Archive for 2006

Drunk with Power

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

Oh yes, more from the New York Times on mothers and drinking…they do adore this topic. This time the dish was a first-person view of drinking (in moderation, of course) while pregnant by Julia Moskin. And let’s please give her credit, big time – for her honesty and candor. She chronicles her desire to move away from the myriad of pregnancy rules and look for proof. This is mighty bold, considering the chilly chill chill in the air these days:

Pregnant women are told that danger lurks everywhere: listeria in soft cheese, mercury in canned tuna, salmonella in fresh-squeezed orange juice. Our responsibility for minimizing risk through perfect behavior feels vast.

True, and then there is this:

And the public seems to seriously doubt whether pregnant women can be trusted to make responsible decisions on their own.

I do believe this there is a wee bit of irony here – no? The public cares about (UNDERSTATEMENT) pregnancy but not about motherhood? I am, as I keep saying lately, confussed…

Marcia Cross in Isabella Oliver

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Marcia Cross looks beyond radiant in this Isabella Oliver Plum Ruffle Wrap Dress. She wore this supper flattering frock to the ModernModern Mingle to Benefit Children’s Health Environmental Coalition on November 30 in LA.
Muchos Muchos credit to Amanda for keeping Marcia and her gowing bump looking fantastic and feeling both comfortable and beautiful in the line. We love and appeciate having Marcia Cross among the adoring fans of Isabella Oliver. Marcia and the London based maternity fashion design superstars are perfectly suited! Both, glowing examples of style and grace! And, Isabella Oliver co-founder Baukjen de Swaan Arons-Van Sonsbeek, like Marcia is another stunning and maternal red-head.

No Botox Baby

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

So maybe we should not be looking out for bumps but rather for lines (and no I don’t mean the ones on the EPT test). As I have long said – I will buy that Nicole Kidman is pregnant when her face moves – weeeeeeeeeeeeellllllll, Page Six reports today that Nicole is both trying with Husband Keith Urban and also has changed her haircut to include bangs. Talk about pre-conception planning!!!

The Big Idea – Dad Edition

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Page Six is reporting yet another expectant Dad.
Donny Deutsch will join Team Bugaboo this June. He is expecting his first child and I would expect to see him suddenly wake up and smell the target market any day now….

Long and Winding Road

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Sue Shellanbarger’s Work and Family column in Today’s Wall Street Journal looks at the maternal drop out rate from the work force. She explores, via anecdote, families who have made the decision to live lean (my phrasing not hers) for their children and the name of childhood development. And she sets before us a growing body of evidence from various studies in early childhood development which support the need for a parent (really read as mother) to stay home during the first year or longer. She also sites the lack of extended maternity leave and undesirable and costly childcare options as reasons women are opting to stay home. According to the WSJ:

The analysis, prepared for release within the next few weeks, suggests new mothers’ hiatus from the work force tends to be one to three years, compared with longer breaks in the past.

What is most fascinating here is not the obvious political (YES, we need more – how about ANY – progress in the way National maternity leave policies that would serve to provide solutions and options for all women) or cultural (NO we are not settling back into mid (last) century, 1950s, martini fortified model of family life) but rather the subtle message to women about their care and feeding of each other.

Motherhood, career, life – it is a long game (as one of my favorite people on the planet once told me). And this long game is filled with personal choices made by individuals, women and their partners, based on circumstances. These (hard) choices are neither permanent nor are they binding. These choices and where they land us, reflect a moment in time and are able to be altered at will (you can quit, you can go back).

These stats remind us that women are in and out of the work force – making their way down a long and winding road. How nearly impossible to be simply a working mother or simply a stay and home mother – not with this much uncertainly and motion in our society. And yet, even when the anecdotal and statistical evidence suggests that these are fluid titles, we still retreat to our camps with defensive posture and closed minds.

As Leslie Morgan Steiner puts it in the introduction to her look at American Motherhood, The Mommy Wars, “In order to end this catfight and emerge united, we need to explain ourselves to one another”. A fair observation and what I read in Sue Shellenbarger’s article today is that we are each other. Perhaps not at the same moment or with the same motives, but women will weave through various versions of herself – as a working woman and as mother. And this, my friends (or do you still hate me because I am working?!?!), makes a very convincing argument for a little less venom and a little more love.

Yeah, yeah – I know I am one of the few people who can take a statistical heavy WSJ piece and turn into Kumbaya moment – but if not me, who?

