Archive: Celebrities

March 8, 2011

Orange Alert

In their article “Orange Crush,” the Wall Street Journal has proclaimed orange “the color of the moment.” I have to admit, I’ve had an orange crush of my own for years now — which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever noticed the preponderance of orange in our stores and on our website.

Although it’s a trend among the grownup set — it was hot on the spring runways and Jennifer Hudson made a big splash for her vibrant orange Oscar dress — it’s been a hot color for babies and kids for a few years now. What’s not to love? It’s fun, vibrant, and completely gender neutral. So is this one instance where the kids are on the cutting edge and the adults are just now catching up?

July 30, 2010

An A-List Interview: Liz Lange

Liz Lange with her son and daughter.

A household name in maternity, Liz Lange needs little introduction. She saved us from maternity smocks and muumuus, and was one of the first designers who showed us that pregnancy could be fashionable.

In addition to being a great designer, Liz is an activist, a role model and a philanthropist. She goes above and beyond in her communities, doing great things for women, children and families. She’s down to earth and a really nice person – Liz is the real deal.

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Liz Lange: I have many mottos: “Life is a party — are you dressed for it?” “Until someone does something new, no one thinks its a good idea.” “Life’s what you make it, so let’s make it rock!”

AW: What inspires you?
LL:
My children inspire me.  They are so kind, funny and smart and my daughter already has her own sense of style.

AW: What color are you loving right now?
LL:
I am loving all shades of blue.

AW: What are you currently reading?
LL: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and I can’t put it down!

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
LL: NYC – where I grew up and am now raising my children is my favorite city in the world and it’s my home.  But I love Rome, Capri and Paris to visit.

Beautiful Capri, one of Liz Lange's fave vacation spots.

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
LL: I love all types of music from opera, classical to top 40.  I am a huge Verdi and Tchaikovsky fan, but then again I adore Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas!

AW: What was your most favorite baby gift you received?
LL: Personalized Burp cloths with my children’s names on them (my daughter is 9 and she still likes to sleep with hers!).

AW: What was the baby product you couldn’t live without?
LL: Wipes!  I used them on my children when they were babies, and we still use them. 

And please complete the following:

…make(s) me laugh.
My children make me laugh (they are so funny), but so do Alec Baldwin, Martin Short, Steve Carell and Tina Fey.

My proudest moment in parenting was…
When other parents tell me how polite my children are when they are over (it’s also my most shocked moment!).

July 15, 2010

An A-List Interview: Peter Brown

PB: "While I'm especially interested in urban wilderness, I also love unique gardens like this one in Madrid."

This week, we’re getting to know Peter Brown, author and illustrator of The Curious Garden and Chowder. His books are some of my favorites, and this interview made me want to know even more about him. We share a mutual love of the Highline in New York, which is the epitome of a “curious garden.” Enjoy this fun interview: it’ll make you smile as much as one of his books!

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Peter Brown: Who am I to judge?

AW: What inspires you?
PB:
I’m very interested in the juxtaposition of seemingly opposite things, especially when it involves nature.  Urban wilderness is one of my favorite subjects, one which I explored in my book “The Curious Garden.” The most famous example of urban wilderness was probably the High Line in New York City. The High Line was an abandoned railway that became overgrown with wildflowers and grasses and trees, and in 2009 was converted into a public park.
I’m also interested in the similarities and differences between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom, a subject I touched upon in my upcoming book “Children Make Terrible Pets.”
 
AW: What color are you loving right now?
PB: I don’t have favorite colors, I have favorite color combinations. These days I’m using a lot of “earth” tones, like mustard, sepia, and forest green, combined with bright pink and bright blue-green. Here’s the cover of my upcoming picture book “Children Make Terrible Pets,” available September 2010, where you can see this palette.

AW: What are you currently reading?
PB:
I’m always working on one piece of Non-Fiction AND one of Fiction. Currently I’m reading A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and their Uncertain Future by David Hancocks, and Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov.

AW: What is your favorite city/location/destination?
PB:
Of the places I’ve already been, I’d say my favorite was probably the mountains and fjords of Norway. If unicorns exist, they live in Norway.

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
PB: To me, Jazz is the most versatile music genre. Some jazz makes me relaxed, some makes me want to dance, some is happy and some is sad. Most jazz is both happy AND sad, which is wonderful. Lester Young soothes my soul.

AW: What is your favorite dessert?
PB: Chocolate bread pudding that is a little crispy on top, and a little gooey inside.

AW: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
PB: Creating a life for myself where I get paid to do what I love.

