Moms and dads, fashionistas and style mavens, get ready: Trumpette is setting the stage to open its newest location this month in the old Sirlin Photography building at 2020 I St. in Midtown.
Although it is best known for baby socks designed to look like little Mary Jane shoes or Converse high-tops, fashon-forward moms may swoon just a little when they see the entire lineup of high-end designer children’s clothing and accessories that Trumpette founder Jon Stevenson has to offer.
“It’s the best for little ones,” Stevenson said. “That’s what we bring to the world.”
Stevenson, 60, opened a Trumpette retail location in Fair Oaks in 2006 and put his wholesale and manufacturing operations in Rancho Cordova. As the company grew, Stevenson said he started branching out with increased wholesale, online retail – which he refers to as “e-tail” – and building his design team.
Last October, Stevenson said he bought the 75-year-old Sirlin building on I Street to relocate the design, marketing and “e-tail” portion of the company into Midtown, and at the same time, he moved the wholesale and manufacturing portion of the company to Reno.
Stevenson said 80 percent of Trumpette’s line is baby socks, including Tumpette’s signature piece: a dozen pairs of socks in an egg crate, called “perfect little dozen.”
Other items offered at Trumpette include specially designed kids’ hoodies and “schlep bags,” which Stevenson described as high-fashion fun diaper bags that don’t fit the mold.
“I’m an old merchandiser from Macy’s, so putting things together, making them stand out – that’s what I do,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson said he was inspired to begin his company because of his experiences with his adopted son, Nicky, when the boy was an infant.
“Everyone kept saying, ‘Oh she’s such a cute little girl!’ and I just got tired of correcting everyone and saying, ‘No, he’s a boy,’ ” Stevenson said.
A fashion merchandiser in San Francisco at the time, Stevenson designed a simple onesie for his son: all white with bold, all-caps black lettering in a crisp Helvetica font that said simply “BOY” in eight languages.
He created another one that said “GIRL” and took them to a trade show in New York where then-vice president of Barney’s New York saw them and fell in love, Stevenson said.
“She told me, ‘I’m going to put you in every Barney’s in America,’ ” Stevenson said.
And she did: Twenty-three Barney’s locations across the United States started carrying Trumpette onesies in 1989. Baby socks and other children’s items soon followed. Trumpette grew into a multi-million dollar company and became a worldwide brand – Stevenson’s socks found their way to the feet of celebrities’ kids in New York and Los Angeles, including star moms such as Beyonce and Kourtney Kardashian.
When reminded that his stores focus the majority of its product line on roughly 10 percent of the baby, Stevenson is unfazed.
“Well, sure,” he said. “But everyone needs socks, so the other 90 percent is glad to have them.”
Trumpette Midtown is expected to open in July, Stevenson said, and the hours will be 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. weekdays, closed weekends.