicokids displays her passion of taking inspiration from different cultures mixing up the insights to generate modern clothing.
Colors, prints, styles - unique collection at KicoKids
I love brands with a story behind it and this story is rather inspirational for me and I am sure that if you checked out their collection of clothes for tots – you are going to fall in love with it yourself. For tots on the go, check out fun travel accessories, including artist kits and cool back packs. I also loved their rather light rain jackets (as displayed on mannequin above), the hoodie very conveniently turns into a little tote that can carry the jacket when not in use. Compact, light and convenient – I love it.
TitterTot today visited the Playtime International Trade Show in New York at 82 Mercer Street in Soho. Their 3rd edition of the show started on July 30th and will end tomorrow – August, 1st 2011. At the exhibit were apparel and accessories that can make traveling with tots fun and efficient. We talked to a few of the exhibitors and it was interesting that many were HongKong based companies that were stressing on the organic, lead-free nature of their goods. I was amazed to see that most companies are now able to use vegetable dies to create extremely colorful products for tots.
While the exhibition showcased some extremely creative designers and mom entrepreneurs, the shows Pop-up shop was my favorite. 100% of the proceeds from the sales at the shop were to benefit KIDS Japan Earthquake Relief. KIDS (Kids in distressed situations) is a global children charity that distributes new merchandise year round to help children and families living in poverty, it draws heavily on the generosity and concern of retailers, manufacturers and licensors whenever a major disaster occurs. In order to raise money on sale were:
Unique square cookies in multiple flavors titled “Labo Love Japan”. “Labo Love Japan” pastries are made by talented Japanese pastry chefs, chocolatiers based in France. The pastries were first created under the leadership of Haruyo Matsutani, Marnier-Lapostille Tsutsui and Anthony of Nichifutsu Shoji Co. Ltd, barely a week after the Japan Tsunami disaster to raise money for Japanese Red Cross.
Small Red Dot poster collection. The collection consisted of limited-edition artwork created by French first-graders inspired by artist Minh Vo and the trials of Japanese children following the earthquake earlier this year
Limited goods from the show exhibitors like KicoKids were available for sale at the shop
Playtime-NYC is organized by Picaflor Inc. and features 70-80 international brands associated with children and maternity. Creative, fashionable, colorful and fun products in areas of clothing, footwear, jewelry, accessories, childcare and deco were exhibited. Playtime’s largest exhibit is held in Paris every year. At their 10th edition of the show in Paris about 350 brands participated from 2nd – 4th July of 2011. Playtime’s Tokyo exhibit is considered the largest children and maternity fashion trade show in Japan.
It was a great exhibit and we will be blogging about the goods we thought would be very useful for parents and tots on the go!