Modern Baby Basics: An interview with Skip Hop co-founder Ellen Diamant on their exciting new baby layette collection!
We love Skip Hop! Starting with the brilliant and simple idea to create a diaper bag that attaches to a stroller, they’ve continually added more and more bright ideas to their collection, and now they’re simply everywhere. You’ve definitely seen kids on your street toting the adorable Skip Hop Zoo backpacks and lunchbags, and you’ll be seeing smaller kids everywhere wearing Skip Hop soon, since they’ve just introduced an amazing new layette collection!
We talked to Ellen Diamant, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Skip Hop about Modern Baby Basics, and what makes this apparel for babies so special.
Q: Before we get started: please introduce yourself! What’s your role on the Skip Hop team? What other design projects have you worked on for Skip Hop and other companies, and what projects are you proudest of?
My background is in marketing and creative design for several large product companies; I also had my own graphic design studio, prior to starting Skip Hop in 2003 with my husband, Michael.
I’m most proud of our first product that we started the company with – the Duo Diaper bag, which was the first diaper bag that easily converted from a shoulder bag to a stroller bag. After the success of the Duo diaper bag, we began focusing on evaluating tried-and-true baby gear essentials and reinventing them by eliminating the extraneous, increasing functionality, and providing a more modern design aesthetic.
Q: Moving on to the Modern Baby Basics layette collection: the key feature of this collection appears to be the fact that absolutely EVERYTHING goes together, so when a new mom is dressing her baby, she can just toss together and layer any combination of items according to how warm or cool the day is. Is this a unique strategy for baby layette? How did you come up with this strategy, and how was it executed in the design stage?
We spoke to many parents about what they look for when purchasing layette, as well as what life is like in the first year. Our entire layette line mixes and matches to create dozens of on-trend looks for any day of the week. The interchangeable designs allow parents to effortlessly create baby’s first fashion wardrobe – no matter how busy, sleepy-eyed or overjoyed you may be!
At Skip Hop, we are always trying to do better, which echoes our brand promise, “Must-Haves Made Better,” and we believe our layette collection achieves that goal by providing an easy solution that leaves baby and parents looking and feeling great!
Q: A stated goal in the promo material is to “capture innovative design, style, and function.” Tell me a bit more about this. What details on each item make life easier for new moms?
Our quick-snap side buttons enable parents to take our clothing on and off easily. And our 4-Piece Welcome Home Baby Set takes the guesswork out of bringing baby home in comfort and style, and includes all of the essential must-have pieces needed to make baby’s first public appearances memorable!
Q: You also mentioned that they want “clothing [that is] no fuss and allows for easier diaper changes.” Tell me about how your designs make this happen.
We try to provide our moms and dads with what they need and want and we know how important it is for them to have clothing that makes it easy to change baby’s diaper. Our quick-snap side buttons are key!
Q: Another priority mentioned from your research on what moms need and want from a layette collection noted that moms want clothing for baby that isn’t too thin and keeps baby warm, but also doesn’t cause overheating. It looks like you’ve done this by making pieces specifically for layering, so it can span multiple seasons. Tell me a bit more about this approach.
We feel like we picked the perfect “just right” fabric for our layette collection – not too thin and not too thick. All of the pieces in our collection can be mixed and matched to make it easy to dress baby every day, with more layers or less layers depending on the temperature and season.
Q: I know these pieces are made out of super-soft cotton – how did you choose the specific fabrics? Tell me a little more about the process.
We worked closely with our partners and reviewed a wide range of fabric options. When we selected our top options, we also tested them through multiple washes to ensure that softness was retained, if not improved. Our layette collection is made of the softest cotton for ultimate comfort!
Q: These layette pieces fit so perfectly with the Skip Hop aesthetic – you really could design a whole nursery in Skip Hop Zoo, ABC, or Treetop designs and have a baby dressed in the new layette blend in perfectly! Tell me a bit more about the decision-making process that led to choosing the colors and designs (and lots of chevron!).
Our layette collection features whimsical patterns in sweet hues with pops of bright color. We believe that the subtle coloring of the unisex chevron, clouds, and stars brings contemporary, yet timeless, style to baby.
Q: I also liked how everything seems to come in two color options: girly or unisex. Tell me a little more about this approach.
All of the items in the collection come in girl colors, boy colors, or gender neutral. The gender neutral pattern is a great gift for someone that is keeping their future little one a surprise, or to add to the girl/boy lines as natural wardrobe extensions!
Q: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you want to make sure our readers and customers know about this collection, that puts it head and shoulders above any other layette collection they might choose?
The same creativity and innovation that touches every product we create at Skip Hop is at the core of this new layette line. Stylish, versatile and comfortable, these essentials are the perfect addition to baby’s first wardrobe! We are incredibly excited about our Layette – it’s an absolute must-have for new parents.