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Mama's Got a Brand-New Bag

May 28, 1999|VALLI HERMAN-COHEN

Style challenges don't end when a baby is born.

New mother Judy Wilkin, 37, discovered that most diaper bags were too juvenile for a mature woman with an advanced sense of style--or a sense of humor. The Los Angeles resident created the Queen Bee collection, a whimsical line of baby accessories that includes hot pink fake chinchilla fur diaper bags, retro tropical print bibs and receiving blankets with matching hats in wild velour prints.

Confronted with the selection of diaper bags, Wilkin turned her experience in the wholesale side of the fashion business into a design venture. The move was born out of personal necessity.

"You think, I can't carry this pink duckie thing. It's just not working," she said.

Instead, she made backpacks with cell phone pockets, furry messenger bags and gray flannel shoulder bags a dad wouldn't mind carrying. They're also lined with waterproof nylon and come with matching changing pads. The bags sell for $90 to $120 at stores such as Fred Segal Melrose, Edna Hart in Silver Lake and Naissance in Calabasas.

The response to the more outrageous bags has been strong, Wilkin said. Her reasoning?

"'It works because you have to laugh a lot when that kid is crying."

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