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Celebrity Mom Q&A: Cynthia Rowley

Designer and NYC mother of two

We were surprised (in a good way) to hear that designer Cynthia Rowley opted to go mainstream with her first line of baby clothes. Hooray by Cynthia Rowley launched this fall at 155 Babies ‘R’ Us locations in the US., and is just now rolling out its classic-sweet basics for spring—lots of plaids, ginghams, and seersucker for girls and boys up to 48 months. Rowley, who admits trying to squeeze her 4-year-old into the Hooray toddler dresses, spent a few candid moments chatting with StrollerTraffic about her new line, shopping for her own two daughters, juggling Fashion Week with play dates, and her pet peeves when it comes to kid fashion in New York.

Q.Why did you decide to go the mainstream route, rather than developing an upscale baby line?
A. Kids rip their clothes, and they stain them. They grow out of things. I think that kids’ clothes should be accessible and easy to care for, without giving up style.

Q. Given your background as a designer and trendsetter, do you feel pressure to dress your kids fashionably at all times? Even on the playground?
A. It’s really not that hard if you only buy pieces you like. The kids will mix them up and make them look cool and interesting. I think kids should have a say in what they’re wearing. It’s a means of self-expression. We have an accessories box at our house. Once the girls are dressed, they get to accessorize themselves.

Q. Where do you  shop for your daughters?
A. I like shopping online, after the girls have gone to bed. I am a big fan of eBay. The selection of vintage kids’ clothing is amazing. You can find great little dresses from the 40s and 50s, at a good price. And because kids grow out of their clothing so quickly, you can find things that have only been worn once or twice. 
Q.What’s your biggest pet peeve about baby and toddler fashion in NYC?
A. Crocs!
Q. Anything that irks you about the way some NYC parents dress their kids?
A. I think it’s weird when parents use their kids as their own ultimate accessory—when the kids are dressed to the hilt in clothes you can tell they’re not really psyched about.
Q. Any New Year’s resolutions related to being a mom?
A. I recently realized how lucky I was that my mom made everything, from our meals to our curtains, when I was growing up. So, this year I’m teaching my girls how to sew.
Q. Fashion week is around the corner. How will you juggle it with the girls? Do you bring them to shows?
A. I’ve always believed that incorporating your kids into your work life as much as possible is the best way for modern, busy moms to balance work and family. I am lucky enough to have a work environment that is flexible, creative, and open so that my children can come and visit. My daughter Kit loves to come here and draw and piece together designs from fabric scraps. The girls come to the design studio and see how crazy it is leading up to the show, and then they get to see it all come to fruition on the runway. I think it teaches them that hard work pays off.