Rachel Zoe has been named creative partner for the Paul Frank children’s brand.
For spring 2017, the designer and celebrity stylist will collaborate with the design team at Saban Brands, which owns Paul Frank, for a capsule collection that will be available in February.
Jennifer Wexler, senior vice president of global marketing at Saban, said, “The collaboration with our team will make sure [Zoe’s] design aesthetic and concept seamlessly blends with who we are as a brand.”
Zoe and Saban met when the company invited her and her family to its Paul Frank children’s fashion show in September during New York Fashion Week. “We think Rachel is the epitome of a cool, celebrity mom who dresses her kids in a really fun, chic way,” Wexler said. The $1 million-plus extravaganza, complete with a circus backdrop, showcased Saban’s repositioning of Paul Frank from a character-content focus to a fashion brand. According to Wexler, the road to the collaboration was “really organic [with] her loving the collection and [through] natural brainstorming, we thought it was the right time to bring her on. This is the first collection she’s done for kids.”
Zoe, who attended the show with her husband, Rodger Berman, and five-year-old son, Skyler, said: “The runway show really represented the free spirit and playfulness of the brand — the kids were having the best time. Saban approached me shortly thereafter about a special collaboration with Paul Frank and I was intrigued and very excited.”
The designer said from what she saw from the runway show, she felt the brand had a definitive style and clear brand identity. “I’ve forever dreamed about one day designing for children. It felt like such a natural progression for me, both as a designer and as a mother. Ever since I was pregnant with Skyler, I have been asked when I would finally do a children’s line,” Zoe said.
She’s already dipped her toe into the children’s space with a collection of juvenile products — strollers, car seats and a diaper bag — called Quinny & Maxi-Cosi Baby Gear by Rachel Zoe. The line is available exclusively at Nordstrom. According to Zoe, “Just like car seats and strollers, children’s clothing can be stylish, effortless and cool just as much as it can be functional and practical. I’ve always had this itch to design children’s clothing — it was just a matter of time.”
Zoe said she chose the Paul Frank brand to partner with because of its “iconic, West Coast-cool style, which I really wanted to play off of. I wanted to design an effortless southern California-inspired collection that included classics that are both stylish and comfortable — pieces that work together or as separates, and pieces that I knew my own kids would live in.” Zoe also is mom to Kaius, another son, who is 2 years old.
The designer said the ages of her two sons made now the right time to creatively transition to children’s wear, particularly since they are the sources of her inspiration for the line. “The timing just felt right. My boys are at the age where comfort and sensibility are so important, but style should never be secondary,” Zoe said.
Details concerning price points and distribution for the capsule collection are still being worked out. Zoe is in the early stages of formulating design sketches. Wexler said interest in the brand from the industry is “strong,” and the retailers who have the brand in their doors “are also fans of Rachel.” So far the plan is a collaboration for at least the spring line. “We’ll see how it goes. The potential is there. We hope to be working with Rachel for more than one season,” Wexler said.