How Roux's Dreamy Tie-Dye Kids Essentials Channel NY, Paris, and LA
Photos: Sarina Cass
Stroll through any kids department and you'll be greeted with racks of tees emblazoned with cutesy graphics and slogans — and that's where Roux strays from the pack. Founded by Fashion Mamas LA member Amanda Kain (who's also one-half of the sister duo behind cool basics brand Kain Label), the dreamy line is comprised of dreamy tie-dye essentials and gender-neutral cotton pieces for babies and kids that strike the perfect balance between sophisticated and whimsical.
Fresh off the launch of Roux's fall collection — which brings floral prints to the mix — we caught up with Kain to find out how the brand was born, what inspires her designs, and more. Read on below, then shop Roux's clothing, accessories, and mama-minded apothecary products online here.
What's your professional background — tell us more about your career journey that led you to create your brand.
I've been in the fashion industry for almost 10 years with my women's brand, Kain Label. I started the collection in 2008 with the idea of recreating my most favorite vintage tee with a modern twist. I found the most yummy, soft fabric and made a loose fit, "boyfriend" tee with a slouchy pocket. I basically worked out of the trunk of my car for the first three months. Before I knew it, Kain Label became a coveted brand and we were in every major store and written up in every major publication. When I had my daughter a few years ago, I decided to make a baby version of our classic shirt and we sold out of it very quickly. The positive response gave me the motivation to create a kids line, Roux.
What sets Roux apart from other kids brands?
It has a unique mix of specialty tie dyes and cheeky prints using sophisticated color palettes and silhouettes.
What's the story behind the brand's name?
[It's] my daughter's middle name.
What was the "a-ha" moment that led you to pursue creating Roux?
I was working on my women's line [Kain] and experimenting with different tie dye options. A lot of what inspired me the most didn't fit the aesthetic of my brand so I thought, "Why not use it to create a kids line?" Most of the color combinations and tie dyes reminded me of my childhood and I thought it would be fun to recreate it in a modern way.
Who or what inspires Roux's aesthetic?
Nostalgia. All my collections are inspired by a favorite memory, a favorite place or anything I'm feeling nostalgic about. My first collection was "from LA to NY to Paris" — all my favorite places that have played an influential role in my life.
What were some of the top criticisms you've been hearing from friends/family/customers about the existing kids clothes on the market?
I feel like I always hear that the boys market is lacking unique, cute designs. Now that I have a son, I'm motivated to find what's missing in that department.
Can you tell us more about your latest collection?
I'm focusing more on elevating basics with more sophisticated yet playful fabrications, colors, and silhouettes. I'm also playing around more with natural dyes, which seems to be trending.
Where do you see Roux in five years?
Direct to consumer lifestyle brand for babies and kids. I would love to expand into other categories such as toys and non toxic beauty products.
What's one piece of advice that you wish you had gotten before starting your kids label?
To build my brand one customer at a time. When I started Roux, I was focused on showrooms, trade shows, and getting into the right stores because that was the model that was successful with Kain — but of course, the market has changed so much since then. I shifted my energy into developing a strong direct to consumer platform and engaged social media presence. With the growing trend of mothering blogs and shopping small craft brands, I think social media is a great way to help set Roux apart by allowing people to connect with my personal life as a mother and entrepreneur.