Pulse: Style: New and Now: Design Notebook

News from Philadelphia’s style front

Design Notebook

Who: Maryellen Kane, 37, Wynnewood-based designer of the children’s clothing line Olive Juice.

Family tradition: “I’m inspired by my family’s old photo albums,” she says. “There’s a picture of my mother as a child in a little red pleated skirt with suspenders that was the inspiration for our signature style, a French schoolgirl sweater-knit suspender skirt.”

Her no-frills approach: Kane’s take on kids’ clothing is pared-down and unembellished, with simple, timeless pieces in basic colors; she doesn’t like lots of bows, ribbons or embroidery.

From sandbox to Sunday school: “Play clothes can be comfortable but look nice,” she says. “I wanted to do wool sweaters, but parents insist on ‘no itch,’ so I do them in heavy cotton or a wool, angora and cashmere blend instead.”

Name game: Olive Juice is kid code for ‘I love you.’ “Little girls mouth ‘Olive juice’ to little boys on the playground,” explains Kane. “It’s a kid thing.”

Available by catalog (call 800-595-8870 to receive one) and at olivejuicekids.com.