Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boys-Only Boutique: Little Dudes Only

Before opening Little Dudes Only, owner Ashley Milewski was a fashion forecaster so you can be sure that the brands and styles she selects for her shop are unique, ultra cool and ahead of trend. She's even organized her pieces into "looks," so if your unboring boy is, say, a punk rocker-to-be, click on "Punk Dudes" for a collection of edgy, anti-mainstream styles he'll love.

We wanted to ask Ashley, not only about what's hot in boys' fashion right now, but about why she thinks girls' fashion receives more attention from designers, retailers and many parents, and if that will ever change.

Read our interview below, and take advantage of a special savings offer just for Unboring Boys readers.

Unboring Boys: How did your career as a trend forecaster prepare you for opening and running Little Dudes Only?

Ashley: Being a trend forecaster was an amazing job. It taught me a lot about what the consumer's buying habits are and what trends are most likely to appeal to the masses. When I'm buying for my store, I mostly buy what I fall in love with, but I try to keep in mind what sells. There are times when I'm crazy about an item, but my customer does not exactly agree.

Unboring Boys: What inspired you to make Little Dudes Only boys-only?

Ashley: I have two boys of my own and as someone who loves clothes, it was frustrating for me to go into children's boutiques and see racks upon racks of girls' clothes, and only one measly rack for boys...and even then that rack didn't often impress me. I wanted to open a boys' store that was filled with the hippest in boys' fashion, all in one place.

Unboring Boys: What are the unique challenges of owning a boys-only boutique?

Ashley: I am constantly digging and searching for the next new thing and with boys' clothing that's not easy. There's a lot of cargo shorts and screen printed tees, bit it's a constant challenge to find really unique stuff like acid wash skinny jeans and 70's inspired suede fringe jackets.

Unboring Boys: How do you go about selecting the brands you sell?

Ashley: I'm an avid shopper, so I already was really familiar with a lot of the kid's clothing brands when I first launched the website. I follow my taste and buy what I can't live without. I trust my instincts and hope my customers will love it too. I also take buying trips to New York twice a year and do a lot of research on international companies. I love to buy from other countries and introduce something completely new to my customers.

Unboring Boys: Which items are your bestsellers?

Ashley: Star Wars items are a huge hit, as are reconstructed vintage concert t-shirts. My best selling brands are Sandbox Rebel, Gold Rush Vintage, Knuckleheads, Sand Cassel Hats and Munster Australia.

Unboring Boys: Of your current offerings, which item is your personal favorite?

Ashley: I LOVE the Obama diaper covers and matching shirts from London that just came in...they're hilarious. And I'm a big fan of the fedoras we carry.

Unboring Boys: Your motto is "Dressing boys can be even more fun than dressing girls." But I notice among many of my friends who have both boys and girls, they give more attention to clothes and accessories for the girls than for the boys. Why do you think that is? And do you see it changing?

Ashley: Girls tend to be pickier about what they wear, and it starts a lot earlier than with boys. Also, there aren't as many accessories involved in dressing boys. So dressing boys is a little less "high maintenance" because they're happy with just a t-shirt and shorts in most cases. Parents don't want to have to spend money if their boys aren't demanding certain items. I think this may change as more is available in boys' fashion. More companies are starting to focus on manufacturing cool belts, jewelry, hats etc. for boys, so the days of spending more on girls may be numbered!

Unboring Boys: Can you give us some hints as to future trends in boys' clothing and accessories?

Ashley: For fall, there will be a lot of skinny jeans in different finishes like destroyed or acid wash, lots of skinny pants with details like pocket chains, funky colorful shoes, lots of neon colors, graffiti inspired screens and lots of plaids.

Unboring Boys: When you're not running Little Dudes Only what are you doing?

Ashley: Running after my boys mostly! But I'm a huge music fan, so I'm learning to play the guitar and I'm always going to concerts. It's important for me to have something just for myself.

Thanks Ashley for taking the time to answer our questions! Just for Unboring Boys readers, Little Dudes Only is offering 10 percent off on orders through May 19th. Just use the promotional code "unboring."

1 comment:

Cupcakes and Cutlery said...

I have ordered from Little Dudes Only and they are awesome!!! Their service is amazing and when I had questions about sizing they got back to me right away. I look forward to shopping with them again!!!