Not Your Mamas Couture
Posted on 03 August 2016
Think Skyler Berman, Suri Cruise, North West and the Beckham brood, who’ve been fashion-forward since their diaper days. Luckily, Hollywood isn’t the only place to find kiddie couture. LOL Kids Armonk brings the latest looks to fashionistas and fashionistas at home in WAG country.
The boutique is basically a very curated collection of the latest trends in high-end European fashion,” owner Julia Rozenfeld says. “People tell me that when you walk in, it’s like walking into the equivalent of Neiman Marcus for kids, in terms of the selection.”
LOL Kids Armonk — along with Little Rags and Riches, the online store — is a luxury children’s boutique, with merchandise ranging from newborn swimsuits and onesies to children’s playclothes, tweens’ school clothes, outerwear, toys, gifts and tutus, in a selection of youthful colors, fabrics, styles and prints.
“It’s a kid’s emporium,” Rozenfeld says. “It’s a one-stop shop for kids up to age 14.”
The Russian-born Rozenfeld, mom to an 11-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter, took over the boutique about three years ago after helping her son fight leukemia for several years. Serendipitously, the previous owner approached Rozenfeld and asked whether she knew anyone who might be interested in maintaining the business. And with that, she agreed to do so herself.
Rozenfeld entered the retail market — her third career — with no prior experience, but as a seasoned musician, she was passionate about art of all sorts.
“Fashion is an art,” she says. “It’s just as much of a visual art as sculpture and painting.”
Rozenfeld, a pianist, began playing at age 3 and performing concerts by age 6, eventually going on to graduate from Juilliard in Manhattan.
“Lincoln Center was my playground,” she says with a chuckle.
Following her music career, she spent 15 years working in investment banking on Wall Street. And now, she’s turned to retail, with some light photography on the side, her daughter serving as the subject in much of her work.
LOL Kids Armonk showcases Rozenfeld’s taste for European, retro-style children’s fashion. The store carries exclusive brands that aren’t easy to find in the United States, including Belle Chiara, Chloé Kids, Jean Bourget, Kenzo, Manuela de Juan, MiMiSol, Monnalisa, Petit Bateau and Silvian Heach Kids.
The current best seller, she adds, is Tutu Du Monde, an Australian company known for its majestic, princess-like tutu dresses.
“It’s a store that was started for photographers, by photographers, to create tutu dresses for their photo shoots,” she says. “They create couture-quality tutu dresses with handmade beading.”
The whimsical dresses have been a hit for kids’ birthday parties, special occasions and simply dress-up play.
“There was a little girl in the boutique over two weeks ago, and she put on a princess dress by Tutu Du Monde, and her mother said to me, ‘Look at her posture! She’s not flat anymore.’ It’s not just about fashion. It really warms my heart to see these little girls being transformed into princesses.”
And one of Rozenfeld’s favorite parts of the business is simply connecting with her customers.
“It gave me the opportunity to meet these wonderful families from all over,” she says. “We get birthday party pictures, Christmas pictures and all sorts of pictures from all of our customers. It’s great to see people enjoying the clothes and really appreciating the sense of aesthetic that I’m trying to have.”