Fashion Designer of the Year 2014: Redfish Kids
Lorraine Kitsos brings high style and smart practicality to the very small set.
Nine months after the birth of her daughter, designer Lorraine Kitsos brought another baby into the world: Redfish Kids. “I guess I’m one of those people,” says a laughing Kitsos. “If I don’t have something to do, I get myself in trouble!”
In fact, Kitsos’s desire to design was born from having time on her hands. Following her choreographer husband to Hong Kong, Kitsos found herself in a disorienting foreign land. To fill her days, she began visiting fabric markets, sewing scarves, pillows and baby clothes out of her finds.
After the family moved to Vancouver in 2005, Kitsos expanded her repertoire, designing bright, Asian-inspired clothes for her growing family. Word of mouth soon had her taking orders from other moms in her Kitsilano neighbourhood. “I sold my first complete line of boys’ and girls’ clothes from store to store,” she says of the label’s early days.
As she delved further into her calling, trial and error conquered a universal problem. “Kids get dirty,” she says in mock exasperation. “How do you make them look sharp and clean? Clean lines, distinct shapes and bright colours so you can launder it like crazy—that’s what works.”
First and foremost in Kitsos’s work are her own children. “My kids are my models, and they help with tagging, folding, you name it!” she says. “They literally grew up in and with the company.”