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Ali Landry Debuts New Line at N.Y. Fashion Week

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Ask Ali Landry what her most important accomplishment is in life, and she breezes over winning Miss Louisiana, Miss USA and appearing on TV and in movies. It's being a mom that keeps this Southern belle going! In fact, her daughter is the inspiration for her new clothing line, Belle Parish, which is debuting at this year's New York Fashion Week.

Ali Landry
We took a quick break with Ali in between preparations for the big event, and got an inside look at this cute and heirloom-worthy line.

momlogic: How did you come up with the concept for the Belle Parish line?

Ali Landry:"Belle" is from "Southern belle" and "parish" is an homage to my home, Louisiana, so it's Southern girls, Southern towns. The line is definitely inspired by my Southern upbringing, but there are elements of European design as well. It's all about being classic and age-appropriate, which never goes out of style. I have always wanted to have a line of products, and this has been something I've thought about for 10 years. I love the entertainment business and I'm still working (just finished a short film) as an actress, but this is such a passion for me. After I had my daughter, Estela, it really brought me back to my roots. I wanted her to have what I had as a child, and part of that was missing because I am so far from home. I longed for some familiarity, and when my mom started shipping me boxes of hand-sewn clothes or keepsake pieces that I had worn as a baby, I fell in love with kids' clothes. I saw a real hole in the marketplace for classic kids' clothes.

Everything is so trendy and I'm all for it, but I think it's also great to dress your kids for the age they are. When you're 2, you're a baby! I love Belle Parish because I think it's current while also being whimsical, with a bit of nostalgia for the parents.

ml: What do you think draws people to the line?

AL: My partner, Annie Kate, and I have traveled to Vegas, Dallas, Atlanta and N.Y.C., and everywhere we go, we hear the same thing: "It's like my hometown store that closed 50 years ago has just reopened!" You know, I really think it's so sweet and so precious -- without being over-the-top with sparkles and glitter -- that it almost catches people by surprise. In the age of "Hannah Montana" and all that glitters, we are used to buying that stuff for our kids, but you can take it down a notch and it's still just as great.

Also, during a time when all of us can't afford to waste ANYTHING, I think people see the quality in our line and that the clothes are meant to keep. These are not clothes that you give away once your child has outgrown them. Many pieces in our heirloom line are "keepsake" outfits that are meant for your next baby -- or even your daughter's daughter! That is what most of this is inspired by: my own baby clothes that my mom saved! To me, it's the perfect balance of being really well-made and classic, without being too fancy.

next: Time to Relearn How to Help Your Kid Study
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