Brooklyn, NY-based Kalulu Débuts This Month


A vibrant new children’s wear collection inspired by the colors and traditions of East Africa.

Retailers and children’s stores will have a first look at the colorful, contemporary Kalulu children’s wear line at the ENK Children’s Club trade show later this month –and you’re getting a sneak peek right now!

Kalulu is about expressing the joy and fun of childhood, and the kikoy fabric -with its endless color combinations- captures that spirit. Plus, ‘Kalulu’ is fun to say!

Made in the USA. The new Kalulu is a comfortable and sophisticated collection that stands out from the crowd with unconventional color combinations and distinctive border prints. The line is made entirely from the East African fabric called kikoy cloth, a bold cotton fabric traditionally worn by men in the region as sarongs. From school to parties to family gatherings, the easy-to-wear clothes are both age-appropriate and eye-catching for girls and boys sizes 2T to 10. Each piece makes a bold statement but also easily mixes and matches with any existing wardrobe.

“It also allows children to stand out and express their individuality,” says founder Milbert Kiggundu-Bentham. “The ancient looming process makes it a highly durable material that gets softer with each wash, so kids can live in it and pass it down without wearing it out.”

Kalulu, which means “hare” in East African languages (like a rabbit), takes its name from the clever yet mischievous creature that often starred in the folklore that Milbert remembers from her childhood in Kenya. For her, these stories and the kikoy are interwoven since she was often listening to one while wrapped in the other. Now, the mother of three sons shares both traditions with children everywhere. “The cloth provides a sense of place,” she says, “picking up on the earthy hues found on safari as well as the beachy tones borrowed from a day on the East African coast.”

After earning degrees from Cornell and Georgetown University, Milbert spent her career in finance. The launch of Kalulu brings her life full-circle, tying into her East African roots and connecting her with her grandmother and great grandmother, who were both seamstresses.

The Spring /Summer’13 Kalulu collection features tunic dresses and tops, hooded tanks, ruffled tanks, slim-fit jeans, shorts and skorts for girls. Boy’s wear includes tunic tops, button-down shirts, hooded tops, Capris and safari shorts.

Ask for it by name at your favorite kid’s shops!

  • Thank you, Caletha Crawford, for introducing me to Kalulu! Children’s Retail Today publishes new posts on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you want to get the word out about your innovative, imaginative and inspiring products for children, contact me today!
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