A story is always told of a man or woman who finds a way to do what they love despite adversity…. Anjana Eapen, owner and designer of The Dragon and the Rabbit children’s wear, is a version of this story with a twist involving love, creativity and conviction.
Anjana is fortunate enough to have always done what she loves. Before Anjana launched The Dragon and the Rabbit she was a successful technical designer for Woman’s wear (for 17 years working for names like Emanuel Ungaro, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tracy Reese). The fact that Anjana has had a successful career as a technical designer is no surprise considering her childhood ambitions. Since the age of 12, Anjana has been passionately taking apart dresses, obsessing over how they are made and putting them back together again. While some of us can recall with wide eyed joy of our daring rebellious times with our 12 year friends, Anjana lights up with the memory of first discovering a dart in a dress at the age of 12: “Oh,”, Anjana explained, “the excitement of a piece of fabric transforming from 2 dimensional to 3 dimensional all because of a stitch!.”
“Anjana absolutely enjoyed her years in the industry. However, even though the New York garment industry has an unbelievable majority of women employees, the industry is not very supportive of the demands of motherhood. The extensive long work hours especially around fashion show preparations make it near impossible for women to balance
successful design careers and motherhood.”
Fast forward to 2013: Anjana is a wife, a fashion professional, and has just given birth to her second child. Struggling to keep up with the demands of the fashion world and motherhood Anjana was at a loss as to how to continue to do what she loves but also spend time with her children. As time waits for no one Anjana continued juggling work, motherhood, and travel.
While Anjana was traveling, especially in European cities, she noted that not only were there more children in restaurants but the children, as adults, were dressed properly. The children always Anjana adds, “looked suited to the environment” “As a long time believer that “generally people behave as they dress” this was of particular interest to Anjana. This realization coupled with Anjana’s own growing disappointment of sorting through the monotony of “too stimulating graphic t’s for boys, and pink, frilly sequined clothes for girls” while clothes shopping for her own children in the U.S. ignited a spark of an idea.
The spark ignited questions, “Why not make children’s clothes that can translate from a playground to school to a dinner party? Why not create a children’s line with clean esthetics, while making it easy on moms by being machine washable, and durable?” The questions led to a calling that had been planted in Anjana since the age of 12. Anjana’s 17 years as a technical designer has polished and perfected that calling, and Anjana’s experience as a mother of 2 toddlers put “real life” practical use into the mix.
Anjana’s unanswered question of how to continue to do what she loves while still having time to be at home with her children was answered. Anjana’s line The Dragon and the Rabbits, named after her 2 children’s astrological signs, has had an exceedingly successful start since it’s 2014 launch enjoying the cover and editor’s picks in Earnshaws Trade Magazine, the bible of children’s wear.
Anjana’s line, for ages 2-6 year old boys and girls, possesses clean esthetics, durability, are 100 percent cotton, and machine washable. Anjana explains that, “children’s safety concerns, and wear and tear are now my concerns. For example, I do not put a drawstring in the hood, and the boys pants have knee pads or darts stitched into them to prevent knee wear and tear. The everyday life of children that I experience as a mother is added to my line.”
The colors of The Dragon and the Rabbit are beautiful rich oranges, brown, green, yellows, with subtle grays and natural tones. You will not find blue for boys and pink for girls in this line. Anjana’s line rejects that conformity. A single outfit is “an extension of a child’s lifestyle in NYC” It is as versatile as a child: jumping from one activity to another while living up to what children’s clothes should be: versatile, translatable to every occasion.
Embracing global philanthropy(The Dragon and the Rabbit donates proceeds to a favorite charity, International Children’s Heart Foundation (babyheart.org) which is a not for profit organization that is comprised of volunteer doctors that go anywhere in the world and perform heart surgeries on young children in need.
You can find The Dragon and the Rabbit clothing line on their websitewww.thedragonandtherabbit.com, and at specialty boutiques around the US, as well as in far away places such as New Zealand.
Written by Diane Forte
Edited by Juliet Vedral