Post written by Leah
The winter edition of bi-annual trade-only expo Playtime Paris – www.playtimeparis.com – is on in the city of lights this weekend. 250+ exhibitors have come from all over the world to Paris to showcase their wares ready for the upcoming European spring/summer season, and today and tomorrow we bring you the best of the 12 categories on show. From clothing to toys, accessories to cosmetics, we have sorted through each and every exhibit to find the top 3 in each area.
On today’s menu we offer part 2 of our coverage with the final 6 categories on show: Cosmetics, Accessories, Design & Gift, Nursery Goods, Organic & Fair Trade and Illustration & Graphic Design. Feast your eyes on our choice of top picks. Enjoy!
Read Part 1 of our Playtime Paris February 2011 coverage here.
If you are thinking of entering the Baby and Children’s product market, you would be wise to look at cosmetics / skin care. This year, Playtime Paris saw a single exhibitor within this category. With infant massage strongly encouraged in maternity hospitals, and the majority of parent well aware of the chemically produced components of many supermarket shelved kids shampoos and moisturisers, I don’t think it due to lack of demand that there are so few.
1. Bubbles and Creams was created by Carmen, a pharmacist and natural cosmetics freak in her very own kitchen for her newborn. Friends asked to try it out, fell it love with it, and all of a sudden demand was too much for her own kitchen so she quit her job and made Bubbles and Creams officially a product manufacturer. Everything is organic and they are free of alcohol, free of petro-chemical derivatives, free of silicone, free of GMOs, free of paraffin, free of paraben, free of mineral oil, free of synthetic perfume and free of colouring agents. What’s more – it’s a truly environmentally friendly brand using recycable plastic bottles, labels which are manufactured from 100 % recycled paper and glued on the bottles with “Greentac Plus”, a recyclable adhesive and they boast the Ecocert label. Besides all this each products smells delicious! You can purchase Bubbles and Creams direct from their online boutique. Click here for all the details.
After clothing and shoes, accessories are my favourite thing to shop for when I have a chance. I have a particular fondness for lunchboxes and I am very taken with the retro revival of the lunch case and satchel.
1. Atsuyo et Akiko grew from a love of screen printing and illustration. Originally, Atsuyo was a shoe designer who travelled the world before working as a handbag designer for TOCCA in New York where a chance encounter with Akiko, who was working with acclaimed Japanese artist, AMANO in a SOHO studio, led to the development of their own label. Together they have fused their experience and passion to create stories with their accessories. Each line tells a story. Click here or peruse their online store.
2. Blafre is a Norwegian label bringing back retro in a big way. Blafre’s genesis occured in 2005, sparked by Ingrid Erøy and Remi Fagervik. Ingrid does all the designing herself and uses a wide colour palette. The range includes invitations, wall art, notebooks, art books, water bottles, lunch boxes, boxes and much more. Blafre do not sell direct to the public and are represented by distributors in each country. Find a stockist here.
3. Coq en Pate is an environmentally conscious French label. All items in the Coq en Pate range are made from 100% organic cotton free from chemicals used in conventional cotton product – ammonia, chlorine, pigments containing heavy metals, PVC and chromium. Where timber is used in an item it is sourced from sustainably managed forests. I just love that there is this movement towards stylish and functional items that don’t harm our environment. To purchase from the range, go directly to the site.
I have two reactions to illustrations created by talented people: one is awe, the other is envy. Today I am embracing awe, and I am sure you will too as you look through our top 3 picks from the weekend.
1. The Linna Morata range are Japanese ‘kawaii’ cute even though they are French! The collection”My Super Hero,” is the latest design to hit the label, created exclusively by Christopher Lardenois. I just love the range of patches. With two kidlets under 5 who are forever getting small rips in their denim, I love the idea of adding a patch and extending the wear of the item. It also makes them look quirky and hip! You can purchase the range from a number of stockists here.
2. Deuz is a hypnotic burst of colour, playfully combined to create stimulating playmats, bag/cushions and napkins for kids. Their large “Tapikid” or playmats are almost abstract in design, but with an outline sufficient enough for children to utilise their imaginations and create car tracks, farms, roaming walking trails or whatever they decide. Again, the movement towards environmentally friendly products has been embraced by Deuz creators (and sisters) Mary and Charlotte, who utilise certified organic cotton, natural dyes and recycled paper across their range. For stockists click here.
3. Lobuki was born during a meeting between cousins, Laura and Manu, in 2009. The wall stickers they design are amazing – they literally make you tingle with a feeling of magic and enchantment. The soft, delicate colour palette is perfect for a nursery, neither overpowering the walls or providing too much distraction at bedtime. Lobuki illustrations are printed on opaque white vinyl, are repositionable and will not leave marks on your walls on removal. Lobuki stickers are currently available for order for French residents only. You can contact Lobuki directly if you are interested in ordering from the range.
The category “childcare” was initially confusing. I wondered if they would be exhibiting Au Pairs or pre-schools. Fortunately not. I was pleasantly rewarded with nursery items, baby goods such as prams and cots, and other nursery paraphernalia. I must admit, I had a lot of trouble pulling myself away from the Baby Zen pram to find two other labels for the round up, but I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
1. Olivelse creates whimsical bedlinen for the nursery all with a heavily French influence and sourced vintage fabrics. Originally created by trained graphic designer, Else for her daughter Mila, the range has expanded each year to now include Ukulele shaped cushions. Click here to order from the store.
2. Ooh Concept - is a range of unique baby products that have been developed to make parenting easier. From a souped up baby potty (you can even get it designed as a throne!) to a bag that converts to a one stop nappy changing room, the products are French designed and yet to hit the Australian continent.
3. Baby Zen is revolutionary! It is the ONLY pram that can be truly opened with just one hand. I just love this concept! No more putting your baby into a hot car while you fold the pram away – you can hold them and fold the pram! It also comes with a solar powered LED lighting system that can be used as a warning light when crossing roads or as a road light at night. The commands sit on the handlebars. Jean-Michel started designing the Baby Zen concept back in 2006 when he realised using a pram was a bit like a Tetris game! The first Baby Zen prams hit the European market last month (December 2010). Have a look at the video below to experience the Baby Zen features. Unfortunately for Aussie residents, you’ll need to wait for this one to hit our shores.
If mother nature’s recent activity is anything to go by, the forecasters of rapid climate change are onto something. It was exciting to see an expo that has embraced the need for Eco products and created a category specifically of labels with a eco-conscious. Today’s round up looks at products that utilise manufacturing techniques that are safe for the environment and safe for our children, after all, we wish to leave them with a legacy we can be proud of.
1. Kite Kids is a UK label that specialises in eco-friendly garments for children aged 2-11 years. Based in Poole, Dorset, the designers behind the label were originally buyers for a number of High Street stores. After finding out a little too much about the effect of cotton production on the environment and farmers, they decided to create their own label that would be stylish and comfortable without compromising the planet which their children would inherit. All garments are made from either certified organic cotton, bamboo or recycled polyester. For stockists click here.
2. Easy Peasy is a label that specialises in slippers. Developed from eco-friendly raw materials such as 100% vegetable dyed leather with a full vegetal leather lining in undyed sheepskin, these slippers are super comfortable and stylish. Each pair comes in a slipper bag to reduce landfill. For stockists, click here.
3. Bomb Design is a label based in Berlin, Germany. Developed in 2001 by interior architect / designer Ulrike Acker and product designer Malte Nisch, the range includes soft pillows, blankets, merino knitted blankets, cuddly animals and stunning mobiles.
There were a large number of illustrators and graphic designers at Playtime Paris, offering their textile and illustrations design services to manufacturer. My picks below offer you a glimpse of what you might see upon upcoming children’s garments, books and paperworks in the future.
1. Charlotte Deinez Collection offers a selection of badges, paper goods and illustrations. Charlotte Deinez studied at Beaux Arts de Saint-Etienne and has directed her passion for art into her own collection. She hopes to convey the laughter, simplicity and happiness of childhood. A sample range of her creations are available at her website.
2. Graphiscopio by Rafbet Garcia is a freelance graphic designer whose creative output is snapped up for catalogues, magazine coverage and now children’s clothes. His bold, futuristic graphics maintain a primary palette resulting in strong, vivid imagery.
3. Fleurs de Gourmandises is a freelance graphic designer and photographer with a distinct French aesthetic, offering Louis XVI chairs (with a quirky colour palette), cupcake boxes for your jewellery and a whole bevy of items. Enjoy!
Read Part 1 of our Playtime Paris February 2011 coverage here.