Mrs. Taki (a. k. a. Beverly Ann) has definite ideas about dressing her kids. Forget blue jeans and T-shirts. She likes cashmere, leather, knits, furs, trench coats and graphics.
She also has connections. Her husband, Tomio Taki, is chairman of Takihyo Inc., which manufactures Donna Karan, Anne Klein and Anne Klein II. The result is Mrs. Taki’s Kids, an enchanting line of clothes for boys and girls 7 to early teens--although one word that can’t be used to describe the collection is affordable.
The average price is $150, which buys a pair of unisex houndstooth chenille trousers. Knit sweaters, skirts and blazers range from $50 to $300; leather coats, shirts and pants are from $200 to $300. The top of the line is a beaded, velvet bodysuit for $500, and the fur coat of blue-dyed Tibetan lamb is $800.
It’s no coincidence that the target customers are children. Mrs. Taki’s son, Adam, is 4. His mother lives in Donna Karans and Anne Kleins. “They understand, " says designer Michael Sui, 27, who came from Anne Klein II. “It’s a limited customer.”
“A lot of the clothes might be bought for gift giving--the grandmother, the godmother, the aunts,” says Taki, wearing purple Anne Klein for the collection’s launch at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.
Aside from her preference for bright colors (“I’m not afraid to use color on boys--like purple and bright green”), Taki leaves the designing to Sui.
“I can do whatever I want because basically there are no rules in children’s fashion, and I’m such a kid myself,” says Sui, who has come up with polka-dot leathers that glow in the dark, pailletted satin evening skirts and suits mixing houndstooth and checks.
Indeed, Sui says there was only one dictum from above, and that concerned the label. Mrs. Taki wanted a logo designed with four boys, one being Adam, and the other three being her husband’s sons from previous marriages.