Paige Lauren may be the hardest working gal in children’s clothing. Whether she’s trucking across town to check on the factory, consulting with suppliers, personally meeting with boutiques and buyers, or hand-picking the colors and fabrics for her eponymous children’s clothing line, the designer is an indomitable fountain of energy. Catching up with her isn’t easy, but if Paige is flustered by this harried pace, she certainly doesn’t show it. Indeed her omnipresent cheer suggests she thrives on hard work. PAIGELAUREN was born from Paige’s frustration with trying to find simple, classic baby clothes for her friends. “I would walk into baby boutiques and everything in the stores was over-designed. I knew plenty of moms who wanted the best for their babies, and who appreciated clothes that would never go out of style. I couldn’t find what I wanted so I decided I should do it myself,” she says.
Paige Lauren poses with her son, Jack, at her Studio City home
In a market seemingly flooded with upscale infant bric-a-brac, PAIGELAUREN is refreshingly unique. Instead of design gimmicks or pop-culture kitsch, Paige’s clothes are simple, unadorned. They rely on luxurious fabrics, fine tailoring, and subtle yet thoughtful details. The result is somehow both modern and classic, and assuredly luxurious. (The PAIGELAUREN kimono may in fact be the softest thing this side of a baby chinchilla.) You can tell a lot of effort went into these clothes, and that’s how Paige likes it.
“I couldn’t imagine doing this any other way,” she says. “If I have an idea for something, I just throw every resource I have into it, even if that means doing everything myself to get the results I want.”
Starting a successful clothing company from scratch, especially in this economy, isn’t easy, but Paige’s experience belies her age (“Thirty-something," she says coyly). PAIGELAUREN, now carried in independent shops across the country, as well as Neiman Marcus, is simply the latest in what has turned out to be quite a run. Her first enterprise was a line of high-end belt buckles, which became the “it” accessory around the tonier Los Angeles boutiques. The company turned a profit before Paige had a driver's license. She followed this up with a collection of decorative tiles for Emser, and a stint as an interior designer. In between, she graduated from the Parsons School of Design.
Born and raised in Southern California, but educated in New York, Paige synthesizes this bicoastal experience into her personal style: the metropolitan sensibility of the east merges with the casual luxury of the west. In person, Paige manages the neat trick of being impeccably dressed without looking like she’s actually trying. PAIGELAUREN is a reflection of those sensibilities, she says. “I’m not concerned with the latest trends or decorative baubles. I think that clothing should be timeless and beautifully constructed. If something isn’t well-made then it isn’t worth getting at all. I’m proud that PAIGELAUREN manifests those values to the fullest.”
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