Clémence dessine les collections, Anaïs s’occupe de sa distribution aux États Unis et maintenant en France depuis peu. Petite Lucette, c’est d’abord une histoire de famille. L’histoire de deux sœurs complices portées par une nostalgie heureuse et créatrice. Celle de l’enfance, des vacances partagées chaque année en Provence dans la grande maison familiale. Une vraie source d’inspiration pour cette collection printemps-été au charme fou.
Many times the history of a children’s product company is a family story. Juvenile product and fashion entrepreneurs tend to be influenced and inspired by the young people in their lives, or by experiences they had in their own youths. These are stories of creativity, innovation, talent, smarts and challenges, shared with people who are willing to provide love and support. These stories are particularly interesting when the company is headed up by a pair of siblings.
CHERUB CHIC : Anaïs de Viel Castel brings enfant couture to DC.
To Anaïs de Viel Castel, fashion IQ begins in childhood—or at least that’s her mission. When the Paris-born-and-raised mother of two launches Petite Lucette from DC this month, she’ll swim against a current of youth fashion splashed with primary colors and cartoon characters. It’s an unveiling for which de Viel Castel thinks Washington—and the rest of America—is ready.
The Glover Park resident, whose daughters are 5 and 3, has lived in the States for eight years. She landed in DC several years ago when her husband took a job with a French subsidiary based in the area. De Viel Castel had kicked around entrepreneurial ideas, but nothing stuck, until shopping for her girls in France. “I always bought clothes for my girls in Paris boutiques. I couldn’t find anything I really liked here—the designs and colors were off,” she says. “When I returned to DC each time, other moms would compliment me on the way my kids were dressed. My sister Clémence is a designer in Paris. We talked, and the idea was born.”
The duo’s spring and summer line, crafted for girls and boys ages 6 months to 8 years, includes shorts, skirts, blouses and dresses. “My family still has a country house in Provence, so the inspiration for the line comes from the earth tones found there—the blue of the sky, the yellow of the hay, the gray of the stones.” In addition to buying online, DC parents can find Petite Lucette’s designs at spring trunk shows, Pam K. Bambini Children’s Boutique and Union Market’s Salt & Sundry. De Viel Castel and her sister are also busy with a fall-accessories line that will include baby bedding, mobiles and hair accessories. Meanwhile, her daughters will help roll out the spring and summer collection. “They see samples and get excited,” she says. “I dress them so can they can unveil the looks on the playground with friends. I call them my mobile marketing team!”
de Viel Castel's Hots: Provence and rosé wine, Hu’s Shoes and Hu’s Wear, Christine Lagarde, French fries at Blue Duck Tavern, peonies
de Viel Castel's Nots: Potholes on DC roads, selfies, kids’ clothes made by children, flip-flops
Everywhere you look, light streams through the windows in Anaïs de Viel Castel's Glover Park home, spotlightlighting her and her two playful daughters, five-year-old Léopoldine and Victoire, three and a half. «Léopoldine is the sweet one, she likes to please everybody. She looks a lot like me when I was her age," says de Viel Castel, 34. "Victoire is the funny one, she likes to crack jokes and has the same sense of humor as her dad." As for de Viel Castel's third daughter, who is due in July, only time will tell. Having little girls was the inspiration behind Petite Lucette, the two-year-old children's clothing line de Viel Castel cofounded with her sister, Clémence de Laubier. "I realized there weren't many options for mothers like me who wanted to find elegant and simple clothes at an affordable price," she says. Fashion has long been in her blood, she used to work for Hermès in Paris, where she was raised as the eldest of five, and where she met ber husband, Renaud. He proposed in a hot-air balloon, just before we moved to the United States," she says. They were married at her parents' country house in Provence. Of Renaud's parenting style, de Viel Castel says, "Fie lets them get away with everything. Whenever they go out together they come back with choco]ate around their mouths and new pink toys." Regarding her own mothering credo, de Viel Castel is a little more circumspect. "I know they are like sponges, and that they imitate me, just as I catch myself sounding like my own mother sometimes." As such, she does her best to practice patience. "I also try to maintain a predictable and harmonious schedule for the girls. That helps me keep my sanity." De Viel Castel relies on her husband for support (I'm lucky not do be doing this alone"), but she also keeps her spirits high by thinking about the future for her girls. "I like to remind them they can do anything they want. If they have a dream and they work hard, everything is possible. They are powerful, smart, and beautiful; I am so proud of them."
Fresh to market just this March, Petite Lucette charts a new, très Français course for children’s clothes. The company, founded by Parisian-born sisters and mothers, Anaïs de Viel Castel and Clémence de Laubier, takes a definitive stand against the candy-colored, too-cutesie options here in the states. The clothes are understated and elegant in the ways that are synonymous with the style of French countrywomen: chic yet subtle essentials cut down to smaller size.
lepetitjournal.com part à la rencontre de femmes expatriées qui ont créé leur entreprise dans la mode. Découvrez le parcours d'Anaïs de Viel Castel, qui a créé la marque pour enfants Petite Lucette.
"J’avais du mal à trouver de beaux habits pour mes filles aux Etats-Unis. Alors, je leur achetais des vêtements quand on revenait à Paris, des vêtements qui plaisaient beaucoup à mes amies. C’est pour cela que nous avons eu l’idée de créer, avec ma sœur Clémence, une marque pour enfant ".