Entrepreneurs that they areNice Mele Kalikimaka Merry Christmas Hawaiian Tiki shirt . Ward Durrett and Mendoza de Roccia are launching a private. label Maison Mini collection in sizes 2 to 8. The first pieces landed on the Maisonette site today, and subsequent drops will roll out on a weekly basis.“We’ve had customers asking for this from day one,” says Ward Durrett. “We call it your ‘maintenance shopping,’ the things you need daily, weekly, and monthly versus for special occasions.” Prices range from $20 to $50, with a cotton pinafore dress coming in at about $40. Affordability aside, the Maison Mini line is in keeping with the elevated aesthetic of the other brands Maisonette sells, only perhaps more playful. “We wanted a European sensibility, but with American sportiness, that casual living aspect,” says Ward Durrett. They hired Karolina Petersson, who worked at—wait for it—Céline under Phoebe Philo, to design it. Says Mendoza de Roccia: “Karolina has a 2-year-old son.
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She went through the same process we did; you start having kids and you realize how hard it is to dress them in the stylish way that you want toNice Mele Kalikimaka Merry Christmas Hawaiian Tiki shirt . She had a personal point of view that she brought to the table.”The results are charming—think unfussy shapes, natural fabrics, and subtle colors, as well as sweet ginghams, seersuckers, and prints. Ward Durrett’s 7-year-old boy has already given Maison Mini his seal of approval. “It’s basic enough for him and sporty enough that he’s okay with wearing it even though his mom is telling him to,” she says. “And I feel good about that because it’s not that expensive. For boys you have to go to Nike or Adidas and that’s an expensive purchase for a kid. This feels good in terms of value.” As for Mendoza de Roccia, she says, “On my end, my younger girls are very girly, but my oldest suddenly doesn’t want anything pink or a dress. And we have a number of pieces that are unisex—like sweatshirts—and that’s been great for her.”So, is an in-house line for adults in the future? With Petersson’s Céline experience it seems like a natural—and compelling—evolution. Though they’re in a growth phase with plans to increase the number of European brands they’re offering on the site, the Maisonette founders aren’t ready to commit to womenswear just yet. But never say never. Five years ago the mommy and me category barely registered with their cohort. Now, “everyone is secretly—or not so secretly—into it,” says Mendoza de Roccia. Odds are good that moms are going to want the grown-up equivalent of Maison Mini.
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