When it comes to children’s fashion, there isn’t much that Christin Rueger and Natalie Schwartz don’t know. Not only do these New York-based mothers have plenty hands-on experience, with six children between them, they also co-founded ChicChild. The site tracks down the best trends, value, and investment pieces, and provides solutions for dressing children for every occasion. It also helps that, as former Merchandizing Directors for Vogue, both women love style no matter what the age group.
AERIN Southampton will be hosting a Chic Child outpost the week of June 25 through June 30 featuring Christin and Natalie’s top summer picks for children. On Saturday, June 27, kid- and adult-friendly snacks will also be available.
You were both Condé Nast Merchandising Directors before you started Chic Child—what prompted you to move into the world of children’s clothing, and how useful did your previous careers prove to be?
We have both always had a passion for fashion, but when we had our first children, a lot of that passion transferred to fashion for kids. Our previous careers proved to be not only helpful, but critical. Everything from branding our site to establishing relationships within the industry and marketing partnerships, we were so grateful for the experience we had and contacts we had made.
How do you feel about children’s styles echoing what’s fashionable for adults?
We closely follow the current trends and feel they are always important and relevant when talking fashion, though we do keep a relative classic and simple approach when it comes to children’s clothing. We love infusing a bit of trend, but it should always be translated in an appropriate way.
I love that Chic Child is concerned with finding solutions when buying outfits for children, from newborns upwards. As we move into summer, what items would you say are must haves for a boy and girl?
Children’s fashion is always fun, but summertime is loaded with so many great options for little ones. We love lightweight cottons and gauzy fabrics, stripes, batik and block prints, embroidery, bubbles on babies, swimsuits and cover-ups, straw hats, and scarves. We are especially excited about the collection we are curating for the AERIN boutique, which is filled with some of our favorite pieces of the summer.
Chic Child also includes grown-up trends and what fashions you’re currently coveting. How did your own style change when you had children?
We both have three children each and are out and about most of the day dealing with drop-offs, pick-ups, etc. so our day-to-day has really become about comfort. We love our accessories, which is an easy way to update a look with a touch of trend. And though we don’t match our children, our personal style definitely trickles down and often we find ourselves wishing our latest find in children’s wear was made in our size!
You follow a “high-low” philosophy when buying clothes for children. Can you explain how to make that work?
This is the way we dress ourselves, and it translates easily to how we shop for our kids. We feel good about investing in key wardrobe pieces or a classic item that will be versatile enough to wear in a variety of ways, and then add basics or lower priced, trendy pieces to the mix. This provides a balance between a high/low philosophy and allows for maximum styling opportunities.
As well as your own knowledge, you also have an impressive group of contributors. How important was it for you to include different voices and experiences?
It was particularly important for us in the beginning since we both had baby girls when we started to develop the site. We really wanted the voices of experience from moms of older children, boys, twins, etc. They are still a great resource for us when we have questions and are doing stories on topics we don’t have direct experience of.
What was your approach when looking for styles for the upcoming AERIN Trunk Show?
First, we really considered the AERIN aesthetic. Second, we wanted to put together a group of brands that you don’t see everywhere and that you can’t really find out in the Hampton’s, but that were ideal for the lifestyle. We have focused on easy breezy dresses, tops, swimsuits, cover-ups and lots of fun accessories. We wanted to keep it simple but with an element of surprise and lots of can’t-live-without items.
AERIN is also partnering with Chic Child on a summer giveaway. Enter here to win a straw tote of summer beauty essentials from AERIN and a Naomi Gray bracelet designed exclusively for Chic Child.