Random Neural Firings

the inner workings of a restless creative brain

Meet the Creative Mind Behind Zutano

September26

When I first discovered Zutano shortly before my son’s birth, I was SO excited! My husband and I hated all the baby boy clothes we’d seen in the chain stores. Too much powder blue. Too many trucks and puppy dogs. I work in a creative field. I wanted big. I wanted bold. I wanted bright colors! Enter Zutano.

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Zutano began 20 years ago, the brain child of a designer/art director, Uli Belenky and her photographer husband, Michael. Frustrated with what they saw in the stores, they took matters into their own hands and began designing colorful, high-quality clothes. Zutano is headquartered in a beautiful farmhouse in Vermont. One of the things I love about the brand (besides the cute clothes) is that they let their employees bring their babies to work. Why don’t more companies do this?

I had a chance to ask the founder, Uli, a few questions. Here’s what I learned:

Q: Where do you get the inspiration for your new designs?

A: The inspiration for our new prints come from so many different things! Mostly things found in the world around us: color schemes, gardens, little gum wrappers, urban landscapes and trees changing colors in the fall. Constant observation and investigation are integral to the creative process. A great regard for playful and humorous situations and a focus on happiness is the place from which we approach our work. At Zutano we always try to challenge our boundaries and look at everything from different perspectives.

This fall’s collection was inspired by the Vermont countryside, forest jaunts, cozy afternoons baking bread by the warm kitchen hearth and natural autumn landscapes.

Q: How many prints do you release each year? When and how do you roll them out?

A: Zutano divides our year into two seasons: fall and spring. We divide our clothing into three categories: Newborn (Itzy Bitzy), Baby and Toddler

Each season our Itzy Bitzy collection for newborn grows since we introduced it in 2006 and we usually release two new print families with coordinating candy stripes and solids and retire one or two. The total is now up to 10 print families. Itzy Bitzy sizes are currently available on in cotton Interlock (newborn and 0-3m). This collection is made for newborns and preemies and will fit babies starting at a mere 4 lbs.

Our Baby collection (3m-24m) contains a very large selection of cotton Interlock stripes, solids and prints in addition to Cozie fleece, French Terry, Velûre and a number of Woven fabrics. Our cotton Interlock pieces (also known as Baby Basics) is what we are most known for, and many of the styles we offer these pieces in (footies, t-shirts, pants, etc) have been Zutano staples for years.

In Toddler (2T-4T) we offer styles in all the Baby fabrics, but with a slightly smaller selection and in different silhouettes for older children. Again, we add a few new styles and silhouettes to the mix each season and sometimes retire a few.

Overall we add about 20-25 cotton Interlock prints to the line each year and retire that same amount.

Q: What are some of the most popular prints?

A: Some of the prints that have become Zutano customer favorites and have been in the collection a long time are Circus, Monkeys, Zoo Crew, and Good Dog, and Chocolate Five Stripe. New prints are released over time throughout each season on a month to month basis.

Q: Why don’t you make footies in sizes larger than 9 months? (This question was just for me cuz my puddin’ pop outgrew his Zutano footies at 6 months old.)

A: We will take your request to heart about making footies larger than 9m!

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win a $75 gift card to the Zutano Itzy Bitzy boutique. Deadline is Wed., Sept. 30th.

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posted under Babies, Contests
2 Comments to

“Meet the Creative Mind Behind Zutano”

  1. On September 26th, 2009 at 10:33 pm alissa apel Says:

    I simply love their clothing. I too wish they’d have bigger sizes in footies.

    1
  2. On January 4th, 2012 at 11:47 am Random Neural Firings » Blog Archive » Recycle Your Baby’s Favorite Shirts into Awesome Wall Art Says:

    […] know about my Zutano obsession (if not, read here, here and here). As Hunter outgrew these cute clothes, I gave many beloved Zutano outfits to […]

    2
 

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