One of our favorite women, ever, Mara Hoffman has grown her brand to now include childrenswear. Already fans of her iconic womenswear collection, her kids line is as bright and bold. The offerings are like mini versions of the ready-to-wear collection, and thank goodness, it might be embarrassing trying to steal clothes from a ten year-old. Hoffman’s own son serves as a muse for the line and often appears in her Instagram feed wearing the collection. Hoffman has long been established in the industry and her recognizable use of color and original prints are constantly inspired by her global travel.
What are some of the most exciting parts about designing for kids?
The freedom to be a little bit wilder and carefree with our designs.
Do you just grade down from your woman’s collection?
It’s not about down grading – it’s about working with silhouettes that are more appropriate and playful for children.
Can you tell us a bit about the steps required to produce childrenswear that are different than your main collection?
The fit, rules, and legalities are much different than women’s – it’s a fairly complex process. There’s a ton of safety testing that is required (as well as accommodating for diapers in swim bottoms, for example) which isn’t something we typically have to deal with in women’s wear.
How does your team manage both segments of the market?
We are constantly working on and developing our styles to accommodate for both markets. I have the help and expertise of an incredibly organized and amazingly talented team.
Do you oversee all areas of design?
Have you ever hosted a focus group for little girls? If so what was the most fun aspect? Most surprising?
No, I haven’t, but that’s a great idea!
Is the audience any different? Are you essentially dressing the same person in a smaller size?
I think parents are really attracted to our designs and prints (and for moms, to the idea of matching with their kids!).
Did you launch the line to fill a void in the children’s market? What other collections does it usually sell alongside?
I really launched the line to fill a void in my son’s wardrobe and in my customers’. The kids line is another way for my customers with children to feel more connected to the brand.
How does it wash? Can moms feel safe with kids being themselves in the collection?
Yes, definitely. All pieces can be machine washed in cool water and hung to dry. All swim should always be hand-washed for maximum longevity.
Is there a muse? Does your son have any input?
He is definitely a muse of mine! I also bring plenty of samples home and on vacation to try on him and my friends’ little girls.