Little Willy’s | Childrenswear | New York

If only all children’s clothes shops were like Little Willy’s | A member of the niche bespoke community in NYC, men’s store Lord Willy’s recently upgraded to larger premises from their humble storefront in New York’s NoLita neighborhood | As the shop shifted next door to a 2,500 square foot space, proprietors Alex and Betty Wilcox decided to turn the old space into Little Willy’s, a boys-only retailer full of ready-to-wear options for stylish wee lads | While it may sound odd to think of custom-quality childrenswear, the new boys’ line bypasses pretension with playful detailing and smart looks | Little Willy’s aims for playtime sophistication in their line, which is targeted at boys between two and ten | Emblazoned on polos and knits is the Little Willy’s logo, a cartoon figure in a bowler hat and glasses, the lens of one eye replaced by a colorful star | While the tailors at Lord Willy’s keep their embellishments limited to off-color thread and bright coloured lining, the children’s line was a chance to get a bit more creative | The experience is meant to appeal to kids and parents alike, and you won’t find any Saville Row snobbery in this fun-loving boutique | Operating the storefront is Will Rojas, referred to simply as “Mr. Rojas” to avoid confusion with the store’s mythic persona | Rojas’ look is in keeping with the store, which is all about promoting individual expression | A gold leaf emblem on the front door reads “Boys Only!”, setting a tone for a place of pint-sized masculinity | While little girls have plenty of options when it comes to this kind of high end, specialty shopping, Little Willy’s is one of the few boys-only spaces around | Owners Alex and Betty Wilcox are a husband-and-wife team who — despite not having children themselves — share an affinity for boys clothing | There is certainly a spirit of refinement in the line, it remains logo-driven | Alex, a trained graphic designer, created the mustachioed icon for the store, which he admits is in the same spirit as A Clockwork Orange, Gangs of New York and the Monopoly Man | Another thoughtful detail, portraits of famous men that decorate the store have been defaced with the Little Willy’s star-shaped glasses | To ensure that the experience doesn’t stop at the register, each purchase comes along with a sticker sheet and a pair of the signature sunglasses | “We really want the store to be fun and full of wearable clothing” says Alex of Little Willy’s | “Grown men are only little boys with jobs” | A bust of Tin Tin decorates the interior, a gift to Alex from his own father, harkening back to the theme of childhood | The statue is appropriate for the space as well, denoting a clientele of well-off, adventure-seeking boys | The “eccentric study” that is Little Willy’s promises to pacify kids who dread the shopping experience, catering to the well-heeled gents of tomorrow | Little Willy’s | 223 Mott Street | New York, NY 10012 | www.littlewillys.com

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