AW: Who are your heroes?
PB: James Marshall, Busby Berkeley, Jane Goodall, Hayao Miyazaki and Jon Stewart.

And, please complete the following:
Curmudgeons make me laugh.

A concept sketch from "The Curious Garden".

June 30, 2010

An A-List Interview: Lucy Sykes Rellie

This week we’re talking to Lucy Sykes Rellie. Lucy is well known both for her fashion pedigree and for being a fixture on the New York social scene. (You also might know her as the TJ Maxx “Maxxinista.”) But it’s not just her astute fashion sense that got our attention. Lucy is also the mother of two young boys and has been a designer of high-end children’s clothes that embrace “sensibility with an American twist.” We’re excited to pick Lucy’s brain about what inspires her the most!

 
 

Lucy, her husband and two boys.

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Lucy Sykes Rellie:

Fake it until you make it.  That means have fun, don’t be held back, never assume that you can’t do anything or achieve anything, and when you’re out of your depth, act the part and you’ll normally be fine.
 
AW: What inspires you?
LSR:
The view from my bedroom window in our beach cottage in Water Mill, NY.  The trees are just starting to turn green again.
 
AW: What color are you loving right now?
LSR:
Magenta, which is lovely when it’s paired with black & white.  I love the cheekiness of the Liberty of London for Target collection.  It’s old meets new meets now. Those florals have got me thinking again. 
 
AW: What are you currently reading?
LSR:
Vicky Ward’s Jackie-Collins-meets-investigative-journalist book, The Devil’s Casino, and Derek Blasberg’s popcorn confection, Classy.

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
LSR: I just came back from our latest trip to County Carlow in Ireland with my husband Euan Rellie and our boys Heathcliff and Titus.  Everyone should go to stay in the Lisnavagh Cottages in Rathvilly.  They’re something out of the 1940s, surrounded by evocative rolling fields. (info@lisnavagh.com)

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
LSR:
Tchaikovsky’s ballets, especially Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

AW: What is your most favorite baby gift you received?
LSR: The simple white, striped towelling in which the nurses wrapped both my boys after they were born at St Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village, NYC.  Tragically, the hospital is closing this month despite our efforts to keep it open.
 
AW: What is the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
LSR: Pyjamas from the Poppy Store, Brentwood Country Mart.  I’m so inspired by Heather Whitney, the co-owner and designer.
 
And please complete the following:
 
…make(s) me laugh.
LSR: “Jersey Shore”.  Have you seen the Vitamin Water ad starring Mike “The Situation” and David Wright of the Mets?  Watch it on YouTube.

My proudest moment in parenting was…
LSR: Titus Rellie singing the alphabet to me in the park yesterday.  He was even prouder than me though.

June 15, 2010

An A-List Interview: Jennifer DeLonge

Jennifer DeLonge is a designer who is right up my alley. Not just in regards to giggle, but in regards to my personal style, as well. I think of her as a Bohemian modernist who manages to keep her designs both fun and beautiful at the same time, combining classic style with her own brand of rocker cool. So I was excited to hear a little more about what inspires Jennifer the most…

Ali Wing: What inspires you?
Jennifer DeLonge: My influences are always changing and I am often inspired at moments when I don’t think there is a spark left to ignite a concept! Traveling is always a big factor whether it’s a new boutique hotel in NYC or a remote beach in the Caribbean that inspires a color palette. As a designer, I have to get out of the office! I am constantly inspired by the greats of mid-century design and love to discover unknown designers as well. Vintage has a huge influence on my design aesthetic when it comes to translating products into modern pieces that families will love. Textiles are so important – handmade items from Thailand and Peru as well as tactile, recycled items that give a room a textured feeling currently inspire me. I am focused on ways to infuse beautiful, original handmade items into the line.
 
AW: What color are you loving right now?
JD: Turquoise with canary yellow, Moroccan blue with tangerine and classic black and white with a pop of green. We just purchased a beach house for weekends and the summer and I am excited to get to work on new color palettes for the home! A new project always teaches you to push the limit on color…to change up the mix.

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
JD: I have to be a little biased here and say my husband’s music, especially when he is at home and playing acoustic guitar in our living room. It’s very impromptu and quite beautiful.
 
AW: What is the most favorite baby gift you received?
JD: At my shower for Jonas my friends created the most amazing handmade collage as a piece of art on a framed canvas . With champagne flowing (none for me of course!) the girls created an ode to Jonas that had a picture of each of the girls as a baby. They then wrote the funniest quotes next to each baby face like…”be sure to ask your sister before trying to kiss her friends”.
 
