Cindy Virani and Amanda Lennon: Queens of Casual Grunge Couture

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Cindy Virani and Amanda Lennon are the unstoppable duo behind Lennon + Wolfe, the children’s fashion brand on the forefront of understated, unisex styles that in spite of their simplicity, pack a walloping punch of SoCal style in every piece. Perhaps more importantly, kids LOVE the softness of the fabrics and the no-fuss factor. In this edition of Chit Chat Tuesday, we sit down with Cindy and Amanda and go behind the brand. Enjoy!

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JS: You débuted your first collection in October 2014 at ENK Children’s Club and we first met in February 2014 at Playtime New York. In a relatively short time, Lennon + Wolfe has grown tremendously and is now stocked in some of the most prestigious boutiques and department stores in the world. What are the ‘pinch me’ moments you’ve had along the way? Was there a turning point where you realized, OMG this is taking off?

CV + AL: Honestly, we have “pinch me” moments everyday! Of course there are the obvious ones, like receiving our first order from Barney’s NY after months of follow-up, being stocked at Sweet William boutiques, or making it into Smallable in France and Isetan in Japan—but it is safe to say that we are equally excited about every single account we open up, every supportive email from our customers, every amazing pic we’re tagged in by the incredible mamas on Instagram. It’s incredible to see kids out in the world wearing our clothes—real life kids who we are not related to or are close friends with!

One of the best parts has been the relationships and friendships that we have formed with a lot of our buyers. We love meeting who we call “our people”. Those people who get what we’re doing and get on board in a big way. There is nothing “typically kids” about our brand and though the idea of unisex pieces and a muted color palette is not for everyone, we believe there is room for it everywhere, so when we finally find our people in markets like Texas and Atlanta, after being told repeatedly that it would never work there, it feels incredible!

The fact that we are expanding into the Women’s market come Fall is also a major “pinch me”! When we get to rock our women’s pieces at the next show, we will definitely be pinching each other, lol.

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JS: If Lennon and Wolfe the brand had a soundtrack, what bands/musicians would be on it?

CV + AL: There is a song called Ends of the Earth by Lord Huron. It totally encompasses the vibe of Lennon + Wolfe and ties right into the “post apocalyptic dream” in our brand story. As for us personally, we would have to say that Rachel Platten’s Fight Song and Stand By You would be our anthems. [Amanda and I] started out as complete strangers, but almost instantly bonded! We are not only best friends, but more like sisters now. This is the furthest thing from an easy adventure, but we fight for our success hard, refuse to give up and have each other’s back throughout it all.

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JS: Do you have any upcoming collaborations or special events that you can share with us?

CV + AL: We do have some amazing collabs in the works, but still super hush hush! We promise that as soon as status is changed from “top secret” to “ready for the world to know” Jr. Style will be one of the first to know! We can not wait to share! 🙂

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JS: How has the line changed since your first season till now?

CV + AL: We’re really proud to say that it hasn’t! We pride ourselves in staying true to our brand identity and the reason we started. We spent a lot of time researching and finding our niche. We do our best to listen to the feedback we receive, and definitely take it to heart, but at the end of the day we know who we are and what we bring to the table. We try hard to stay in our lane.

JS: Where do you see the brand in five years time?

CV + AL: Our goal from the very beginning has always been to evolve into a full lifestyle brand, with kids, women’s, men’s and even home goods, but we never imagined that we would have so many requests to do it so soon. We see ourselves as an all around lifestyle brand with Lennon + Wolfe stores across the country… Heck, maybe even the world! “WE ARE THE DREAMERS” after all!

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JS: As a mother, how do you juggle your own business with the needs of your family? Any life hacks you can share with us?

CV + AL: We are constantly trying to find that perfect balance, but the truth is, most days we feel like something is taking a hit. It’s really freaking hard! We wake up wake up before the boys to answer emails, touch base for the day, work from drop-off through pick-up, handle after school playdates, homework, activities, work some more, handle dinner, bath time, bedtime and then back to work.

The key for us has been accepting the fact that maybe we need to stop looking at the day to day balance and start looking at the big picture. There are only so many hours in a day and sometimes it’s not humanly possible to give of yourself equally to every role you play, but while Mommy may have been busy all week with work, you can bet she will be all yours on the weekend.

We believe firmly that finding the balance that works for you and your child is the key. Everyone is different. Lucky for us, not only have we become great friends, but the boys have too, so we love to take them for awesome adventures together. We do A LOT of beach days!

While it’s crazy hard, and somedays you just want to cry, we want our boys to look back and say “Our moms are pretty bad ass!”. If they feel that way, we’ll have done something right!

JS: Thank you Cindy and Amanda!

Shop Lennon + Wolfe.

Made with love in Los Angeles, Lennon + Wolfe was created to transcend the children’s genre of fashion. Kids are people too! Their style and comfort matters. Born of music, fashion and a lifelong inspiration of art. The depth of the brand is as strong as it is simple. Muted colors in a post apocalyptic dream make for a casual grunge couture to relax, party and play in.

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