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- United Colors of Benetton top, Baby Gap blazer, Old Navy skinny jeans, Toms shoes
- Monica Rose with her daughter, Alaia
- Old Navy blouse, American Apparel skirt, Baby Gap cape, Zara shoes, DIY ribbon bow tie by Monica Rose
- Little 77 by American Eagle jacket, Baby Gap denim shirt, American Apparel leggings, Zara boots
- Baby Gap denim shirt, American Apparel skirt, Zara shoes, DIY necklace by Monica Rose
- Little 77 by American Eagle plaid shirt and knit beanie, Old Navy harem pant, Baby Gap denim jacket, Zara boots
- Alaia wearing her daddy's tee by SLBARBIER (kids line coming soon!)
Although celebrity stylist Monica Rose is globally recognized for dressing the entire Kardashian clan, her tiniest client has won us over in a major way: her daughter. Back in March, we crowned two-year-old Alaia Rose Barbier as LA's most stylist tot—and the blogosphere seems to agree. Baby Alaia and her exceptionally fashionable mommy have quickly become an inspiration to all parents that are looking to spruce up their kids' style in a way that's chic yet fun and age-appropriate. In honor of Mother's Day this Sunday, we met up with Monica to learn more about her fresh approach to baby styling, the best places to shop for children's wear, and Alaia's most expensive piece (hint: it's not an Alaïa).
Did you receive any fan mail after our story?
"The response I got after your post on Alaia was pretty amazing! People love baby outfit posts. I got tons of interview requests from other blogs and fashion sites asking to feature her. And a lot of people emailed in to ask where I buy her clothes. I've always kept my personal life very private, especially when it comes to my daughter, but I had to share these photos with the world—they're just too cute!"
What's the story behind Alaia's name?
"Her name wasn't actually supposed to be Alaia. I always wanted to name my daughter Gemma Rose; I loved that name, so everyone was calling her Gemma while I was pregnant. When I first saw my baby, she did not look like a Gemma to me at all, so for the first two days she didn’t have a name. Then, my mom was sitting down in the hospital room reading a magazine and asked 'Do you still have that vintage Alaïa belt that I let you borrow?' It finally clicked. I looked over at my mom and said her full name: Alaia Rose Barbier. I said it about three times and fell in love with it. Of course, I had to ask her dad if he liked it too (even though we made a bet if it was a boy he got to name him and if she was a girl I got to name her), and he did. Still to this this day my mother insists that she's the one who named her! So, the name Alaia comes from Azzedine Alaïa, who happens to be one of my favorite fashion designers!"
What is Alaia's style inspired by?
"It's a mini version of my own wardrobe; I like to dress her the way I would dress myself or one of my clients, but appropriate for a toddler. The first thing I told my mom when I told her I was having a girl was 'Please, no pink.' I've never been into all the pink, florals, and ruffles that you normally find in baby girl clothing, but I'm pretty sure that this will backfire on me once Alaia starts dressing herself! [Laughs] I truly put thought into her wardrobe and always want to make sure she is comfortable. Before I purchase any piece, I always ask myself: Is this going to sit in her closet or can she wear this a few times a week?"
That's a great shopping rule at any age. And now, the question we've all been waiting for: Where do you buy Alaia's adorable outfits?
"It's funny because when Alaia was younger I spent so much more money buying designer labels like Little Marc by Marc Jacobs, Burberry, and Stella McCartney, and she would only be able to wear them twice before she grew out. All of my friends that were mothers told me that I was crazy for spending so much money on her wardrobe. Now, I shop smart and spend less since she outgrows everything so fast. I take my time and research clothing for her on different online stores. I love to shop on Zara.com, Baby Gap, 77kids by American Eagle, American Apparel, H&M (who, by the way, has the best boyfriend jeans!) and get creative by mixing and matching everything."
What type of pieces do you look for?
"I like to carefully search the web and buy key staple pieces for her that I know she will wear and feel comfortable in. It's all about comfort for kids. I know my daughter hates knit sweaters or anything that is hard to get over her head, so I try to avoid those pieces as much as possible. I also love to shop in the little boy’s section because they always have a better selection of outerwear, such as basic blazers, motorcycle jackets and cardigans, as well as tees, tanks and henleys."
What is the most lavish item that Alaia owns?
"I would say it's her mini Louis Vuitton bag that one of my clients gave her when we brought her home from the hospital. She was four days old. It's still in the box waiting to be worn."
Does Alaia ever dress herself?
"She's still too young to dress herself, but sometimes I ask her what she wants to wear and she picks out a dress or shirt and I work around it. But for the most part, she just lets me dress her, so I'm fully taking advantage of it while I can! If she turns out to be anything like me when I was a child, then we may have a problem, because I am so hands-on with wardrobe. I mean it is my profession. [Laughs]"
What are some current items on your baby style wish list?
"I'm always on the hunt for good shoes and outerwear. I'm currently looking for a mini military jacket for her as well as some cute maxi skirts. I just scored some great boots that were on sale at 77kids, so I'm saving those for her fall wardrobe. I always say that if you find something amazing and unique but the size is too big, get it anyways because your baby will eventually grow into it. I did that at Zara last year when I bought Alaia four pairs of boots that were way too big. Now, she lives in them!"
We've learned so much! Do you have any fun plans for Mother's Day?
"We may go to Malibu and stroll on the beach. Alaia loves it there!"
· Monica Rose [Official Site]
· Monica Rose's Daughter May Just Be LA's Most Stylish Tot [Racked]