Children's Clothing | Polarn O. Pyret USA

The Story

We make the best children's clothes in the world. Our philosophy has not changed since our first striped T-shirt. We believe in good looking clothes that let children be children. Clothes should withstand wear-and-tear and become part of your family; from brother to sister, cousin to cousin.

We bring the same philosophy to every decision we make. From environmental to social responsibility, what is good for children is good for adults, too.

This commitment to quality, design and functionality guided us from our humble beginnings in Stockholm to more than 100 stores across Europe. Since 1976, we’ve learned that Swedish families are not the only ones who appreciate our approach to children’s clothing.

Now we are very excited to bring our unique style to the U.S. and will be celebrating our third birthday! Check us out online or at a one of our many growing retail locations.

An Interview with Polarn O. Pyret's U.S. CEO, Jennifer Athanason

  Polarn O. Pyret is celebrating its three-year anniversary here in the US. How has this European brand been received by American parents?

  The reception has been fantastic! I think PO.P really fills a void here in the States. Parents want to find a brand they can trust that fulfills as many clothing and gear needs as possible for their growing kids. We like to think of PO.P in the U.S. as a “one-stop shop” for busy parents. From rain boots to no-fuss party clothes, we basically have everything that babies and kids need year round.  When you add to the equation Swedish design and the best outerwear out there for kids, it really seals the deal.    

Why do you think this was the right time to launch PO.P in the USA?

We launched three years ago just as we were heading into one of the worst recessions this country has faced. This was probably not the best time to launch PO.P. However, we were so fortunate that parents decided to take a risk on something new. We began seeing parents making smarter choices on clothing for kids. We don’t want to feed the throw-away culture with a $5 shirt. You can purchase a jacket, fleece or even T-shirts that will last for years and enable parents to pass it down from child to child. Then when you’re done, you can sell it on eBay or consign for a decent price.

Polarn O. Pyret was started 35 years ago in Sweden. Can you tell us a little about the background of the company?

  Actually, the story begins more than 100 years ago when the company originally launched like a small drug store selling some clothing and even condoms!  The founders wanted to help Swedes control the size of their families, but appreciated they also needed clothing for the kids they did have.  The owners later realized they had a much better niche in clothing.  The small family-owned company was acquired by a Swedish investor who really saw the potential.  We now have approximately 140 stores in more than 8 countries and we are growing from there.      

What does Polarn O. Pyret mean?

The direct Swedish translation means “Buddy and the Little Guy.”  We love to use our nickname PO.P as it is easy and fun for everyone to say, plus we can do a lot of fun play on words with it. We go by our nickname in Sweden and other countries around the world, too. 

The stripes have become quite iconic here in the US. What is the story behind the PO.P stripes?

The stripes are really our brand bearer – you can look at our Classic Stripes in poppy and navy and know in an instant that it is Polarn O. Pyret.  The stripes were launched in 1976 at the same time as the reintroduced brand itself.  They were designed meticulously by two well-known Swedish textile designers down to the millimeter – which according to the lore makes all the difference in their visual appeal.   We are now known as the “Stripy Company” as we always use stripes in our collections from our Signature Stripes to our Block Stripes to even our now equally famous Sailor Stripes. 

We've seen the PO.P stripes on some of our favorite celebrity babies. What famous parents are shopping for PO.P stripes these days?

We are sensitive to the privacy of our customers, but it is fun to see increasingly famous people walking into our stores in the U.S. and loving the clothing! This happens a lot in New York City. Safe is to say, you may see our stripes popping up more frequently in the celebrity magazines. 

So many customers keep asking for stores in a particular city, what makes you decide to open a store in a location?

We were fortunate to launch our web store first and this allows us to instantly see where we are most popular.  Our customers are also not shy about letting us know where we should open next, and we are certainly listening.

There are so many players in the children's clothing market right now. What makes PO.P unique to its competition?

I think it is our consistency from season to season, and our commitment to detail and quality. I like the fact that year after year our design department from Sweden continues to deliver in a very “Polarn O. Pyret” way – you never walk into one of our stores and say “what happened?” or “last season was great but they really lost it this year.”  Our design vision remains true and the creativity of our designers keeps it fresh.   

What is your vision Polarn O. Pyret in the US?

My vision is that the brand really takes roots here in the US-- we want to be present in most major cities and open stores in the key suburbs around those cities.  We also want to increase our web presence making that an even more wonderful and easy shopping venue for our customers who cannot make it to one of our physical stores.  We want to continue offering some of the best customer service around and also most importantly we want to continue to build on the great interaction we have with our customers through outlets such as Facebook and Twitter and blogs.  It has been such a wonderful time to launch the company in the U.S. just at the time social media was really developing because it has allowed us to engage with our customer in a more personal way.  I can’t imagine how it could have been better! 

What's your favorite baby shower item from the collection to give as a gift?

It has to be our Classic Stripes – in our roll waist pants, kimono wrap bodysuit and helmet hat – this was my perfect going-home outfit for all my kids.  They look like no other babies leaving that hospital!  Until now, of course, I think we will start to see more and more stripy babies on their way home from the hospital!