NEW YORK — From the start of their accessories-driven company nearly five years ago, Theodora & Callum founders Stefani Greenfield and Desiree Gruber always banked on launching children’s wear. Now they have with a girls’ collection.
Testimony to the launch is the fact that the company is named after their children and the children’s wear designs are reminiscent of printed scarves that first put the pair in business. During a joint interview, Greenfield and Gruber said after numerous friends (including well-known ones like Heidi Klum and Sarah Jessica Parker) asked when they might introduce a girls’ collection, they decided to pursue the idea. HSN’s chief executive officer Mindy Grossman connected them with David Niggli, president of one of its subsidiaries, Chasing Fireflies, a girls’ label and catalogue business that Greenfield knew from poring over the pages with her daughter Theodora.
Once a licensing deal was worked out, Theodora & Callum created the collection of dresses, hats, headbands, tanks, skorts, totes and espadrilles decorated with bows, ruffles, lace, sequins and other adornments. The Theodora & Callum for Chasing Fireflies collection will be sold starting today on the latter’s Web site, and it will be featured on the cover of the catalogue that launches April 13. Chasing Fireflies is known to ship 29 million copies annually and has nearly 500,000 unique monthly Web site visitors. Next year a boys’ line is expected to debut, which should be welcome news to Gruber’s son Callum. The founders also have T+C, a diffusion collection of accessories and handbags that is licensed to Collection 18.
With multitiered distribution in such retailers as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Direct and Shopbop, Theodora & Callum is pursing other avenues of growth through corporate gifts, as well as personal ones. “They’re great dinner-party gifts. I mean, who needs another candle?” Greenfield said. “Candles burn. With a scarf, you definitely get an invitation back.”
Greenfield and Gruber, who first met more than 15 years ago when the latter handled publicity for Scoop, refer to their company as a creative factory, but each also has individual pursuits. In addition to her business My Next Act, Greenfield is creative brand director at Diane von Furstenberg, and she has started shooting the second season of the E! docu-series “House of DVF.” Greenfield also hosts “Curations Caravan” on HSN. Gruber, the founder and ceo of the multimedia production company Full Picture, is at work on the new season of “Project Runway” and “Project Runway Junior,” which both will be filmed in New York City this summer. The age range for the spin off will include teens, but further details have not yet been revealed.