With several years of modeling experience and an education in marketing, Irina Ovrutsky was no stranger to the fashion world. So when she had her first daughter Lola, it was only natural for her to start designing clothes for her. “I didn’t want to spend a ton of money of clothes anymore because they grow out of them so fast, but it was still important to me that she was comfortable and looked great in what she was wearing,” says Ovrutsky.
When she had two more children—sons Shia and Julian—it became even more evident to Ovrutsky that she wanted a one-stop shop she could turn to for outfitting all of her children. That dream turned into a reality this March when she launched Lola & The Boys, an online retail shop dedicated to fashion-forward and affordable apparel for kids, aged anywhere from toddlers (12 months) to juniors (13 years). Though much of the site focuses on girls’ pieces, Ovrutsky is sure to pay plenty of attention to the boys, with items that are as cool and on trend as they are downright adorable (think star-decorated harem pants, a floral Bermuda shirt, and t-shirts boasting kid-tested lines like “More! More! More!”—“a direct quote from my own children,” notes a laughing Ovrutsky). Several of the pieces are designed by Ovrutsky herself, including the Unicorn Dream Satin Bomber and a variety of t-shirts, leather jackets, and scuba dresses. Whatever items she doesn’t design have to answer one important question before they become a part of the line.
“I always ask myself, ‘would I wear it?’” she says, referencing the opportunity for us to move away from the pink tutu for girls and more towards the embroidered denim dress or leather jacket. “Adult fashion translates really easily into kids’ fashion—there doesn’t need to be a big difference between the two.” Ovrutsky isn’t the only one noticing the fine line between the fashion worlds. The increased interest in adult sizes of several of the website’s pieces has prompted the designer to create a Mommy and Me section, featuring matching outfits for mothers and daughters.
Just a couple of examples from this line are the Mommy Lemon Sundress, a garden party-ready garment adorned in an eye-catching lemon print, or the Mommy and Me Denim Art Jacket, a classic find reinvented with bold pop art printed on the back. They are just a few ways that Ovrutsky channels her own creativity—along with the novel and fresh ideas of her children.
“Sometimes my youngest one will come upstairs to my studio and start putting together different patches he likes, and many times his ideas are really great,” says Ovrutsky, who turns to her daughter frequently for expert, 9-year-old insight. “If I’m deciding between two prints, I’ll ask Lola which one she likes better, and I’ll truly take what she says into consideration,” she says. “I like hearing what they have to say because their opinion makes a difference, and because they think so outside of the box—they often come up with things that are cooler than I could come up with myself.”
The website’s fall collection marks the family’s most recent design debut, an assembly of articles boasting bright hues, rich textures, and standout patterns, evidenced especially in a velvet butterfly dress, pinstriped blazers, and a houndstooth scuba dress. “Right now the big trends are all about bomber jackets and varsity jackets,” notes Ovrutsky, who’s a fan of sporting a soft leather jacket year-round. Patches are big, too. “They’re such a great way to express feelings and personality,” she says.
If you look too quickly, you’d think Ovrutsky’s designs were a collection for 20- and 30-somethings—until, that is, you spot all three of Ovrutsky’s children modeling the looks. “I feel like kids’ fashion can be as fun as kids themselves,” she says. “It’s important to let them express themselves and have different styles and their own individuality through their clothes, rather than trying to look like everybody else.”
To purchase any of these looks, visit lolandtheboys.com.