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Rewarding Experiences

Caletha Crawford
Editor in Chief

People often ask me what I like about my job. My response typically includes a comment …

Caletha Crawford

Editor in Chief

Caletha Crawford

People often ask me what I like about my job. My response typically includes a comment about how much I enjoy the kids’ apparel industry. At this point in my career, I’ve covered a few different markets—some are overly corporate, others ridiculously cutthroat and a few mind-numbingly boring. Children’s wear is none of these, and the people—maybe because most are parents—genuinely care about the products they design and sell.

Their concern extends to all children, not just their own, which is clear by the number of businesses that have included philanthropic giving as part of their corporate charter. It is also illustrated by the outpouring of compassion the industry shows following global disasters. Twenty-five years ago, that giving spirit prompted the launch of Kids In Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), a charity that started as a way to aid famine-stricken children in Ethiopia. Fueled by the generosity of the apparel, footwear and juvenile products industries, K.I.D.S. has grown to encompass the ongoing needs of families around the world as well as homegrown issues like our country’s increasing poverty level. With every new item distributed, the charity spreads hope and lends a hand to those in need. In “Silver Lining” (page 20), we celebrate the organization’s anniversary and reflect on the many lives K.I.D.S. has touched with the help of donors big and small. We intend for this section to serve as a thank you to all who have participated over the years and inspiration for those of you who find you have the ability to do so going forward.

Milestone celebrations are another thing I like about this industry. Thanks to endless new babies, birthdays and bar mitzvahs, there’s always a sense of fun. In “Gimmee More!” (page 16), we investigate which presents tweens clamor for today and how retailers stay abreast of what this age range will want from one minute to the next. Our Unwrapped department (page 14) provides a glimpse of new giftables debuting at next month’s New York International Gift Fair. And in our “Spellbound” fashion story (page 26), we showcase the changing face of special occasion wear. Some lament the casualization of American society, but as our spread shows, while dressing up today might mean shorts and blouses versus poufy dresses, those ensembles are no less magical. —Caletha Crawford

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