It’s a familiar struggle for a certain swathe of Manhattan mommy: Where do the chicest of mothers head to get the latest Fendi and Versace for their little ones? Until now, the options have been limited, but Lana Winters Tomczak, founder of VNY Model Management and mother of two, hopes to change that with the launch of her e-commerce site, Petit Maison Chic. The site goes live Saturday and will be stocked with children’s wear offerings from not only Fendi and Versace but Giorgio Armani, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney and others, for infants to 10-year-olds.
“My children were my motivation,” says Winters Tomczak, mother to Chloe, age five, and Nicolas, age seven. “Since the day they were born, I’ve been dressing them in designer clothes. It’s been my stress relief — shopping for baby clothes.”
However, she could never quite find what she was looking for, which was a one-stop-shop experience. “It’s really hard to find these brands for kids in New York City. You have to go to department stores, and it’s very limited — they only buy very few pieces, so I had to do research on the weekends and find all these online shops, and most of them are not actually even in the States. Say you want to buy a Fendi baby outfit, where are you going to go? Fendi doesn’t even have it in their store.”
And for the baby dressing emergency, the boutique offers the convenience of same day delivery in New York City (at press time, the boutique only ships domestically and to Canada.)
Winters Tomczak declined to give specific sales projections, but said the venture is self-funded. She just finished the spring 2016 buy, which adds Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli and Hugo Boss to the mix.
“It’s so fun to dress my kids. When I was buying their first Moncler jackets, I always made it last two seasons by buying up a size.” Chloe and Nicolas (who also model selections on the site) are accustomed to garnering attention for their mother’s styling choices. “When we go out, everyone is always looking at them because they’re dressed like two little adults, really stylish and cute,” Winters said.
Her industry connections made securing brands all the easier, even with the e-tailer-wary vendors. “It definitely helped that I have the agency and people know who I am and my models are in these brands’ campaigns,” she said. She even enlisted one of her male models to design the Web site and logo (he apparently has a techie streak).
Winters Tomczak is confident others will want to dress their children with the same level of style that she dresses hers. “Everyone I know wants to dress well — and if they have children, they want to dress them well. Parents just want to give everything to their child, and so when they’re that little what could you possibly give to them except to have them all dressed up and looking pretty?”