Wild and funky animals, up-cycled materials, and lots and lots of creativity were on display at this year’s Playtime New York. Designers brought their newest clothing, blankets, toys, and inventions to Manhattan in the hopes of starting a trend and getting picked up by the hottest tri-state boutiques and shops. Barista Kids visited Playtime New York on its first day, and we found lots to love.
Animals were everywhere at Playtime New York. What we loved was seeing that the animals were classic, artistic renditions instead of cartoonish transfers. One of our favorites were the decorative wall hangings, bookends, and wall hooks from Fiona Walker. The felt animals are beautiful, unisex, and definitely not babyish. An independent design focus was apparent in the many other versions of foxes, lambs, elephants, zebras, and other animals we saw printed, embroidered, and sewn onto clothing and blankets. For stuffed toys, we loved Hazel Village for the soft, friendly, gender neutral, animals. Hazel Village also had adorable interchangeable outfits for the various animals to wear. Something else we noticed: Foxes are definitely not over, and we loved it!
Up-cycled materials were seen in clothing, blankets, and decorations at Playtime New York. Designers took inspiration, quite literally, from past trends even as they helped live up to ReUse/ReCycle in their wares. One of the most luxurious up-cycled booths, Agua Cashmere from trash-a-porter, used vintage cashmere sweaters to create beautiful children’s coverups, cozy crib blankets, and adorable stuffed cats that were unbelievably soft. Kallio uses recycled shirts, pajamas, and other pre-loved clothing to create fun and funky designs for children. Karina Kallio, the designer, was passionate about her vision and her devotion to ethical factories and sustainable clothing.
Barista Kids was happy to see Montclair’s own Woolly Boo at Playtime New York with beautiful organic, fair-trade children’s bedding. Another standout booth was Ellie Fun Day. Their adorable baby blankets are made with all natural materials and stitched by marginalized and under-resourced women in India. The simple, sometimes whimsical, designs were both gender-neutral and folksy.
Barista Kids loves books, so we were thrilled to see the sustainable, eco-friendly book sets from Home Grown Books at Playtime New York. Both the artwork and engaging text are designed to inspire and stimulate children in early reading. The art is beautiful enough for caregivers to appreciate even while it is colorful and inviting to young children. We especially loved the look of the City & Country Set as well as the Adventuring Set.
There were many up-and-coming designers with inventive and wacky items — many of which we wished were made in adult sizes. Check out our slideshow to see the fun.