AW: What is the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
JD: Hands down the Luxe glider in my line and the Skip Hop Pronto Changer.

AW: What’s your proudest moment in parenting?
JD: One of my proudest moments in parenting was when my daughter Ava started preschool at 3 years old. She had such confidence walking into the classroom ready to start a new adventure that I felt like I did my job of nurturing a secure, confident little being. She said “See you later, mom” and took off for the playground. I roughly remember being in tears all day, but she was fine!

May 13, 2010

An A-List Interview: Ellen Diamant

This week I’d like to introduce someone who’s both a smart businesswoman and a good friend, Ellen Diamant of Skip Hop. She and her husband, Michael, possess the unique ability to identify missed opportunities in the juvenile market and create products with spot-on function. She and I are kindred spirits, both living in New York, both the mom of one son, and both dedicating our lives to designing better solutions for parents!

Bali, one of Ellen's favorite destinations.

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Ellen Diamant: Striving for excellence no matter what, following your dreams.

AW: What inspires you?
ED: I am a blog-oholic so I am always scanning design and baby blogs from all over the world – I don’t care if they are in Japanese! I love checking out new experimental artists too. I just went to a bunch of Spring art fairs in New York City – PULSE NYC, The Armory Show, etc. So inspiring!

AW: What color are you loving right now?
ED: Loving the color soft plum as an alternative to pink. Organic, fun, colorful prints are huge now.

AW: What are you currently reading?
ED: I am watching…! Right now, I am obsessed with Mad Men on DVD. They do an amazing job capturing that time period.

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
ED: My hometown, New York City, of course! I also love Bali and Hong Kong.

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
ED: Love Radiohead. Just saw Vampire Weekend in concert – amazing show!

AW: What is the most favorite baby gift you received?
ED: An activity gym – our inspiration to make a great designer one!

AW: What’s the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
ED: You can never have enough soft, cozy swaddling blankets. And of course, the Skip Hop Pronto is a must-have!

AW: What makes you laugh?
ED: My son’s 3rd grade humor – the delivery is priceless!

AW: What’s your proudest moment in parenting?
ED: Every day is a proud moment for me.

Colorful art by Sarah Morris - one of Ellen's inspirations.

April 29, 2010

An A-List Interview: Christiane Lemieux

New on the scene less than a decade ago, today DwellStudio is almost synonymous with “modern baby.” This week we’re talking to the woman behind the designs, Christiane Lemieux. I love the way she uses color, geometric shapes, and symmetry to create iconic designs that are simple and sophisticated, seamlessly blending vintage and modern design. And as someone who loves to travel and balances multiple roles of mom, designer, and company co-founder, Christiane is exactly the kind of modern mom her products are designed for!

 

Christiane in India.

Ali Wing: What inspires you?
Christiane Lemieux: I am really inspired when I travel – with the internet it’s possible to see what is going on all over the world but it’s  not the same as actually being there.  I just came back from a trip to London and Paris with my family – it was so inspiring.  From the design of the hotels to the amazing architecture I was sketching like a mad person.  I was also moved by how much my children absorbed.  It’s amazing to see the Eiffel Tower again for the first time through your child’s eye.

AW: What color are you loving right now?
CL: I am loving gray – gray is the new chocolate.

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
CL: I am a gypsy at heart – give me a plane ticket and I will go.  It turns out that my kids and husband are the same – so far as a family we are loving Paris for all the amazing family activities.  The French are stupendous with kids. What could be better then trampolines in the middle of the Tuilleries gardens? Personally – I am in love with India – the colors, the people, the culture.  It’s my favorite and hands down the most inspiring place I have been.  I hope to take my kids soon but I am terrified by the 15 hour fight.  We just conquered Europe!

Christiane and her son.

AW: What is the most favorite baby gift you received?
CL: I think I was a pretty difficult person to buy a baby gift for! Jennifer Chused, my partner, got me the Seimi Bassinet from Netto and I love it.  I have since lent it to several friends and colleagues and they have all loved it too.  I will keep it as an heirloom for my kids.  It’s literally perfect.

AW: What is the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
CL: Since I am still totally in this – three things – Born Free bottles, Aquaphor for diaper rash and Nuk pacifiers – In addition to my DwellStudio hooded towels and Owls nursery!

AW: What’s your proudest moment in parenting?
CL: I think it’s safe to say that there are amazing moments everyday – amazing can go both ways with parenting – you can be amazed how well something goes or inversely you can be amazed at how something can backfire…I think I am most proud at my ability to get a sleep schedule going and keeping it – thanks again Dr. Weissbluth.  I think this has given my kids a framework and consistency and allowed them to thrive. When your kids are well-slept – the world is a better place.

