The Baby Collection: Behind the Design + Styling Tips
Nicole LaMotte for Parachute
Oh baby, the bedding you love is now available for the entire fam! Our baby collection was designed with the same elevated look and feel as all our home essentials…it just happens to be a little smaller. It’s also totally free of harmful chemicals and synthetics to keep your wee ones safe. Read on for why our team – and every parent – is going gaga right now…
Why baby? How long has this collection been in the works?
Ariel Kaye, Founder and CEO: We strive to be a brand that grows with the family. Often times, people discover Parachute after they move in with a significant other, get married or buy a house. Having a baby is a major life moment – and we’re honored to be a part of that journey.
Amy Hoban, Creative Director: When we first opened our Venice store, we got a lot of inquiries for baby bedding! Customers appreciated the minimal design of our bedding and the fact that we don’t make anything too fussy. We worked on the collection for about six months (which is actually faster than our usual lead times).
How did you approach the design process? What were the most important features to consider?
Amy: We wanted our baby collection to be an extension of the Parachute brand. Our customers look to us for a certain aesthetic, style and quality.
The baby collection features solid colors from our core line – and patterned designs new to the brand. How did you land on the moon and stars print? What other prints did you consider?
Amy: We’ve never done an in-house print, so it presented a new and exciting challenge. I have a collection of Katagami prints from Japan and was inspired by one in particular with a hand-cut moon and stars. We partnered with a freelance artist to design the pattern and kept the color palette a soft neutral.
How do you use a Swaddle Blanket? Can it be used for purposes other than swaddling?
Amy: The Swaddle Blankets can be used for a myriad of purposes besides swaddling. Try draping it over a stroller to protect your baby from the sun or wind. Or use it as a burp cloth or as blankie! [Ed. note: The Swaddle has sold out.]
This is the first time Parachute has styled a photo shoot in a nursery setting. How did the styling differ from what we’ve done in the past?
Hilary Sherman, Art Director:: We stayed consistent with our palette of white walls but wanted to conjure a sweeter vibe than our typical bedroom sets. We added a chair rail to help achieve this look. Our prop stylist, Scott Horne, did an amazing job sourcing pieces for the nursery, including a traditional white rocker, light and fun mobiles for above the crib – and, of course, adorable toys for the little ones to play with.
Amy: We incorporated natural pieces into the space – sheepskin, woods, muted colors. We used a Kalon crib, felt toys, mobiles and soft baskets to keep it clean and neutral.
Hilary, you’re mom to a six-month old and a two-and-a-half-year old. Which items from the baby collection should be parents’ first investment?
Crib sheets! As soon as my babies were born, I liked hanging out with them while they were in a crib so they could get used to the environment. A comfy crib sheet is a must!
Beyond Parachute, which items should every nursery should have?
Hillary: A rocker. I’ve spent a lot of time nursing, reading and soothing in our rocker.
Amy: I think a great sheepskin rug really makes a nursery feel like a nursery. Storage for hiding the less attractive baby items is always a plus, too.
Describe the vibe of the shoot. How was it working with pint sized models?
Hillary:It was fun and adorable! We scheduled a lot of kiddos in case one wasn’t camera ready, but they all were fabulous!
Amy:I had no idea what to expect, as I had never worked with babies. It was so much fun to see the kids come alive behind the camera flashes. The shoot went off without a hitch!
Nicole LaMotte, Photographer:We got extremely lucky. All of the babies were very well-behaved. It definitely added a new energy to our usual studio shoots – there were a lot of “awwwwws.”
How is shooting toddlers and babies different from adult models? How do you keep them happy on set?
Hillary: Believe it or not, keeping the little ones authentically smiling is somewhat easier than adult models! We had lots of toys and animated faces behind the camera to grab their attention.
Nicole: With babies, you have a very finite amount of time (legally and practically) to get the shot, so you want to make sure you are completely ready before putting the baby on set. Once the baby is in place, the best way to keep them happy is to have a designated ‘handler’ distracting them (making noises, funny faces, etc) to elicit the responses you want.
What’s your favorite piece from the collection?
Ariel: All of the items are adorable and serve a different purpose. Our Baby Quilt is one of my favorites. To see them miniaturized is so cute, and I appreciate their versatility: They can be used as a blanket or for tummy time.
Amy: The Percale Crib Sheet – the print will always be special to me.
Hillary: The Baby Quilt is so cozy and practical. I spend a lot of time on the floor with my littles ones, and it has the perfect amount of padding.
Nicole: The Cashmere Baby Blanket – I want one for myself!