The SNEWS® team of editors armed with maps and GPS (was this show big or what?) ducked and weaved around the trade show floor over the course of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market to ensure we could bring you the most comprehensive take on trends, directions, colors, styles and innovations in stories that will run until we pass out. No, each report is not complete and we apologize in advance if a company feels its product was not mentioned -- we do know you love your company's product, really. However, we're only covering product that stood out to us, so if you're not mentioned we either didn't think your product stood out sufficiently or we started drinking alcoholic beverages too early in the afternoon to see straight and missed you as a result -- you pick one. With that in mind, here's our take on trends and new products for kids' apparel and accessories:
The trends our SNEWS® team noticed in lifestyle apparel (click here to read story) are very much the same as those we found in kids' clothing. Color was the most evident crossover trend with kids' apparel colors including fuchsia, lilac, coral, grass green and turquoise. The Molehill Dryline tees for sizes 2T to 14 come in scrumptious colors of lilac, coral, lapis and dandelion.
Styles, too, echoed those of the adult trends. The new kids' styles for spring 2008 from Mountain Sprouts included the brushed cotton canvas Canyon Wall Shortall for boys and the Canyon Wall Jumper for girls in infant and toddler sizes (MSRP $38). The fact that Mountain Sprouts is now part of Mountain Khakis has resulted in kids' styles utilizing the same rugged fabrications and construction details. The Mountain Sprouts new Trail Pant and Short (MSRP $38) are made to last through more than one child's infant and toddler stage with its bar-tack reinforced snap inseam and cargo pocket.
Dresses were as popular for little girls as they were for adults. A case in point was the Spinning Blossom Dress for both baby and mom from Fresh Produce. Baby's version retails for $48, while mom's is $60. Indigenous Designs' organic cotton knit Daisy Dress featured an appliquéd daisy motif with contrasting trim at the neck and hem. Retail range by size, $48-$52.
Detailing in the form of sublimated prints and novelty knits dominated kids' lines. Outside Baby's Tech T's and Onesies incorporated simple designs in bright pink, smoky blue and orange color-ways with frog, butterfly and dolphin creature sublimated prints. The boy's knit Row Your Boat Vest (MSRPs $36-$38) from Indigenous Designs featured a rowboat motif on the chest in mocha, waterfall and honeydew colors.
There's a new kids' line in town and it's called Roon. Bryan and Rebecca Johnson are new to the apparel business but, because of their experiences with son Cameron (hence the name Roon), they designed a line of infant and toddler clothing with comfort in mind. An outstanding style is the Haulin' Cargo Pant, lined with Dri-release, at an $18 wholesale price. Comfort is the key to Roon clothing, hence tagless neck labels (so no itch).
The most original kids' items at the show were the Munchlers by Built NY. What are munchlers? They are terrific whimsical lunchboxes with designs by children's book illustrator, Stephen Savage. Made of polypropylene, they are insulated, washable and sturdy. The best part is the zipper that allows the entire lunchbox to lie flat for an instant placemat. They retail for $10 and come in different shapes and colors like the bright yellow Benny Munchler (tiger), the green Meadow Munchler (rabbit), the Boo Munchler (Panda Bear) and the Lefty Munchler (puppy). All four styles are available in a tray for easy merchandising.
Built NY also has neoprene bibs and baby bottle totes. All baby items come with hangtags that fit on slatwall pegs and are shipped in cartons of six pieces. The bibs retail from $5 to $7 and the bottle totes from $9 to $17.