By JORDAN BAER
UW News Lab
This past Friday, May 18, Peek opened its doors in University Village to a swarm of eager customers. The children’s clothing store, which originated in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2006, has additional locations in California, Arizona and Texas. But for its first Washington location, University Village in Seattle couldn’t have been a better choice.
“University Village is such a great location for us. It fits in perfectly with our brand,” said Christian Wais, general manager of all Peek locations.
That brand he’s referring to is defined by Peek’s three key values, which include nostalgia, wit and sophistication. As an upscale children’s brand, Peek delivers high-end clothing to even the youngest generations, thus filling the void in quality children’s-wear, according to Wais.
Annjette Del Valle, manager of Glassybaby in University Village, said she thinks there are a lot of people that want more options for children’s apparel and she’s hopeful that Peek will be able to provide that.
“We felt like a lot of kids didn’t get the same attention to detail and quality that were in adult clothes. We wanted to bring a level of premium sophistication to kids,” said Wais.
And it seems as though they may be doing just that. With refined prints, soft fabrics and miniature versions of pieces you might see in an adult clothing store, Peek is definitely bringing new styles to the arena of children’s clothing. Peek gets a lot of its fabrics from Liberty London, which is one of the oldest printmakers in the world. Some of Peek’s more sophisticated pieces include paisley and floral prints from Liberty London. As for the miniature items, Peek offers neon-colored Vans in infant sizes and a khaki-colored dress with a coral floral print that you might hope to find at J. Crew in adult sizes.
“The whole idea was kind of peeking into your child’s future and peeking back into your own childhood,” Wais added. “When you see our mix and our product, you can see we’re doing something different.”
Micaela Wanzer, a current employee at Peek in University Village, added, “What I love about Peek is that it appeals to both children and adults. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard adults, both women and men alike, come in and say how they wished that we made clothing in their size.”
Wanzer first became familiar with the brand when she worked at Nordstrom last summer, which is a large distributor of Peek-brand clothing. “Peek is unlike any other kids-apparel company out there and is really unique in style and aesthetic,” said Wanzer. “It is playful, like most kids clothes are, but it has an edge of sophistication and, of course, is very high quality.”
Peek avoids just using the primary colors and instead pairs coral, mustard and lilac with neutral tones in order to achieve a more adult color palette. In addition, Peek avoids childish graphics. Wais joked, “You’ll never see a dinosaur on one of our shirts.” Peek clothing is generally in the $30-$60 range for young boys and girls as well as for baby clothing.
Not only is it Peek’s mission to fill the need for more options in children’s apparel, Wais insists it’s also to encourage children to interact with, and be curious about, the world they live in. Maybe that explains why Peek is stocked with children’s books, has a craft station and often uses pictures of scientists or artists on its T-shirts.
According to Wais, Peek may be opening three more locations this year, but no official announcement has been made.
To learn more about Peek, please visit its new location in University Village or website at www.peekkids.com/store/.