The designs for Kids apparel
Leading the parade, held by a nurse and dressed in a pale blue cape, was 8-month-old Charlie Jr. Fatherhood had surely affected Mr. James. What else could explain why a design genius would bother with a pipsqueak trade like Kids apparel
? Even then, it was a tough business, filled with manufacturers with names like Cute Togs and Bo-peep trying to strain a profit from a yard of seersucker. On the other hand, Mr. James’s idea of baby clothes, like all his ideas, was attached to a principle.
“Most American fashion is based on older women trying to look like babies,” he told a writer for The New Yorker, taking a swipe at Claire McCardell and others who designed adult play clothes. “We’ve reversed the process Antibacterial fabric and garment .”
But Mr. James did not mean miniatures. What astonishes about his designs (you can see them online) is just how thoroughly childlike, in shape and detail, they were. The Jamesian magic was in the execution.