Westporters can now purchase stylish and affordable apparel for the little people in their lives without ever leaving town.
Nov. 2 marked the opening of children’s clothier Frank & Lu, located at 177 Post Road West (in Nash’s Plaza). The clothes are designed by a father of two with deep ties to the town of Westport.
The clothing line, designed by company Founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Jarvela, consists of simple modern pieces such as flight jackets, skinny chinos, and sweater knit dresses – all with a nod to high style, and built-in softness. Frank & Lu apparel, which favors a muted palette, is available for boys and girls size 2-14.
“Everything is made for comfort,” said Jarvela, a fashion designer with nearly 20 years of experience.
Frank & Lu clothing uses comfy, lighter-weight fabrics that are easy for kids to get in and out of, according to Jarvela.
“Making clothes is fun! And when you create something that looks great and that your kid will actually wear with ease, it's a joy,” Jarvela said.
Jarvela, who previously was vice president of men's design for Gap, noted the concept of the Frank & Lu line was also born out of frustration at finding fashionable kids’ clothes for his own children that didn't cost their college education.
“I wanted to offer a designer boutique line, but not at designer boutique prices,” Jarvela explained.
Westport, Jarvela said, was the natural choice for locating his concept store, since it’s his family’s second home, and reflects the fashion sense of New York City but currently had nothing like Frank & Lu.
Jarvela’s wife, Kerry Keenan, grew up in Westport, and her family has been part of the community for nearly 50 years. Frank & Lu is named after Jarvela’s children, Francis, (Frank) age 7, and Lucie, (Lu) age 5.
Frank & Lu, which occupies roughly 900 square feet of retail space in the former site of True Tension Raquet Sports, currently employs a staff of four.
“The town is perfect for the blend of style and comfort that kids and their parents have such a hard time finding in the children's wear market,” Jarvela stated.