After the birth of her two sons, Jasmine Punzalan found herself underwhelmed with the choices available for their new wardrobes. “I just felt like everything here was kind of ho-hum,” says Punzalan, who had lived in Tokyo and embraced its edgy fashion aesthetic. “Nobody was doing anything different.” So she decided to take matters into her own hands—first opening children’s clothing boutique Kodomo in the South End in August, then expanding to the larger Kodomo (annex) last month in Beacon Hill, offering nursery and decor items in addition to her regular stock of clothing, shoes, accessories, books and toys.
“The concept is still the same,” Punzalan says of the River Street shop. “We’re still focused on ethically produced, slow-manufactured independent designers.” Israeli brand Nununu is a favorite of her 7- and 5-year-old sons for its gender-neutral styles and colors, a common theme throughout the shop, which ditches separate boys’ and girls’ sections for rows of neatly hung neutrals and graphic prints. Styles include tailored blouses and pants from Portugal-based Wolf & Rita, whose designers formerly made men’s shirts, a bubble dress from Motoreta, a Spanish line by former architects, and a graphic lion tee from Mini Rodini, a sustainable Swedish line whose pieces are inspired by designer Cassandra Rhodin’s childhood growing up in the circus. LuckyBoySunday hand-knit dolls populate shelves, as do Woodstock London cat-ear barrettes, Fanny & Alexander toy cameras and a revived line of retro Lapin & Me dolls that Punzalan played with as a kid. With more space, she’s also able to offer a play area for kids and a sofa where parents can sip on tea. “A lot of our customers literally live around the corner,” Punzalan says. “That’s what we are intending to be—just a very local neighborhood shop.”
Kodomo (annex) 45 River St., Boston (617-530-1140) kodomoboston.com