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If You Can Make It Here

Up-and-coming NYC labels

We get a serious kick out of discovering cool kids’ brands before they go mainstream. (It’s especially fun when the designers are based right here in New York.) With that in mind, we’d like to go on record as saying these four local labels are headed for the big leagues.

Brooklyn-based Winter Water Factory makes super cute tees for babies and tots. Founder Stefanie Lynen started selling knit hats five years ago, then became obsessed with printing fabrics and designing textiles. She recently launched a fabulous kids line, which is currently for sale at Sweet William, Shoofly, and Acorn in Brooklyn. Most of their clothes are sewn in New York’s fabric district. Dresses are $49 to $63;  tees are $36 to $38. http://www.winterwaterfactory.com

Little Esop‘s chic (and organic) baby and toddler clothes are inspired by vintage designs, named for classic games, and updated with modern functionality: hopscotch dresses, chess rompers, domino button-up shirts, Chutes and Ladders skirts (pictured, $53). New York designer Judy Posey started selling locally last fall, but the brand will officially launch with its Fall 2011 collection. We can’t wait. http://www.littleesop.com
Elks & Angels is an Australian-led, New York-based company with seriously gorgeous goods, including “Snuggle Pod” sheepskin bunting bags (which convert to play mats) and the cutest, cuddliest, “flat” sheepskin plushies we’ve ever seen. Owner Janet Kennedy-Ault  launched the company in October, and already has a nice little celebrity following. The Snuggle Pods ($250) are available at Capucine in Tribeca; the cuddle bears ($49) are at Babesta in Tribeca, Acorn Toys in Boerum Hill, and Honey & Hazel in Williamsburg. http://www.elksandangels.com
New York designer Lynne Buchman started her company by making a moms’ notebook for babysitters, back in 2002. Since then, Loralin Design has evolved to include cotton knits, handmade tees, beautiful onesies, and most recently sweater sets with matching crocheted hats and booties ($26-$128). http://www.loralindesign.com