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New York & Co. is branching into the children’s category.
Today, the retailer will launch Kaavi James by Gabrielle Union, a children’s line, at nyandcompany.com. It will hit select New York & Co. stores on Monday.
Retailing from $14.95 to $44.95, the collection is colorful with neon accents and includes details such as ruffles, smocking and printed elastic. The Kaavi James by Gabrielle Union capsule, which ranges in sizes 0 to 24 months, was inspired by Union’s daughter Kaavia and her Instagram personality. Kaavia James Union Wade was born last November.
Union, the 46-year old actress, activist and author, has been designing a women’s apparel collection of separates, jumpsuits, dresses and outerwear for New York & Co. since August 2017. Married to recently retired professional basketball star Dwyane Wade, Union is reprising her “Bad Boys 2” role of Syd Burnett in the spin-off television series, “L.A.’s Finest,” costarring Jessica Alba. In 2017, she wrote a memoir called “We’re Going to Need More Wine,” and is an activist who works on issues around women’s health and violence against women.
“My collection is inspired by my daughter, Kaavia. I wanted to create a baby collection because it was a natural progression where I am in my life now, and it has always been important to me to make sure that the collections that I design reflect a part of me and are true to what I think many women can relate to,” Union said.
“My women’s wear clothing objective has always been to empower women and now I’m thinking about those exact same women with babies that are doing it all and want to dress their children in affordable, comfortable clothes. I wanted to create pieces that are all-inclusive — that both girls and boys could wear — and that were fun,” Union added.
When asked how being a new mom has impacted the styles she designed, Union told WWD, “When dressing Kaavia, I’m looking for clothes that are easy to put on her and pieces that are comfortable. I like soft fabric and steer away from anything that looks too adult. I know my time with choosing what she wears is limited so I’m taking advantage of it while I can.”
The children’s line features denim chambray, fleece in pants and coveralls, cotton voile printed dresses, T-shirts and onesies. It also has a sweater set highlighting Kaavi’s dog, Tre. Some pieces are unisex, and items can be mixed and matched to personalize one’s style. Several pieces have inspirational words or sayings like “Dream” and “#shadybaby.” Prints are bold and range from tie dye and leopard to polka dots, stripes and stars. Certain pieces pair back to two dresses from the Gabrielle Union Collection for “mommy and me” outfits.
This is the first true baby collection for New York & Co. Previously, Eva Mendes had dresses for girls to match her collection, and this year, New York & Co. will offer T-shirts for girls that match their women’s Mother Day Ts.
In its most recent earnings report in March, Greg Scott, chief executive officer of RTW Retailwinds, the newly named parent company of New York & Co., said that despite a challenged fourth quarter, there were several accomplishments last year including the resetting of Fashion to Figure stores positioning it for growth: the corporate name change to RTW Retailwinds to reflect the growing portfolio of brands, and positive comps in celebrity collaborations, including the Gabrielle Union and Eva Mendes lines. Scott attributed the difficulties to declines in traffic and new customer acquisitions as well as decreased product acceptance in its SoHo Jeans subbrand. Last month, the Happy by Nature by Kate Hudson collection launched in 150 New York & Co. stores, on the New York & Co. web site, and with a stand-alone web site. For the launch, the collection included organic cottons and denim made of recycled plastic bottles.