Have your child play the tambourine, guitar, drums, flute, or any other instrument they want to make their own Brazilian music! As they’re rocking out, snap a few pics and enter them in our “Around the World Activity Contest” for your chance to win one of our 10 weekly prizes and be entered into a sweepstakes to win a $500 Tea gift certificate. Contest starts 7/1/2012. Visit www.facebook.com/teacollection to enter.
This activity was inspired by our Boy’s Lapa Polo Shirt. The Lapa Polo first debuted in Destination: Brazil in Spring 2009.
It was named for a neighborhood in Rio with a lively nightlife and has a lively multi-colored dot print. We’re betting it goes with your Little Citizen’s lively personality!
When Tea was started 9 years ago it was with a few baby sweaters. One of these is still in production and is a Tea favorite – the Kimono Robe, now in sizes 6-12 months through 12 years! In the words of Emily, our Chief Creative Officer:
“The Kimono Robe was inspired by the distinctive lapels and minimal construction of a Japanese Kimono. The pure function of this traditional garment is modern in principle – efficient use of materials and timeless, elegant styling.
This cardigan represents the values that Tea was created on - an interpretation of the beauty found in cultures around the globe. Japanese aesthetics have always been highly inspiring to us – in shapes, prints and colors. We brought it back over the last couple of years because it can be easily worn with anything, and almost any time of year (at least here in the SF climate!).
And I love that it is a bit of accessible luxury for a child’s wardrobe - cozy soft and machine washable, elevates any jeans outfit.”
Posted by: Laura Boes
Time: 8:09 PM
For our Spring Collection, our design team set off to explore South Korea to gather our inspiration for the season. This was very exciting, as I really knew very little about this country…and South Korea didn’t disappoint. In Korea, Isabelle, Tami and I found a uniquely vibrant, energetic culture and a land of exuberant color, ornate architecture and beautiful artisanal crafts. Enjoy!
VP of Design
It’s hard to imagine a place that bustles more than Seoul, home to the 1988 Summer Olympics, and the fifth largest city in the world. Everyone contributes to the energy and excitement… we heard so many parents urging their little ones along with a hearty “Gaja Gaja!” (“Hurry up Hurry up!”), rushing from one place to the next. This playful saying inspired our Gaja Gaja! t-shirt.
In Seoul, we did a lot of exploring with the Kims, Tami’s extended family. They introduced us to Kimchee, the quintessentially Korean side dish of pickled vegetables that’s eaten every day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. We love spicy food, so we fell in love with this dish and decided to honor this staple in the national cuisine with our kimchee boy’s tee.
We wandered in and out of Seoul’s distinct, charming neighborhoods with the Kims, and discovered Insadong, a traditional arts and crafts street. We found shop after shop selling traditional crafts like Hanji, handmade Korean paper, used for everything from masks to clothing to furniture. Here, Isabelle and I found the inspiration for our Hanji floral dress.
Through our wanderings, we also noticed wonderfully ornate doorknockers at the entrance of homes as well as temples. The knockers were shaped like dragons’ heads to protect against evil spirits, and we incorporated them into our Heem Dragon polo.
At Dongdaemun Market, the largest shopping center in South Korea, we found many examples of Hanbok, traditional curved, high-waisted dresses worn at festivals and celebrations. This iconic, elegant design inspired the proportions of many of our Spring dresses.
We were also charmed by the resourcefulness of the traditional craft of Jogakbo, the art of patching together leftover scraps of colorful fabric for everything from blankets and clothing to wedding gift wrap. Two of our favorite dresses in this Collection are inspired by this patchwork tradition.
As we traveled throughout Korea, we climbed steep stairways to find intricate detail and beautiful colors in ornate ancient temples. In Gyeong Ju, Korea’s historical and cultural center, we were awed by Bulguksa Temple– particularly the geometry of gridded doors and the beautifully painted floral patterns, which inspired us to create textured plaids and colorful prints.
We are so pleased to share our new collection, inspired by our journey to Korea. Enjoy!
First, the itinerary: four days in Kyoto, an overnight in a “wooden” mountain town, then in Tokyo for more exploration at urban-energy pace. Emily describes this trip as almost spiritual, honoring the culture that inspired Tea’s founding aesthetic seven years ago. Enjoy the sights and senses of the Fall Collection and learn how Japanese culture affects Emily—profoundly.
So why Japan for Fall 2009?
The aesthetics of Japan are part of our soul. Their innate simplicity and the cultural colors of indigo, black, and red move us immensely. We visited temples and artisan workshops. We instantly made connections between ancient traditions and the ceaseless innovation in everyday life. Our pure enthusiasm is what we wanted to share.
Indigo Artisan: Aisenkobo
Wow. Incredibly energizing, glorious, playful, strong, and charming. We’ve had so much fun creating our first movie to introduce our new collection – inspired by Japan. It’s infectious. There’s been plenty of dancing around the office.
Many, many thanks to all of the people who made this happen. Josh Tetreault from Emotive Brand is the filmmaking genius. Josh found the perfect music – “Ce Jeu” by Yelle – introducing us to the talented French singer. He was captivated by the incredible shots of our beloved, uber-talented photographer, Laurie Frankel. And Laurie was inspired by the beautiful “little citizens of the world” in our Fall 2009 photo shoot. An immense thank you goes to the children (and their parents!) in this video.
None of it would happen without our brilliant designers who make designer children clothing practical, real, and inspired. Every season they travel to a new destination to find original inspiration – bringing unique children’s apparel to the little citizens of the world.
Share the love – tell your friends!
Tomorrow, we’ll post an interview with our Chief Creative Officer – the visionary behind the brand. We ask her all about the trip to Japan – the sights and scenes that inspired the Fall Collection.
The new collection is available in stores now – and will be available online on our website by the end of the month!