Of Course Gabrielle Union's Daughter Kaavia James Has Her Own Adorable Clothing Collection
When your parents are the forever-fashionable Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, the chances of becoming a style icon yourself are pretty high. At just three years old, it that seems Kaavia James Union-Wade is already headed down that path. Alongside her mom and dad, the pre-schooler just launched her own collection with the kids clothing store Janie and Jack — and yes, every rainbow-striped dress, floral jogger, and graphic tee was approved by the little one herself.
"We call her 'shady baby' for a reason. She is quite opinionated — you're never wondering what she's thinking," Union tells InStyle over the phone while discussing the design process. "We showed her everything that we saw, and let her feel the materials. There were things where she was like, 'No,' and we weren't trying to force her into anything, so anything that she didn't spark to, it's not in the collection. Everything you see is Kaavia James. Not only inspired by, but approved by."
When Janie and Jack approached the family about the opportunity to work together on a collection, Union says the decision to say yes was easy, especially since Kaavia has essentially been wearing the brand since birth.
"It's a line that we've always loved, and part of the reason that we've loved it is that the clothes feel so fashion-forward," she tells us. "A lot of kids' clothing can feel kind of basic, I guess, as the kids say. But Janie and Jack feels like shopping for an adult. They are amazing, amazing clothes — fashion-forward, but they survive a washing, you know what I mean? They're accessible. They're affordable. They're cool. They've got their finger on the pulse of fashion."
Of course, there were a few important factors to consider that you might not think of when designing adult clothes. For example, complicated straps or buttons were a no-go.
"For Kaavia, when we dress her, it has to be something that, if she's at school and it's time to go to the bathroom, she can get it off and on easily," says Union. "There are other kids in the class, and you can't always get the teacher's attention when it's time to go." And that's a valid point: If you think you struggle in the work bathroom when you're wearing a jumpsuit, imagine a poor preschooler negotiating that.
The pieces also needed to fit Kaavia's own lifestyle of playing outside and getting dirty.
"We send her to school, she looks pristine. She comes home, she looks like she's been in the war," Union jokes. "If it's something that can't get dirty or needs to be dry cleaned, that's not something that's going to go on her body."
Instead, Union and Wade focused on Kaavia's "love of adventure and her friendships" as key sources inspiration, and even recruited their daughter's BFF, Crosby Sparrow, to co-star in the campaign.
"Just watching them move through the world unapologetically, as their full selves...the celebration of that optimism and that joy comes through in those vibrant patterns and details."
Unfortunately for us adults, the line only goes up to a kids size 18 (mommy and me collection next, please!), but Union did share the ways in which motherhood has changed her own style, as well as advice for other moms.
"You've got to kind of dress for the occasion," she says. "I dress to play with my kids and be active and on the ground, rolling around. It's not about being the perfect — having the perfect look of a super mom or whatever that is supposed to be. I just want to play with my kids. So whatever that looks like — if it matches, if it's name brand, if it's couture, whatever — it has to make sense. It's not about looking picture perfect because no one is. It's kind of hard to be an active, present parent when you're worried about getting dirty or ruining something."
Kaavia James Union-Wade x Janie and Jack ranges from $11 to $74 and is available to shop now on janieandjack.com.