Dressing the Fashion-Forward Baby

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Just because you’re a baby doesn’t mean you can’t be chic. That’s the operating principle behind Trumpette, a high-end children’s apparel maker based in Sacramento. Known for baby socks with clever trompe l’oeil designs, Trumpette has well-heeled customers all over the country, and its products are sold by the likes of Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Last year, the company opened its first free-standing retail store, in Sacramento’s Pavilions shopping center. With its stark white walls, whitewashed wood floor and white display cubbies, the shop looks more SoHo boutique than Babies R Us. In addition to the best-selling socks and tights, it carries shoes, rain boots, diaper bags, baby gifts and a small line of apparel for infants, toddlers and children up to size 8. There’s nothing babyish about the products, which come in such nontraditional colors as black, chartreuse and fuchsia, and pack a graphic punch with the bold use of stripes and polka dots. Fashion-forward moms love the Baby Mocs ($27.50), a shoe made of high-gloss PVC that looks like a scaled-down version of Tod’s stylish driving moccasin, and the $250 Schlepp Bag, a limited-edition leather carrying bag decorated with studs that spell out the word girl. For hip kids, there are T-shirts ($26.50) silk-screened with an image of headphones that hang from the neck or sunglasses that hang from the collar. Perhaps the most whimsical product of all: the Silly Soles ($38.50) set of three mismatched shoes—a stripe for the right foot, a solid and a polka dot for the left—for kids who like to mix things up.

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