It was only a matter of time before I became wholly obsessed with kid fashion after having one of my own. I’m proud and fortunate to live in a city that offers a myriad of fantastic, locally and/or sustainably made clothing for the little ones. With so many to choose from, it can be difficult to stand out, but one brand immediately caught my eye and captured my heart. Bold prints, fun silhouettes and oh-my-god turbans?! I am officially hooked on Ultra Violet Kids. Prepare for a new addiction, people. It’s happening. Now if only I could get everything in my size!
I dropped in on the lovely and talented Michelle Chaplin, Owner and Designer of Ultra Violet Kids, to have a chat in her cozy Atwater Village studio. Her shop in the front is now open every weekend, Friday-Sunday!
You spent 15 years as a women’s contemporary designer. Would you say your aesthetic for Ultra Violet Kids is similar to your past designs?
I work very hard on giving Ultra Violet Kids a strong point of view every season. As a designer, I have a definite aesthetic that I like. If you look at my past collections, both in women’s and in kids, you will notice that my designs have been and will always be classic with a twist, timeless and beautifully made. That’s my goal.
What’s your favorite design from a past or current collection?
I think my all-time favorite design is The Hepburn Dress. This is a dress and jumper in one. When I first illustrated it, I thought it was a tad crazy but when we made it, it was my favorite creation yet for Ultra Violet Kids.
Your beautiful daughter, Violet, has been your muse and inspiration for launching the brand. I always love stories behind names so I have to ask — why Violet?
When we found out we were having a girl I was so excited and wanted to name her after my grandmother who was a fantastic character and my idol, Nana Rose. My grandmother had rose wallpaper in her bathroom and had many rose colored accents around her home. She was the most glamorous woman I had met. I always thought that was so cool to have a signature color and flower. So though my daughter is not named Rose, she is named Violet, a name all her own with a signature flower and color just like Nana Rose.
Which child celeb would you love to dress?
To me, all kids are celebrities that I would really like to dress.
My designs have been and will always be classic with a twist, timeless and beautifully made.
What makes Eastside LA so inspiring – especially the neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Atwater, where you live and work?
The Eastside of LA is filled with delicious food, beautiful design, down to earth people, fun things to do, easy access to freeways. There are so many spots that I miss, crave and want to see when I am traveling. I absolutely love my neighborhoods.
What’s the best-kept secret in the hood?
The best thing about being a mom is Violet. I can’t believe that we made her, brought her into this world and she is ours. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Hardest thing about being a mom:
Princess dresses. *wink*
Right now I’m obsessed with:
I’m pretty obsessed with high waisted jeans, looking at my Instagram feed and delicious food.
One thing people would be surprised to know about me is:
I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was 9 years old and have been working towards this company since then.
I’m dying to visit:
I would really like to visit India, Morocco, Spain, really anywhere I have never been.