French fashion houses often start with an adult line prêt-à-porter line and trickle down to children’s wear. High-end children’s clothier, Bonpoint, however, has done quite the opposite.
Mom and Bonpoint Artistic Director Christine Innamorato starts with kids’ wear and moves up. She not only designs modern looks for young children, but also an adult line with her 24-year-old daughter, as well as a teenage line, YAM, which in French stands for “I’m over it” or “I’m over Bonpoint,” modeled after the younger line.
Innamorato started with the company in 2006, and last week met the U.S. press for the first time at the New York flagship store on Madison at 68th Street.
Her favorite part of showcasing collections is the opportunity to have an “easy-going chat.” She also enjoys the chance to meet future mothers and create a shared experience for them – bringing them together to look, share pictures and talk amongst one another.
Designing clothes for children as a mother herself has allowed Ms. Innamorato to find the “right balance between a mum’s fashion desires and the necessity of purchasing practical and comfortable clothes to dress her children,” she said.
Key to the DNA of Bonpoint are refined colors and the ability to mix and match. In her role, Ms. Innamorato attempts to “shake up the lines, harmoniously mixing her creative impulse with the poetic and delicate universe of Bonpoint.”
For infant and toddler collections, she prefers cashmere, which she cited as the perfect gift — “even in the summer.”
Fascinated by the fashion industry at a young age, Ms. Innamorato was educated at the Beaux Arts and fashion school ESMOD in Paris. After graduating from ESMOD, she began collaborating with Cacharel, where she designed for eight years, and later on met Bonpoint founder Marie-France Cohen.
Ms. Innamorato finds inspiration in her travels – “fired by the flea markets, second hand clothes shops and exhibitions” – her everyday life and the “spontaneity, childish simplicity” of the children for whom she designs.
Bonpoint has 110 stores in 27 countries. Christine has traveled extensively and noted that “Bonpoint is everywhere the same – same collections, same decorations – always the same statement everywhere.”
Ms. Cohen opened the first Bonpoint boutique in Paris in 1975, but Bonpoint’s U.S. stores were some of the first to open up outside of France and remain a key market for the company.
Bonpoint has three stores in Manhattan at 805 and 1269 Madison Avenue and 392 Bleecker Street.
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