May 042014
 

We are back to share news about that darling smocked romper Prince George was wearing on the Royal Tour when the family arrived in Sydney, Australia. Here is a visual reminder. Andrew Parsons / i-Images / Polaris   George’s elegantly smocked sailboats stood out against the bright yellow of his mother’s Roksanda Ilincic dress. Here is a closer look at the piece. Somehow the romper was misidentified almost as soon as it was seen on the young Prince. A few thought it was by Mafana Kids.

Hollywood Life

Hollywood Life

While Mafana has some darling styles, they did not make George’s little one-piece. The overwhelming consensus was that the Prince’s jon-jon was an Annafie design.

Annafie

Annafie

Annafie offers simply beautiful styles for babies, young ladies and gentlemen, as well as bedding and other accessories. But it doesn’t look like this is the firm that made George’s romper. It appears the piece is by another company altogether, Les Petites Abeilles.

Les Petites Abeilles

Les Petites Abeilles

Les Petites Abeilles (the Little Bees) founder Désirée Hohenlohe contacted us to let us know she actually sent the piece to Kate and William shortly after Prince George was born. More from Belgian Elle (using Google Translate):

At the announcement of the birth of the little prince , Désirée Hohenlohe wanted to send him a piece from his collection. Having heard no commercial gift was accepted by the Court, she sent her as a present simple romper with a nice card, convinced that the piece would end on another baby, or closet.

Below, varying interpretations of the sailboat theme on different pieces via the Les Petites Abeilles Facebook page. The designs are hand-embroidered in Madagascar. Les Petites Abeilles Smocked Sailboat Styles via LPA Facebook

This better shows the smocking as well as the trim on the cuffs and the collar.

i-Images/Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

i-Images/Nunn Syndication/Polaris Images

The thank you card Ms. Hohenlohe received from Kensington Palace.

Prince George Sailboat Romper Les Petites Abeilles Thank You from Kensington Palace via French Elle

Via Elle Belgium

Back to the Elle story:

A few months later , watching the news, she sees the royal baby wearing his clothes. She quickly received a thank you card for parents, and discovers in the Daily Mail, a tabloid that the latch is assigned to another another brand, English. An error log has been corrected , but will this brand since its baby clothes are out of stock immediately. It was necessary to render unto Caesar what is George romper with smocked small boats, it is Belgian. That’s it.

Even with the minor challenges in the Google translation version one can understand the gist of the story. The company is so new its website isn’t fully up and running, visitors are asked to go to the company’s Facebook page. On that page there is a post recommending that if shoppers would like to pre-order the sailboat romper they can do so; more info from that Facebook post: “You can pre-order your “Prince George” romper already now, delivery will be end of May. Email: desiree@lespetitesabeilles.com”. The NY Times ran a fascinating story last week about the impact George is having on infant and baby fashions, “Prince George Ascending to the Throne of Trendsetters.” The paper has published a correction to the story, saying the piece is by Les Petites Abeilles.

The NY Times May 3, 2014

The NY Times May 3, 2014

A photo of the romper is posted on the Les Petites Abeilles Facebook page.

Les Petites Abeilles

Les Petites Abeilles

This version of this specific style has a minor difference from Prince George’s: the trim on the collar and the cuffs is plain white (as best I can see), not the patterned blue trim on his style. An inquiry about this has been sent to Ms. Hohenlohe; I’m sure she will get back to me shortly (notwithstanding the time difference between Belgium, where Les Petites Abeilles is headquartered).

UPDATED: We have heard back from Les Petites Abeiles about the trim. Ms. Hohenlohe explains that because each and every romper is handmade the trim is different on almost all of them; some trim will be white as seen on the photo above, some could be blue checks like Prince George’s, others may have darker blue trim.  An interesting aside, that very trim is how she knew the young Prince was wearing the Les Petites Abeilles piece she sent, she had given the second to last sailboat romper to a friend, and was actually sending a dress to the Cambridges when it was announced that the family had welcomed a baby boy; she then packaged up the very last sailboat piece and sent it to the Palace.

Below you see Ms. Hohenlohe with a lovely young lady modeling the sailboat romper identical to that seen on Prince George.

Les Petites via

Les Petites via

As many readers know, the impact cannot be overstated for a retailer/designer if Prince George is seen wearing one of their designs. We have seen the “Kate effect” with his mother, we are now witnessing the same phenomenon in his generation; the financial stakes are very high. Below, a screen shot of the Annafie website taken May 4th; I have sent an inquiry to the firm about the identification of the romper.

Annafie.com

Annafie.com

UPDATE: While I’ve not heard back from Annafie, the company has changed its website, it is no longer showcasing a Prince George Romper.

Annafie.com

Annafie.com

The Les Petites Abeilles website and commerce site is expected to be operational at the end of the month. We leave you with one more look at Prince George in his romper.

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

Andrew Parsons/i-Images/Polaris

We will keep you updated on any responses to our various inquiries.

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