If you want to focus on the positives, after a difficult spring of isolation and worry, we're heading into the Summer of Mellowing Out. All I want are pretty patterns and soft colors — together, the basic aesthetic of Lauren Conrad. The fashion designer is known for her pretty jewelry, ruffled dress hems, and floral tea towels, and she hopes to bring that same kind of vibe to her new children's clothing line, Little Co. by Lauren Conrad at Kohl's. "I really wanted the palette to feel colorful and fun without being too bright," she says, giving Romper an exclusive first look at the collection. "You want your kids' clothes to have some personality, but without being too loud, and I've always had a hard time finding that."
The line is part of a long-term vision for Conrad, who previously released maternity and everyday wear lines for women. "While this isn't the ideal time to launch a brand, I hope this collection will be helpful for families," the mother of two says in an emailed conversation.
Conrad describes quarantine with her family — her husband, William Tell, and her two sons, 2-year-old Liam and 7-month-old Charlie — as "a bit chaotic." "My husband and I work together and are often on the same Zoom calls. It’s a lot of scheduling around nap times or else one of us is holding a baby. Like most families, we are trying to enjoy this time with our children, but are also exhausted." She envisions her customers as needing the same level of simplicity she aspires to.
In an industry saturated with expensive clothing for children, the Little Co. line comes off as budget-friendly, and allows parents to shop for several children in one brand. The Little Co. line carries sizes 0 to 24 months and 2T to 5T, with all items priced under $20. The line is also made with 100% organic cotton, featuring several mix-and-match looks, and Conrad says all of these selling points were intentional. She wanted a line that worked for every type of family, and she wanted it to be full of "playful pieces that could easily be mixed and matched."
The word "easily" sticks out to me the most. In a time in our lives where our children are often spending the day in pajamas and on a tablet so we can have five minutes to work, "easily" feels like a rally cry. Anything that can make the days go a big smoother is a win, even if that thing is putting together an outfit without much effort.
It meshes with her down-to-earth approach to parenthood. "It isn’t selfish to take a bath when the kitchen is a mess or sit down and rest while your child sleeps," Conrad says.
While a global pandemic isn't the best time to launch a new work project, the line is definitely playful, and it just exudes childhood to me. I tell Conrad that nearly everything I own from her original Kohl's line (and I own *a lot*) is my favorite because it's pretty and lovely, but functional, too. She tells me this kind of design aesthetic and idea was intentional — she wants you to *live* in and with the things you buy.
"Being a mother has definitely influenced both of my Kohl's lines," she says. "I've wanted to design a kids' line for a while now, but I wanted to make sure that I had enough experience shopping for kids' clothes before I did so." She made sure the pieces were all complementary (you know, so you can blearily grab an outfit together without too much work), gender neutral, and that they could work as hand-me-downs for other children. "Kids grow so quickly, so I’m a big fan of hand-me-downs," she says.
Little Co. by Lauren Conrad is available on the Kohl's website starting May 21, with the full brand launching on May 26.