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No Kidding Around-- Children's Fashion: Oilily

posted Oct 23, 2010, 2:20 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne   [ updated Oct 23, 2010, 2:21 AM ]

By Diana  Rohini La Vigne


 In the Beginning

All of us were kids at one point, but were you an Oilily kid?  Oilily kids are trendy, cool, and most importantly comfortable. Where you a Gymboree kid? These are the kids that have FUNwritten all over them.  Take an inside look at the world famous children’s fashion house, Oilily and the Play & Shop Programs at Gymboree.  These programs offer a new dimension in children’s fashions, both are industry giants, and both are located right here in the heart ofBack Bay.  Join us on our “No Kidding Around” exploration of Boston’s best in children’s fashions.


Be a Kid Again

It only takes 30 seconds inside the Boston Oilily Children’s store located at 31 Newbury Streetbefore you yearn to be a child again.  The colors are vivid, styles are bold, and fabrics are kid-comfortable and kid-safe!   Beauty and comfort rolled into one store and its all for the younger crowd!  Kid tested and mother improved; Oilily provides great clothing and coordinating accessories for all.


“I love this. I really love this.” Model Aaron gushes about the “Drop Zone” sweater that depicts a colorful spray of parachutes coming in for a landing. 


Mommy, where do I come from?

Oilily, a Dutch based fashion house, was founded in 1963 by Marieke and Willem Osthoorn. Both are still involved in the business and find themselves with shops in over forty countries! How were they so successful? They solved their own problem of finding properly fitting clothing for their twin daughters buy creating a line of clothing themselves. 


Keeping in mind the vastness of a child’s imagination, incorporating lots of vivid colors, and using long lasting fabrics, this couple built a fashion dynasty together. The first American based store opened in 1988 in Chicago. Since that time, Oilily hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.  The name Oilily is derived from Willem, the founder’s own nickname, Olly.  The concept was born from passion and grows in love.





What’s in a Name?

A name tells you more about the character of the fashion and the attitude one should have when wearing it. Oilily equals Fun! DoggieKibble Jackets. Shark Bags. Pink Polka Dot Slides. Kitty Rainboots. Cat & Dog Socks. Flower Power Shoes.  Pink Glamourpuss Onsie. Kitty Terry Cardigans. Wildflower Shorts. Blap & Bibie Embroidered Sweatshirts. Flower Garden Skirts. Crazy Sweaters. Doggie Bloomers. Raining Cats & Dogs Hats. Frog Socks. Giant Bug Print T-Shirts. Fish Tanks. Green Reptile Boots.  Names tell a story. The story told here is; enjoy life’s every moment and celebrate youth! Youth are precious cargo and wrapping the cargo well makes a difference.


“I love to walk around the store just reading the labels of the clothing. The names are fun!” says long time shopper, Nancy Bloom.  “I read the labels to my self and smile. It reminds me of my own childhood.  I often wonder what people think when I am off in a corner of the store giggling to myself. I can’t help it!”


So You Want to Be a Model?

The Oilily catalogue is one of the most visually pleasing catalogues in all the world of fashion. It stands alone by identifying more closely with the children it serves.  It is natural. The glossy full color pages are filled with children doing ordinary things and acting like children. 


The whisp of hair in the young girls face and the dirt on a boy’s knee is not unusual in the catalogue which uses locally recruited models instead of trained professionals.  Kids with sand in their toes, a baby sleeping peacefully in the warm morning sunlight, and Two children splashing water around on the beach with complete ignorance of the cameras shooting them are just some of the photos in the Spring and Summer 2001 Oilily Children’s wear and Jeans Magazine.  A catalogue that even kids love to browse over and over again!


Each photo is priceless and provides the viewer with a genuine look inside a day in the life of these children.  Recruiting efforts for the models are taken seriously and done worldwide. Simple settings, bold colors, unique models, and natural poses are a must. The results?  A catalogue that blows away the competition hands down.



Grown Ups Allowed

Feeling left out?  Adults need only cross Newbury Street to find Oilily Women’s Wear Shop and struggle with the temptation to buy the entire store!  Join other leading ladies that sport Oilily Women’s Wear Shop such as Demi Moore and Susan Sarandon.  Located at 32 Newbury Street, this boutique heightens your senses and acts as an instant mood enhancer.


