Young Colors and Frumpy Rumps – Ancient Arts Made Modern!
Today’s guest post comes from Shannon Henrici of My Baby Clothes Boutique. Luxurious gifts, clothing and precious accessories are just some of the items Shannon carries. Young Colors is a new designer, Shannon discovered recently and she was so excited about the line, she wanted to share it with our readers!
BY: SHANNON HENRICI
At the most recent children’s show at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart, we got the opportunity to spend some time with one of our designers. My first impression when I walked in was, “WOW, Welcome back beautiful colors!” I have missed all the rich, bright, fun colors of clothes. Children don’t need to wear the basic black, grey, and navy of the adult world. As if the baby clothes didn’t impress me enough, the designer – Donna Prescott – sealed the deal. Her welcoming smile and pride in her clothes is contagious and admirable. We had a wonderful time getting to know her and why she started the company.
The concept for the company and its line of clothes came from Donna and Robert Prescott’s experience traveling abroad for their jobs at Esprit. They were able to explore Southeast Asia and many other countries for two months learning about incredible arts and crafts. With their new found knowledge, they knew they could start a line of the most unique children’s clothes. In starting this company, they thought it would give Donna a more flexible job, where she could stay home. Since their beginning in 1998, they are now present in 1500 stores over 46 states. With the popularity of this spirited and innovative brand, she is back doing what she does best – designing great children’s clothes.
During their time abroad, Donna learned an ancient art of fabric dying called “Batik”. In hearing her describe the process, I felt like I had stepped back into a time of handmade, tailored, quality clothing. It reminded me of why people got into fashion design in the first place, for the artistry.
Step 1 – they draw and design the motifs – that create the color story concept.
Step 2 – an artist then makes a metal stamp or “cap” (pronounced “chop”) of the new motif.
Step 3 – the fabric is a high-quality white cotton that then goes through a number of dye baths to achieve the intended color.
Step 4 – then the motif is hand stamped onto the newly-dyed fabric with the cap dipped in hot wax. Wherever the wax sets, the next dye or color will not.
Step 5 – after the fabric is set and dried, it is placed in boiling hot water to remove the wax.
Step 6 – sheets of this fabric are then line dried in the hot, tropical sun, helping to further set the colors.
End result is a pre-washed, pre-shrunk fabric ready to be cut and sewn. Because of this process and its complexity, the clothes are able to keep their vibrant colors and quality wash after wash. The planning that went into creating these clothes really shows in the craftsmanship.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there. They have also added more artist-made products to their line, to help other people in need of jobs. Peruvian artisans make hand loomed Peruvian cotton sweaters, with detailed handmade crocheted/embroidered edgings. Hats, backpacks and purses are also hand crocheted from yarn dyed in bright colors to match their clothing.
Donna was quoted as saying, She loves visiting her shops in Indonesia, because they are so happy to see her. She has created jobs for these people and given them a better life. But, her job creation is not her only contribution. All of her left over clothes or less than perfect items are donated to those who never get a new outfit. The light in her eye as she described the motivation of her company and its designs was contagious. She wanted to create clothes that make children happy, dance, and twirl as they showed off their style. The Young Colors brand has accomplished this goal.
It has also brought a cultural flair to children’s fashion. They expand the culture horizons for children. This generation will help to support the next generation, in being culturally diverse. In order to teach children where things come from, they use hangtags with kid-friendly graphics showing how the ancient art process of hand-made fabrics is developed into modern designs and styles for today. Young Colors was created for kids who want to experience more of what the world has to offer!
It was a unique and wonderful experience meeting the designer of this line. I had spent a long day looking at lots of different clothes and meeting other representatives, by far this experience was lasting and exceptional. I bought around 20 different items for my daughter and placed an order for a mother – daughter outfit for fall. Don’t just believe me, take a look at some of the clothes we carry and will be carrying for fall.