NEW YORK — Loretta Schneider always wanted to be a fashion designer, but didn’t find her niche until two years ago when she gave birth to her daughter, Madison Emily.
She took time off from an advertising career in the fashion field to start a three-month commitment to raising the infant, including nursing her. As Schneider put it, the "try at breast-feeding turned into a 13-month, life-changing experience."
Despite the joy of motherhood, there was a problem: a gap in the marketplace for "pretty, even sexy-looking, nursing sleepwear."
"I’m a Prada and Marc Jacobs kind of girl," Schneider said. "I wanted to create something that made me look and feel attractive while I was breast-feeding. My fashion instinct told me there was a real need for this kind of product, something you could wear with a pair of Manolo’s and a little sweater and even go out to dinner with your husband and baby."
So, Schneider and her husband, Joseph, president of SchneiderWeb, a technology consulting firm, started up Larrivo — Italian for "the arrival" — with $100,000. She said her mission was to bring fashion items to maternity boutiques and specialty shops that were functional yet ready-to-wear-looking. The couple declined to give a first-year sales projection, but industry sources said it should generate sales of about $1 million.
"I did my research. I went to maternity shops and major stores, talked to sales associates, but there was never anything that looked hip or sexy," Schneider said. "One customer who also was nursing was buying Cosabella thongs. When she heard about my idea, she immediately asked, ‘When’s it coming out?’"
According to the Ross Prod-ucts Division of Abbot Laborator-ies, of the 2 million births in the U.S. in 2000, 68 percent of new mothers nursed for the first three months and 31 percent for the first six months.
The U.S. government’s 2002 goal was for 75 percent of new mothers to nurse for three months and 50 percent to nurse for six months by 2010, due to the health benefits. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2002 recommended that infants be breast-fed for a minimum of six months and that 12 months would be ideal.Loretta Schneider had the idea, but she needed the design expertise. She approached Roz Harte, president of Lances-Harte, an innerwear and swimwear design firm and a 55-year veteran of the intimate apparel industry.
The results for spring 2003 were unveiled last week at Harte’s showroom at 152 Madi-son Avenue: two styles of chemises, a classic free-form style named Madison, and an Empire style named Emily. Fabrics include cotton and Lycra spandex in solid colors of black, pale pink and pale lime. Prints such as a vintage-looking, sepia-tone collage and a purple floral-lace motif are rendered on softly spun polyester.
Details include lettuce edging on hemlines, ruching, fluted chiffon trim, mini bows and lace trims in contrasting colors. She noted that production is contracted in Brooklyn, which provides a three-week turnover.
"When a woman is nursing, the breasts expand and contract," Schneider said. "So, I wanted to use silhouettes and fabrics that would accommodate a woman’s needs."
Each style is available in an above-the-knee length and a ballet length, and features a built-in, soft-cup bra with a cutout at the front of each cup. Each support bra is done in a coordinating color or print, but plans are to expand into other fabrics and nude-tone shades. Suggested retail price ranges from $90 to $125.
"Our first-year target is distribution to 50 maternity and specialty boutiques," she said. "Eventually, we hope to expand to major stores."
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty