Month: September 2014

Giveaway: Mainio Clothing AW14

Mainio Clothing AW14 - Toddler Girls ClothesMainio Clothes - Organic Boys ClothingMainio Clothing AW14 - Toddler ClothesMainio Clothing AW14 - Organic Toddler ClothesMainio Clothing AW14 - Toddler Hoodie SweatshirtMainio Clothing AW14 - CapeMainio AW14 - Cape

Finnish baby and children’s clothing brand Mainio‘s cool prints & color combinations return in its fall/winter 2014 collection and the results are cute, quirky, and stylish. Each collection features bold black-and-white graphics, but this season the line has also incorporated greens, yellows, and blues into the mix. Founded in 2013, the Finnish brand creates 100% organic cotton basics for babies and kids that are practical enough for everyday wear but still fun and unique – cool graphic t-shirts for toddlers, baby one-pieces and rompers, and easy-to-wear leggings. It’s all practical and fashion-forward yet still original and kid-friendly. Plus, in addition to using top quality GOTS-certified organic cotton, Mainio produces all of its clothes in strictly controlled facilities in India where the workers’ health and security are a top priority. The brand even donates a portion of all sales to their community, improving general well-fare, education and health care.

In addition to its new collection of bedding and dresses for women, Mainio has also launched an English website & is now offering international shipping! To celebrate, we have partnered with Mainio to give away one of the line’s most popular items from the fall collection: the brand’s cape, available in one size that fits 2 years and up, and featuring a bold eagle print on the front, graphic black and white back, and cozy hood (you can see this item in the last two pictures above). Made from a thick and cozy organic cotton, this top is the perfect layer for fall – fun, edgy, unique, and comfortable.

Enter to win below – one winner will be selected Monday, October 13th!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted by Estella Editor in Baby Boys, Baby Clothes, Baby Girls, Boys Clothes, Brands, Fall & Winter, Girls Clothes, Giveaways & Contests, Lines We Love, Mainio Clothing, Organic Baby & Toddler Clothes, 0 comments

Happy Weekend: Estella’s Weekly Roundup

Toddler Girls - Pink Coat

David Brooks on college’s role in becoming a real person.

Emma Watson’s UN speech on gender equality is moving & worth watching.

The best books on pregnancy, motherhood, and raising kids.

Help The Honest Company raise awareness for childhood cancers.

Too many toys and not enough space? Here are some cute storage ideas.

10 travel Instagram feeds to follow (+ 16 photographers).

To bookmark for Halloween: DIY Monster S’mores.

New graphic t-shirts for toddlers from Prefresh have arrived!

Posted by Estella Editor in Weekly Roundup, 0 comments

Just in: Beau LOves AW14

Beau Loves AW14 - Boys Hoodie SweatshirtBeau Loves AW14 - Baby Romper Bows and Arrows PrintBeau Loves AW14 - Baby Romper CrossesBeau Loves AW14 - Spiked Superhero HoodieBeau Loves - AW14 - Toddler Boys Sweater Mask

Estella is excited to be welcoming UK brand Beau LOves into the family for fall 2014! Inspired by her boy Beau, Faye Wilde used her background in fashion to found the children’s label in 2010. The British brand is loved for its quirky & bold prints and easy-to-wear cotton toddler & baby clothes; the pieces are practical and comfortable but with a modern and creative twist that separates them from other brands on the market. Plus, the brand designs and manufactures its entire collection (with LOve) in London, and always has beautiful campaign images (photographed by the talented Flannery O’Kafka).

For fall/winter 2014, the collection features bold bows + arrows & crosses prints, as well as the line’s signature mask graphic in a soft green, elegant grey, and bold blue. We’re offering cozy one-piece rompers that are made from a thick cotton to keep baby warm all winter, comfortable harem-style pants that are the perfect alternative , sweatshirts with spiked hoods, and even a cool harlequin printed bed set. Most of the styles are gender neutral and meant to be mixed and matched, so you know that they can and will be worn over and over again. Comfortable, cool, sophisticated, and full of personality, Beau LOves is the perfect option for adventure-loving little ones – head on over to Estella to shop our entire Beau LOves AW14 collection!

Posted by Estella Editor in Baby Boys, Baby Clothes, Beau LOves, Boys Clothes, Brands, Fall & Winter, Girls Clothes, Lines We Love, New Arrivals, 0 comments

A Conversation With: Photographer Luciana Golcman

Baby Toys - Estella Soft Baby Rattles School Bus

After our photo shoot a few weeks ago for our new collection of baby toys, we had the chance to chat with our photographer, Luciana Golcman. Read more below on her background in photography, tips for shooting pictures of little ones, & favorite places in NYC to view art!

1. Tell us a little bit about your background & what drew you to family, children, & newborn photography.

I’ve always been the one with the camera in my hands. Not only on trips or events, but even when there were no digital cameras I was already making “film selfies” with my friends on our nights in! When a stranger would ask me to take their photo I’d put so much effort into framing it well, having the subject well lit, and so on. I guess it’s just something within me. As for why I chose to photograph what I do, I absolutely LOVE children and the innocence in their eyes. Grownups can be shallow, mean, fake, but kids just can’t! They are themselves 100% of the time. And that’s what I love about it. So I started with kids and from then I branched to newborns, because, come on. Who doesn’t love a baby? Then my clients ended up asking me to photograph the whole family and their bumps. So this way I ended up filling all those gaps in motherhood and photographing bumps to families.

Baby Toys - Estella Knit Rattles

2. Did you go to school for photography?

I actually went to school for “Social Communications,” which is just a fancy name for advertising. In Brazil it’s very different and you don’t have a major and a minor. You simply have a career – so mine was advertising. In school I had many photography classes but definitely not enough, so after I moved to NYC (about 8 years ago) I started taking classes at ICP (International Center of Photography). I never did a full term program but I’ve taken about a dozen Continuing Education Classes both as a student and as a Teaching Assistant. And I don’t plan to ever stop learning.

3. How would you describe your shooting style?

What I look for when I’m shooting is to reveal a person’s soul through an image. I don’t like posing it’s fake. I love natural. When I have a session with kids, for example, I have them have a fun playdate with me and their family, and I stay “backstage” waiting for the wow moments. And as we’ve all heard before, “The eyes are the windows to the soul, ” so I’m insanely intrigued with the eye and how they sparkle when we’re happy. Or how it shines when it’s teary. It’s all connected.

Baby Toys - Estella Knit Airplane Baby Rattle

4. ISO, shutter speed, aperture – help! How can a beginner get the most out of a point-and-shoot or DRSL camera?

ISO, shutter speed and aperture are the exposure triangle. When you change one you have to compensate with the other(s). It’s like a seesaw. If the one side is heavier than the other, it’s going to tilt. So all you have to do is balance it out.

My advice for those wanting to learn how to shoot manually is to try to understand one by one first. Start with the “aperture priority” mode. See what happens when you drastically change the aperture. Then move to the shutter priority mode. And finally join them together to add the ISO factor.

Soft Knit Baby Rattles - School Bus Rattle

5. Are there optimal places or times of day to shoot? Any tips on how to get the best lighting?

All photographers talk about the “golden hour,” which is that short time right before sunset or right after sunrise. At this time the light is much softer and the shadows are not as hard. So it definitely looks much more flattering on your subject. Midday light is the harshest one, but there are always ways to work around it. After all, the best time to shoot is always NOW.

6. What are your top three tips for taking pictures of babies & young toddlers?

Patience, patience, patience. LOL.

Baby Clothes Estella NYC

7. Any particularly memorable moments or laugh-out-loud stories from your shoots with little ones?

Every shoot is has a memorable moment. I laugh so much every time. I’m not sure who is having more fun: the kids or myself!

8. When it comes to kids, attention spans can wane quickly – do you have a tips for keeping them engaged or tricks to get real smiles out of them when they’re not in the mood?

When they are really not feeling it, the worst thing you can do is force them. They are supposed to have fun, not be a perfect professional model. That’s why I always ask the parents to pack water, juices, snacks, and toys. If they are not feeling it we have a break, play, rest, and wait for them to feel better. The one thing that never fails, though, are bubbles. They just love them!

Baby Toys - Knit Rattles Estella NYC

9. You live in New York – do you have any favorite spots to take pictures?

My “public” studio, definitely (and by that I mean Central Park). It’s amazing how many different backgrounds you can get in Central Park! And because I usually blur the background to focus on the eyes, all I look for are backlit trees or anything else that would look beautiful blurred.

10. How about favorite places to view art in the city?

That’s a very difficult question. NYC is a Mecca of art. I love visiting the small galleries in Chelsea and Soho. And I’m extremely bummed that “Yellow Korner” (a great affordable photography shop) closed last year. New Yorkers deserve more places like Yellow Korner!

Baby Toys - Knit Baby Rattles School Bus Ambulence

11. Your talent speaks for itself through your photos. Is there anything you don’t do well that you wish you could?

Thank you very much :) We are always our worse critics. Every day I think to myself “I don’t do anything well! I still have so much to learn!” But if I should pick one thing I would say I can always learn more about light. Photography is all about painting with light, and the more you learn the more you see that it can change the way you look at the world.

Baby Toys - Car Rattle Estella

Thanks, Luciana!

Posted by Estella Editor in Baby & Kids' Toys, Baby Accessories & Toys, Interviews & Guest Posts, New York City, 0 comments

Just In: NUNUNU Fall 2014!

Girls' Dresses - NUNUNU AW14NUNUNU AW14 - Toddler Boys TopsNUNUNU FW14 - Hoodie Sweatshirt Geometric PrintNUNUNU AW14 - Girls' Leggings SkirtNUNUNU Fall 2014 - Denim Baggy PantsNUNUNU FW14 - Denim Toddler Baggy PantsNUNUNU FW14/15 - Baggy Pants StarsNUNUNU Fall 2014 - Army Jacket

The NUNUNU FW14 collection is now available to order at Estella – and this year we are offering some styles in sizes up to 9 years! The Israeli baby and children’s boutique brand is celebrating its 5th birthday this season, and is doing so with the same attitude & humor we all know and love. While old favorites, like the bold star and skull graphics, are still included in the collection, the designer brand has also introduced new prints and materials for fall 2014. Geometric prints cover girls’ dresses and toddler sweatshirts, a pullover top is created entirely out of metallic fabric, and tulle &  faux-leather details add the perfect amount of style and urban flair.

There are also new styles we are excited about, like the girl’s leggings with a skirt overlay and baby & toddler harem pants. As always, the designer baby and toddler clothes are practical, versatile, and highly-wearable – while some pieces (see: hoodie sweatshirts and toddler crewneck tops) are perfect for days at school, afternoon activities, or just lounging at home, other items (like this girl’s dress) offer the perfect alternative to stuffy, often-uncomfortable formal wear. Edgy & fashionable yet still functional & kid-friendly, NUNUNU successfully combines style and personality to create clothes that babies, children, and parents will all approve of this fall. Happy shopping!

Posted by Estella Editor in Baby Boys, Baby Clothes, Baby Girls, Boys Clothes, Brands, Fall & Winter, Girls Clothes, Lines We Love, New Arrivals, Nununu, 0 comments