When it comes to children’s clothing we’re big fans of bold and quirky prints. Well, meet the new label Izzy and Ferd.
Designed and manufactured in L.A., this label only just launched a couple of weeks ago and its first collection, “20,000 Leagues,” is filled with jellyfish, coral, seaweed, sharks, and squid on leggings and sweatshirts. Time for an interview with Cindy.
Tell us a little about your background? How did you become to be a children’s fashion designer?
My grandfather was a tailor in Vietnam and my grandmother ran a fabric shop. When I was a kid I wanted to learn how to sew like grandfather, but by then he was too old to teach me. Later in life, I discovered I loved clothes too – and I bought lots of them! My closet grew as I curated beautiful pieces. I learned how to pair patterns to make a bold statement. I always hoped to pass this passion on to my children. I gave birth to my son two years ago. I had to do a lot of digging to find stylish and comfortable clothes for boys. A lot of great unisex brands were abroad. He had packages delivered to him from as far away as Australia! That search inspired my husband and I, and to our love of clothes we added our love of stories. We were bookworms as kids. We wanted our son, even at a young age, to have fun clothes that reflected the wonders of childhood. Ultimately, that sparked the question, “What I.F.?” And the answer was Izzy & Ferd.
What inspires your work, and what do you want to inspire in others though your work?
Each Izzy & Ferd collection tells a story of discovery and adventure. This season is a great example. Our Fall/Winter 2014 20,000 Leagues collection explores the depths of the ocean. You’ll dive with jellyfish, sharks, corals, and have an encounter with a giant squid! We want to inspire children to explore. Our clothes spark your little ones’ imagination, transporting them to worlds imagined and real.
What is your favorite piece from the collection?
Now you’re asking us to choose among our favorite children! So instead, we’ll pick one and tell you why we love it. The sea dragon t-shirt. It’s a pattern that you have to see in person to fully appreciate, but the details are amazing. From far away, the pattern looks like camo or beautiful leaves, but up close, you realize that they are actually sea dragons.
Do you have children? How does that influence your work?
We have a 2 year old son and another baby on the way! When we look at a new collection, we envision a world and think of how fun it would be to explore from a kid’s perspective. We think about the stories we want to share with our children; stories that will encourage their curiosity. Then we design clothes that look good, feel good, and are inspiring.
What are the most rewarding and most challenging aspects of your job?
The most rewarding part of our job is seeing children play in our clothes. When you hear from a parent how excited their child was to choose the shark leggings, or wear the giant squid, you know you’ve played a little part in expanding their imagination. That’s an amazing feeling. Starting a new kidswear brand is very demanding on our time. When you have 3 or 4 collections running simultaneously in various stages of development, it can be quite the juggling act. Joe and I are lucky to have each other.
If one of our readers is only in L.A. for 24 hours what one thing would you recommend they do?
We’ll assume this reader is travelling with family. Head to Abbot Kinney, mill around the shops, and grab some gourmet pizza at Abbot’s Pizza Co. Travel north a bit and enjoy some time at Santa Monica beach and 3rd street promenade if you’re up for it. Late afternoon, head to Bay Cities Deli and grab a Godmother sandwich, cold cuts, and finger foods. If the stars align and there’s a family-friendly show at the Hollywood Bowl, take the bus to the Hollywood Bowl. Otherwise, head to Griffith Park and see the stars at the planetarium in Griffith Observatory.
Want to see the rest of their collection?
Photographs taken in Paris by the talented children’s fashion photographer Emily Kornya.
Alexander is wearing the Izzy & Ferd jellyfish sweatshirt, slimfit unisex Tootsa MacGinty jeans with beautiful details including a bear patch peeping from the rear pocket and his tiger trainers.