“I hand wash my Oilily fashions and they still look great after years of use.  Fashions that last and look good are rare.  I treasure my Oilily wardrobe.” Adds New York resident and self-proclaimed Oilily fan, Natasha Subedar.  “I travel a lot for work, and everywhere I go, there is an Oilily nearby. It is so convenient.”

Take a Ride on the Oilily Beach Buggy

Conveniently located in Boston.  Offering top quality fashions and reasonable prices. Stimulating the senses for the young and old. Providing high-level customer service.  When it comes to children’s fashions, Oilily jumps to the top of the pack.  Visit them online atwww.oililyusa.com.  Their web site is a great resource for many things such as store locations, ordering catalogues, and the latest fashions.  A new addition to the web site is the newly developed Fan Club section.  Completely free of charge you can sign up and receive mail from Oilily to keep you updated on their happenings and upcoming events and collections.  There are over 50,000 members of the Oilily Fan Club today!


Jumpin’ Gymboree

Just blocks from Oilily’s Newbury Street shop stands another enchanting children’s store called Gymboree. Hard to miss with its bold colored storefront, Gymboree brings fun to the forefront of shopping for kids.


With over 500 stores worldwide, Gymboree builds stores that act as an interactive playground for both children and parents alike.  Founded in 1976, the concept began as a play program first. It didn’t enter the world of Kiddie fashion until almost a full decade later.  Catching on like a wild brush fire, Gymboree began aggressive international expansion plans in 1995 and made the concept of dressing kids smartly and incorporating fun into the shopping experience a reality!


“We succeed by knowing our customers and exceeding their expectations for quality and customer service.  We grow by drawing on its strengths and abilities of every member of the Gymboree team.  We build brand through creativity and innovation in developing and delivering a unique array of products and services.  At Gymboree, we are committed to stakeholder value.  We are inspired by children, and dedicated to growing the most respected children’s company in the world.” Gymboree vision statement


Gymboree’s founder, Joan Barnes had a vision. She wanted to build awareness and acceptance around the importance of play in a child’s life.  This San Francisco mother couldn’t find a good place for her child to play. She wanted an environment that was safe and nurturing but also loads of fun for kids and parents too.  Instead of giving up after being unable to discover the right match, Ms. Barnes developed her own play program.  Today, the program has been redesigned to include music as well.  Bringing music and a piece of the arts to our children is an important and sometimes overlooked valuable experience in a child’s life. With programs for new borns to children 4+ years old, Gymboree accommodates its clientele well!


The Emperor’s New Clothes

Gymboree may seem to focus on their Play & Music Programs but their fashions are not to be missed.  Their high quality apparel for children combines fashionable colors, fascinating prints, and complex details to make any shopping trip an adventure, not a chore.  All clothing sold is part of the exclusive Gymboree brand name.


With stroller sized aisles and playful videos to help entertain children while parents and loved ones shop, you are bound to fall in love with the experience immediately.  And don’t fret about the inconvinence of traveling to a store because there are 6 stores in the Greater Boston area. The Boston location is at 100 Huntington Avenue, blocks from Copley Place, and can be contacted at 617-437-1191. 


Charity and Children’s Fashions

Gymboree has made a comittement to encourage and support employees to volunteer in their own communities.  Although their major partnership is with the March of Dimes, which helps combat birth defects, Gymboree employees are found performing a wide variety of community services for various charitable organizations around the globe.


Adult Recess

In understanding children’s fashions, you must understand the philosophy behind the company as well. The company culture will reflect the end results and ultimately be the driving force behind the new collections, the new concepts, and new program development.  Gymboree not only believes that recess is vital for a child’s intellectual growth and development but believes it should be a part of every adult’s life too.  Each Thursday at Gymboree’s corporate headquarters in Burlingame, California, they have an afternoon Adult Recess! According to Gymboree, it inspires creativity and allows an opportunity to meet fellow workers.  Recess isn’t about taking a break from being productive but learning how changing your environment and incorporating recess can actually increase your productiveness.