Pearls & Popcorn, a children’s collection with a European flair, moderate prices and a “mini-me” approach, could grow up fast.
The line is being launched today at Bloomingdale’s — practically chainwide — which has the fall exclusive and created a shop on the eighth floor of the 59th Street flagship, with Philippe Starck fixtures. According to Pearls & Popcorn, orders for spring are coming in from Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom, a Web site is being launched within 10 days, and ads are being projected from a huge Times Square electronic billboard.
Marvin Traub, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s who runs his own consulting company, has been helping in the start-up, which is a family-owned business, led by David Pardo in London, who made his mark in the music industry, and his daughter, Ronit, the Paris-based designer of the line. Pearls & Popcorn has a New York showroom at 112 West 34th Street, the children’s wear building across from Macy’s.
“Pearls & Popcorn is very well designed with kind of a French flair but very appropriate for the American market,” Traub observed. “To start, the collection will be distributed to better department stores,” at a cautious pace, he noted. “We need to make sure we’re on top of it to make sure it runs smoothly. Then, over time, as we put together an organization, it will be [also] sold at a number of children’s boutiques” and possibly European department and specialty stores as well. “The children’s business has been reasonably healthy — not gangbusters,” said Traub. “I think some newness would be helpful. That’s what this is all about.”
“There’s a few philosophies behind the brand — to make high-quality goods at affordable prices and to dress children, babies in particular, as mini-me adults,” said Ronit Pardo. “We are not offering the usual pinks for the girls. We’re dressing them up and making it more fun.”
Some adult styles, like skinny jeans and harem pants, have been adapted for children, Pardo said, adding that the collection overall offers “effortlessly chic looks that can take children from a casual afternoon play date to a high-profile dinner party with Mom and Dad.” Head-to-toe looks from classic layette, body suits and bloomers, to fitted corduroys, plaid flannel oxford shirts, hoodies, denim, smock tops, Henleys, dresses and accessories, are included. Sizes range from three months to 36 months.
The average retail price is $31, with a range from $20 for T-shirts to $57 for a knitted snowflake cardigan.
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