Thu, Sep 30, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Little house, big ambitions

BY CATHERINE SHU  /  STAFF REPORTER

Little house, big ambitions

PHOTO: CATHERINE SHU, TAIPEI TIMES, AND COURTESY OF LITTO LITTO

New children’s clothing brand Litto Litto (小房子) seeks to appeal to style-conscious parents, with design inspiration drawn from vintage fashion and graphic prints. But Litto Litto isn’t just about looking stylish.

Owner Min Ho (何宗憫) wants families to see Litto Litto’s boutique, which opened in March on a lane off Anhe Road (安和路), as a place where they can spend an afternoon reading books and playing make-believe. (Litto Litto also recently opened a store in Taichung’s Eslite Park Lane mall (勤美誠品綠園道)).

The store contains lots of little touches designed to appeal to youngsters, including baskets of building blocks and toy animals and child-sized furniture. The cashier counter is covered with playful illustrations by Ho, and one wall of the store is lined with a small library of children’s picture books, some of which Ho reads during story-telling hours every Wednesday and Saturday.

The little touch that gets the most attention from kids, however, isn’t so little at all. It’s a big wooden playhouse at the back of the store. Instead of being filled with miniature furniture, the inside is decorated to look like a small forest, with plush green carpeting and walls covered with a mural made from photos taken on Yangmingshan. A large pink hippopotamus stuffed toy sits in a corner, waiting to be climbed on, and a round white cabinet is filled with yet more toys.

“A lot of children’s stories talk about a little house in the forest, but we wanted to flip it around and make a forest in a little house,” says Ho. The Litto Litto design team used recycled wood boards to cover the outside walls of the playhouse; the result is a homey patchwork of faded pastel colors, with a tiny door on one side.

Litto Litto (小房子)

Address: 10, Ln 127, Anhe Rd Sec 1, Taipei City (台北市安和路一段127巷10號); B2, 68 Gongyi Rd, Taichung City (台中市公益路68號B2)

Telephone: (02) 2705-0225 (Taipei City);

(04) 2328-1000 X6040 (Taichung City)

On the Net: www.littolitto.com/blog


“Kids like having something that is so small only they can fit through it,” says Ho.

Ho’s ability to see the world through a child’s point of view was cultivated at university, where he taught children’s art classes while studying metalworking. After graduating, Ho continued teaching while working as a children’s tour guide at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (台北市立美術館), a job he held for nine years.

Ho is now a design entrepreneur whose ventures also include a hostel in Kenting that will open next year and Casa Furniture (+俱), which specializes in modernist-style home furnishings. Last year, he started working with fashion designer Chigo Liao (廖竟淇) on Litto Litto.

Manufactured in Taipei City, Litto Litto’s clothing is made to appeal to parents and kids who don’t like the fussy details often found in children’s wear. Its clothing is winsome, but silhouettes are simple and crisp. Many of the designs have coordinating adult versions in the same fabrics.

Litto Litto’s spring-summer collection was inspired by styles worn in 1960s and 1970s Taiwan. Items include shift dresses that cinch at the waist with a matching fabric belt, khaki trousers and short-sleeved button-down shirts with piping trim. The upcoming fall-winter line uses prints with geometric shapes and bold colors reminiscent of Op art. The brand stays away from gender-specific colors, such as pink for girls or blue for boys. Girls’ dresses come in black and white fabrics and a boys’ shirt is sewn from a light pink print on a white background. Designs also have grown-up details that are modified for active kids, including a high collar on a winter vest that can be flipped open and securely buttoned down.

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