Before tiny tots like Alaia Rose and Alonso Mateo started dressing like incredibly cute and stylish versions of their parents, baby clothes were all about bright colors and cartoon character prints. Then came Wendy Bellissimo. The LA-based interior designer went from dreaming up decorative pillows to becoming Hollywood's most in-demand nursery designer thanks to her downright dreamy and chic baby havens.
Bellissimo's love for all things baby soon bloomed into a full lifestyle brand that includes adorable celeb mom-approved baby apparel and accessories. Up ahead, we chat with the busy mom of four on what drew her to the baby world, who she thinks is the most stylish baby in town, and her nursery decorating advice for new moms.
You first started designing home decor pieces. What inspired you to start designing nurseries and baby clothes?
You would think this would be a nesting thing that came along with my first baby, but it wasn't. I was well into a thriving home business of decorative pillows, bedding, and tabletop designs selling to major retailers out of my own factory in Los Angeles. I had accumulated a few short yards of baby fabrics from reps on a whim and they had sat in the sample rack for quite a while. One day, I walked by and a bolt of the fabric was sticking out of the pile and I bumped into it.
The New York Home Textiles show was a couple weeks away so I thought I would try designing a few things. I had no babies, had not been around babies at the time, and had really no idea what was out there. I think that was the key to it being successful. I just put it together the way I thought I would like it and mixed in lots of unexpected elements like velvets, mate lasses, and sheer overlays. Today, that may not be such a novel idea, but at the time that just did not exist. It was all ginghams and primary-colored characters. I showed up at the New York Home Textiles show and about 80% of my booth was baby [things]. Thankfully, it was a big hit at the show and about a year later we were in almost 500 independent baby stores.
What's the biggest trend in baby apparel right now?
For me, it's creating designs that are comfortable yet still irresistibly adorable. Right now, I am really into prints and I have an amazing print library so I am working on incorporating those into my baby designs.
In your opinion, who is Hollywood's most stylish baby?
Flynn Bloom. My husband and I met Orlando [Bloom] and Flynn out one night. Flynn was so adorable and sweet that I had to send Orlando a package of clothes for him. He's getting bigger now, but still always so well dressed.
What celeb babies would you love to see in your pieces?
Alicia Keys's [baby]. I love her music.
What advice do you have for new moms who are currently decorating their nurseries?
Start your planning early on so that you can enjoy the process and not feel stressed. It's an amazing experience creating a space for your new little family member.
· Wendy Bellissimo [Official Site]
· Stars Toast Wendy Bellissimo's Adorable Kids Line for Gilt [Racked]