It's been as busy as Santa's workshop over at the Sea studio on Canal Street. In the middle of working on their first pre-fall collection, designers Sean Monahan and Monica Paolini got a call from Barneys asking them to quickly turn around a capsule of printed pajamas (not the sleeping-in kind) just in time for holiday shopping. Despite the scheduling crunch, they made it happen and now the silk separates scattered with cute bulldogs or foxes are selling briskly. It's easy-to-wear, on-trend pieces like those whimsical pj's that have earned Sea a spot on many top buyers' speed dials. (Accessible contemporary price points help, too.)
Their new lineup boasts striped blazers and snug, gryphon-emblazoned sweaters, which conjure up memories of Dead Poets Society, as well as a drop-waist, pleated plaid shirtdress that put more of a grungy twist on the schoolgirl theme. The biggest retail hits are bound to be the leopard items—particularly, a canvas utility jacket updated with a spotted raffia bodice—which stores consistently request and Sea dutifully delivers season after season. No, leopard isn't the most original idea, but Monahan and Paolini are finding a way to keep it fresh for themselves and laughing all the way to the bank.