and seek pocket T-shirt and double dutch dress by
Kelly Lane Kids
— As a womenswear designer, Kelly Simpson-Scupelli and
her line of colorful clothes done in pretty prints with
flattering fits were a hit — not only at boutiques in
Pittsburgh but across the world. At the peak of the
Kelly Lane line (the name a reference to the designer’s
first and middle names), new collections were created
twice each year and carried as far away from her
Pittsburgh studio as Paris, Italy, Switzerland and
Lane released its last women’s collection at the same
time that Simpson-Scupelli was taking on yet another
full-time job — mom to her infant son, Felix. It was
time for a break, she says.
years later, Simpson-Scupelli is back at the sewing
machine designing her latest endeavor, a clothing line
for children (12 months to 6 years old) called Kelly
Lane Kids. It made its debut recently at a local trunk
show and is for sale at
(search for "KellyLaneDesign").
decided that after being off for a while that I sort of
wanted a fresh start," she says. But she didn’t
want to return right away to the rigorous grind of
churning out multiple collections each year, traveling
and fulfilling wholesale orders.
by her 3-year-old son — and fabrics left over in her
studio from her womenswear days — she put together
some pieces that she feels fill a void in the children’s
clothing market, including an eye for improved fit and
unique styles that go beyond the cartoon characters,
animals or trucks she typically sees printed on kids’
clothes. Affordability is another goal, she says, with
the average price range for the line at $24-$52.
with the Kelly Lane women’s apparel, Simpson-Scupelli
is committed to using eco-friendly fabrics and
materials, including organic cotton and hemp. Most of
what she works with is sourced from within the United
States, and she sews the collection at her studio.
it comes to testing her designs — for fit, comfort and
general kid approval — she turns to friends with
children at a range of ages and, of course, her son.
funny because he’s very opinionated," Simpson-Scupelli
says. "He’s a good test market."
transitioning back to work part time also has been a
learning experience for Felix. He accompanies her to the
studio once a week to get a behind-the-scenes look at
how Mommy makes things.
definitely sort of immersed in it," she says.
"He’s enamored with the (sewing) machines, of
now, Simpson-Scupelli says she is "taking baby
steps" back into the fashion world, but she has
additional projects in mind for the future, such as a
potential revival of the Kelly Lane women’s line at
things for kids is giving me ideas how to come back to
the women’s line with a fresh eye and reimagine new
styles there, too," she says.