The store is decorated for children. Bunnies — felt and fluffy — sit in a carriage, and on tables and chairs.
Alligator Pie Kidswear moved to its new location in Crestwood in February 2021. Prior to that, it had existed in Manulife Place for the past 34 years.
In the late 1980s, Catherine Medak realized there weren’t many clothing stores for children in the city, so she opted to fill that void, specializing in designer wear and carrying brands from Alberta and across the globe, like Wee Monster from Los Angeles, Billieblush from France and Posh & Cozy from Lloydminster.
Medak carefully picks out collections from Montreal, New York, France and Italy. This past year, she’s been having to shop online, and says it’s a little more challenging.
“It takes the spark out from buying. You’re not easily inspired.”
When her young clients come in, Medak watches how they respond to the products. And, while it’s difficult since the parents will pick for their children, Medak tries to take cues from children first. She uses the models as an example: Dallas is wearing colourful, sparkly clothes from Billieblush that match her personality. Her older sister, Avery, is in Posh & Cozy’s muted pink. Medak has known the girls since they were little. In fact, their mother wore clothes from Alligator Pie, too. After so many years in the business, Medak is now watching the second generation of children coming through her store doors.
“Oh actually, I just had that last Saturday,” she says. “Three women came in and one of them had just had a baby. They were buying the baby her first dress, and I didn’t recognize them at first because of all the masks.”
The store carries sizes for infants to size 12 for teens. Medak says that in some brands, she has sizes up to 14, but that it’s not always the case. The trends for children are usually similar to what’s trending for adults, she says.
“The brands I have in the store are usually a little ahead of the fashion scene,” she says. “So, we’re going to continue seeing hits of bright colours and neon. Also, the ‘90s influence is very strong for sure. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of moms say ‘oh I wish you would carry ladies wear as well,’ but I think you should do one thing and do it as well as you can.”
She adds that Edmonton already has so many women’s clothing stores, she’s happier where she is.