Christiane and her daughter under the Eiffel Tower.

April 20, 2010

An A-List Interview: Kerri Lee

When it comes to artists who make beautiful baby gifts, Kerri Lee is one of my favorites. She brings a handmade nostalgia and heirloom quality to every piece she makes, while still keeping her designs up-to-date enough for today’s parent. Her products ooze American craftsmanship that’s true to her own “small town” Catskills life, making every Tree by Kerri Lee gift one to cherish. Let’s find out what she has to say!

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Kerri Lee: Listen to your heart, use your head, and work hard.

 

  A few Kerri inspirations: A print from Helen Dardik, part of an old cash register drawer, and some mixed-media owls.

AW: What inspires you?
KL: Vintage objects of all types — toys, books, housewares, clothing, industrial    pieces.

AW: What color are you loving right now?
KL: Raspberry.

AW: What are you currently reading?
KL: A bunch of 5th grade level books!  One of my production artisans convinced  me to join the Parent Team of our kids’ school’s “Battle of the Books” Challenge, which is a game show — type of contest about the books.  We hope we don’t get beaten too badly by 11 year olds.

 

AW:  What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
KL: Montreal.

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
KL: Modern rock and Broadway show tunes.

AW: Of the baby gifts you received, what was your favorite?
KL: A baby journal from my sister.

 

AW: What’s the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
KL: Baby Bjorn carrier.

AW: What makes you laugh?
KL: Tickling my daughter.

AW: What’s your proudest moment in parenting?
KL: When my kids tell me I’m the best mommy in the whole world!

April 5, 2010

An A-List Interview: Dan Zanes

Transcending the children’s music genre, Dan Zanes prides himself on making music for everyone, everywhere. His collaborations with a wide range of artists have led to several great music collections that are loved by parents and children alike. (Needless to say, we’re fans, too!) He’s cool, creative, fun, and accessible, so who better to include as one of our A-List interviewees!

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Dan Zanes: I have a lot of mottos — I like to sing them.

AW: What inspires you?
DZ: The people around me.

AW: What color are you loving right now?
DZ: Preserved lemon

AW: What are you currently reading?
DZ: The Known World, The African-American Heritage Hymnal, Why Manners Matter

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/destination?
DZ: Tucson? Peru? Morocco? New Paltz? Washington Heights?

AW: What is your favorite dessert?
DZ: The one I had for breakfast. A selection of Middle Eastern pastries!

AW: Of the baby gifts you received, what was your favorite?
DZ: A blanket.

AW: What is the baby product you can’t/couldn’t live without?
DZ: Diapers

AW: What makes you laugh?
DZ: Dancing

AW: What’s your proudest moment in parenting?
DZ: Too many to choose from. Going into the playground with my daughter for the first time was one of them.

March 18, 2010

An A-List Interview: Lorena Siminovich

This week, I’m talking to Lorena Siminovich of Petit Collage, the artist behind our Safari Friends room décor and illustrator of one of our favorite lines of board books (among other things!). I love Lorena’s modern-meets-vintage style, and apparently lots of other people do, too, as evidenced by the wide array of products with her designs. Lorena’s work is definitely on my “A” List, so I’m excited to find out what’s on her mind.

 

Ali Wing: What is your motto?
Lorena Siminovich: Since becoming a mother, my motto is “Take one day at a time!”

 

Siminovich and her baby daughter.

AW: What inspires you?
LS: Mid-century design, children books, and blogs!

AW: What color are you loving right now?
LS: Yellow

AW: What are you currently reading?
LS: Milk magazine and The E-Myth

AW: What’s your favorite city/location/ destination?
LS: London and New York for inspiration, Spain and Mexico for relaxing, and Buenos Aires for friends and family!

AW: Who is your favorite composer, or what is your favorite music genre?
LS: Ella Fitzgerald

AW: Of the baby gifts you received, what was your favorite?
LS: A handmade doll and a handmade pillow two dear friends made.

AW: What is the baby product(s) you can’t/couldn’t live without?
LS: Kangaroo sling, Natursutten pacifier

AW: What makes you laugh?
LS: My 1-year-old daughter throwing kisses to random people in restaurants makes me laugh.

AW: What’s your proudest moment in parenting?
LS: Flying back from Buenos Aires for 20 hours alone with my then 10-month-old daughter — and no meltdowns!

Mom and daughter.