Mommy ‘Dearest’

Summer may now officially be ‘history’, but one of the most popular and ubiquitous item of this past season, the caftan tunic, will no doubt live on. Why? Well, like all other fashion trends relegated to classic status, they are practical, flattering on many different body types, work well with shorts, pants, skirts of every length, easily go from day to night, or summer to winter (just layer it under a blazer, cardigan, coat, or fur), and are available at every price point. In addition, they can be worn by both sexes and adapted by ages, and thanks to one young designer, Carolina Zapf, they are now a ‘family affair’. Ms. Zapf has created a wonderfully classic, clean and un-ethnic-y version in crisp 100% cotton sized for baby girl, baby boy, and mommy, (talk about ‘All in the Family’!) The only one left out (thus far) is daddy. But hey, who knows what this children’s wear designer has up her sleeves.

Ms. Zapf, a young, chic and attractive German born woman with great taste, and a background in fashion design, was admittedly influenced by her mother’s “amazing sense of style” (she collected 60’s and 70’s haute couture). After the birth of her daughter, Lily, she was inspired to launch her own line of high end baby clothing and gifts, Baby CZ ( which she likes to describe as “classic with a modern edge”. She was intent on filling what she saw as a gap within the children’s wear arena and wanted to fill that gap by creating understated yet distinctive pieces that were about high quality and timelessness. She started with cashmere because she felt that nobody else was using this luxurious fabric in such a great way. Her line is now carried in stores across the country including Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus, and Gumps but one can also order online or over the phone.

Wholesale prices for these tunics (which are from the spring 2006 collection) are as follows: CZ Style #455 (mommy tunic), $40; Style #444 (tunic for kids) 3 -24 months, $23; 2t- 4t, $25; 5Y-8Y, $28.

FYI: Good news for those who relish the idea of keeping it all in the family…..for fall 2006, Carolina promises to add more ‘mommy’ styles. If you want more information, e-mail:, or telephone, 212 580 5190, 1- 877- 8- BabyCZ

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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