West Elm Kids Is Celebrating Black Voices In the Best Way
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When West Elm announced they were launching a kids’ line back in April, the team at Cubby was thrilled. It seemed only natural that the hip home brand we’d relied on as we entered adulthood would come along for the parenting ride. West Elm Kids turned out to be a lot like its parent brand: Modern, clean-lined, and cool, and its first collaborations reveal more about what we might expect from the brand going forward.
For its first collab, West Elm Kids teamed up with the Brothers Pumphrey to bring their popular The Old Truck picture book to life as a small collection of home items for babies and kids. For those who aren’t familiar, The Old Truck tells the story of a young black girl growing up on a family farm with retro and clever visual language. Fast on the heels of that launch, West Elm Kids debuted a partnership with Netflix’s new show Ada Twist, Scientist, which is produced by Higher Ground, the Obamas’ production company and based on the book of the same name by Andrea Beaty.
It’s not a coincidence that these two launches celebrate black voices. “As the first home retailer to sign the 15 Percent Pledge, we committed to elevating and promoting the work of Black artists, designers, and makers through our LOCAL program, partnerships, and collaborations,” says Dru Ortega, Director of Consumer Marketing & Communications for West Elm. “We’re excited to finally debut the work we’ve been doing with some incredible partners.”
The two collections also share a visual identity of off-primary hues and simple line drawings. For The Old Truck, the West Elm Kids team translated the Pumphrey Brothers’ hand-drawn and hand-cut stamps into products honoring the book’s tale of family, farm life and persistence. For the Ada Twist gear, the in-house product design team interpreted Ada’s world into a collection that “sparks wonder and imagination.”
We love to see a new brand embracing diverse voices and stories from the start, and we’re also tickled that a big-name brand is partnering with more indy characters. (We love Disney and Star Wars as much as the next parents, but there’s something refreshing about these collections based on contemporary storybooks.) Ortega promises there are more collaborations in the works, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, here are 14 products from West Elm Kids two collabs that we’re loving: