The thought process

The clothing brand name began as Sasha and Ava, the names of the two entrepreneurs' daughters. As well as developing concepts for Sasha and Ava, I was also asked to come up with alternative names. The favorite was Chick Chat.

The daughters had inspired their moms, Cindy and Lisa, to design clothing that addressed their needs. As with so many children, their daughters fussed at scratchy labels, irritating seams, and bulky fabrics. As parents, they resented complex care instructions, unflattering fits and exploitative imagery.

Their concept was simple and brilliant. The entire line of seven essential pieces was made out of the thinnest, softest, organic cotton, designed to sit close to the skin without being tight, had no labels,
chick chat label imprint
screen printed label
was easy care, could be layered up or down to suit changing seasons, and was available in a fabulous range of solid colors that could be worn in countless combinations. And, it was made in the USA.

To bring the "chat" up to date, I developed a range of emoticons from texting shorthand that could be used playfully in any situation, from the back of hangtags to their stationery. Stylistically the emoticons were distinctive while feeling familiar, and a hip vernacular.


To introduce the brand, Cindy wanted to create a trade booth design that felt like a sparse design studio, all white with just the logo, the garments and some line drawings. I simplified and stylized the drawings in keeping with the style I had developed for the emoticons. I then laid them out on a blue background and designed a "blueprint" poster to be used as a backdrop in the booth and inside the brochure too. The style suited their reductive approach–no frills, no embellishments. These illustrations later became adapted for the website.
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Swatch cards are costly to produce because of the handwork involved. Once I'm involved though, I find ways to make things happen – even if it means doing it myself. (I changed the design to squares to make the cutting easier).

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On the website, the colors moved like a ticker tape across the top, changing from Spring to Fall and back again. The motion helped call attention to this key aspect of the collection.









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When I designed the website with the online store, there was no budget for still life studio photography so I continued illustrating the garments as I had done on the blueprint poster. This style created an easy system to change colors. I also created little animations showing the layer up and down concept using simple animated gifs.









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The illustrations also lent themselves to simple didactic gift sets. We recommended color combinations as well as layering options.


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I loved this idea - it was something most people wouldn't think to do - buy two dresses in two different sizes so that you can wear them together, one over the other. Chick Chat's fine cotton was perfect for this because it didn't feel bulky and when your daughter outgrew the smaller size she could wear the larger one for another year.


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Knowing full well that internet customers want to see the actual garments too, we showed pictures of celebrities' children wearing them, understanding that the implicit recommendation trumped any still life studio shot no matter how good. These fine cottons were particularly hard to shoot flat.


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I always thought Angelina Jolie was particularly generous. She turned the garnment inside out so that onlookers could see the brand name. Here she is again on another occasion. (below)




Letters from customers:

"We - my daughter and I - absolutely love ChickChat, the clothes look and feel great! And the choice of colors is refreshing when everyone else is the same"


Chick Chat


The brief: Began as "design a brand for a new clothing line just for girls and some basic business stationery and a website," and later devloped into hang tags, trade show booths, brochures, orderforms, swatch cards and, eventually, an online store.

chick chat label
The hang tags were enlarged dots, brightly colored like the clothes


inside brochure. The design incorporated the blueprint concept for the booth.

Swatch card


The online store homepage

Gift sets

chick chat angeline Jolie gwinith paltro daughters

Angelina Jolie and daugther, Zahara, Gwyneth Paltrow and Apple, Julianne Moore and Liv Helen; and Uma Thurman and Maya.


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