It has been "scorchio" here in Seattle the past week, hence I have one 'sleepless in Seattle' 4 year old. Any excuse right! So one line of attack was to pop to my local Target store to find some summer pj's to replace the blanket sleeper onesies.
I may just be having a hard time with my first born growing up, but I was almost brought to tears by the selection offered. The first stumbling block is that, (for a good reason most houses are made of wood!) here in the USA children's sleepwear can't be cotton unless it is very form fitting. So most pj's are flame resistant polyester. Yuck! I however get this and am totally willing to compromise on fabrication. However when it comes to good print design... that's where i'm not prepared to compromise! I truly believe good design and good taste needs to be nurtured from a young age. Most children do (and probably should) get to pick there own clothes, but when the choices are so limited and overly 'gender' specific this makes my heart sink.
I don't want to litter my blog with images of the poor options out there, so I am going to describe and you can link to Targets web sight if you really can't resist. Examples include the obvious licensed characters of Angry Birds, Marvel Super Heros, or the cliché conversational prints of skulls and ball games.
So sad! So as a print and pattern designer and consultant, here is what I am suggesting companies such as Target should be open to. More unique colours (not just blue and red) and fun conversational prints. I know such companies do value design as they frequently partner with designers (such as Orla Kiely), but we have too start while they're young, if we want the next generation to value design and colour!
Below are some of the better designs I have found out there, that at least are more playful and creative with those licensed characters and cliché's... but it's still a far cry from what it could be!