Comming Soon – Better Baby Bottoms by Cynthia Rowley

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Cynthia Rowley continues to have “designs” on the expectant and new mother market. You will recall that we worked with Cynthia as she introduced her first offering to the bump and belly set – her limited edition Be Fruitful Stroller (benefiting the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and on sale via According to Page Six, the ever-forward thinking Cynthia Rowley has more goodies up her hip little sleeve:

“I WOULD like to get into disposable diapers printed to look like little denim jeans or little trompe l’oeil, lacy panties” – fashion designer Cynthia Rowley in WWD on her future plans

Bring it on…

(Page) Six Degrees of Keifer Sutherland

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

Another Page Six tidbit….Keifer Sutherland helping out a Dad-pal on diaper duty at Gotham Bar and Grill. According to Page Six:

The “24″ star was dining with friends at Gotham Bar & Grill and enjoying a Jack Daniels and Coke when a male pal’s baby started to whine. “Kiefer went straight to the men’s room with his friend and helped change the diaper,” our spy said. “He was really good about it – a really nice guy.”

I see the Jack (as my friends call him; I don’t do much TV beyond Weeds as we well know) around the Forty Weeks hood in NY on a fairly regular basis. GBG is right arond the corner from my very happy mani/pedi joint on Universtiy – but I digress… Last Sutherland sighting (as in, by me unreported but not unoticed) was at the W, Union Square where, sadly there are no changing stations!

JPosh – Designing Women?

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

What if this item from page six were true – and Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham really did explore designing a fashion line together? We would love to work with the new BFF duo on (our working title only) JPosh for Forty Weeks – a super sexy range for the most feminine Forty Weeks of your life!

Just consider it girls…I am loving this idea (may be the caffeine talking so do check back with me on this one). Multi-cultural, a little heat, a little prim, a little slim, a little curve – has potential….

They’re Playing Our Song

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Today’s New York Times Arts section features a piece of the changing face of marketing youth targeted music. Market for Hipsters-in-Training is the NYT offering more on the “new breed of parent” as the media keeps calling them, and in specific, “costal parents” which is quite an accurate and important classification.

Tammy La Gorce takes us on a well currated tour of the mini-me music scene. There is a lot of music out there that is making its way into these particular consumer’s hands (parental hands that is). And it is well understood and accepted that the marketing machines behind these releases are making the difference between something simply fun and a movement with strong sales to support the claim.

And, of course, this marketing is aimed at the parent – 100% and without excuse. The Forty Weeks notion of the parent being the key influencer and decision maker in the juvenile market – and speaking the right language to them – in this case – singing the right tune- continues to be right on the money. In specific, these releases answer a needed call – they keep the parent forever young, hip and with an uber-cool progeny to prove it.

To be a parent in 2006 — especially a coastal, well-heeled, contemporary-minded one — is to be blasted by possibilities for nurturing impeccable musical taste in one’s offspring. The commercial successes, like Disney’s “Baby Einstein” series of albums, have been widely noted on the Billboard charts and in Wal-Mart shopping carts. But they overshadow a hipper niche of kid music that is encouraging a curious form of parental connoisseurship, where “High Fidelity” meets high chairs.

That this ballooning genre is meant as much for the parents as the children, and probably more, is readily acknowledged by some of those producing and buying it.

Forgive me for banging our own drum (and for this lousy abuse of literary license!!!), and this is how we have always guided our clients. Keep a keen focus on the real decision makers and respond to their needs, wants and desires as adults first. Know the parent, find the parental sweet-spot and deliver an experience driven product that rings (sings?!?!) true.

Bump(y) Business

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Today the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mothers Work Founders Rebecca and Dan Mathias sold half of their stock in their company and may sell more. According to Thomas Ginsberg:

Shares fell 7 percent yesterday to $47.10 after dropping 11 percent on Wednesday before the announcement of the stock sale. Still, Mothers Work’s share price is up 269 percent for the year, and it posted its highest-ever close of $57.26 this week.

Rebecca C. Matthias, 53, president and chief operating officer, and her husband, Dan W. Matthias, 63, chairman and chief executive officer, sold the stock “for estate-planning, personal-asset-diversification, and liquidity purposes,” the company said in a statement.

Full credit for obvious attempts at adjusting to the market and responding to many new forces at play. And about timing being everything in this world….