Sunday, May 08, 2016

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

Fashion for the Youngest Set:
The Designing Mom Behind Cozy Cocoon

Photos are by Liliana Photography

When Patricia DeLisa first moved to New York City, it was to join other aspiring young models in an apartment owned by the Ford Modeling Agency. It was not long before DeLisa realized that her true passion was for creating the designs, not modeling them.

Patricia DeLisa

Fast-forward to today and DeLisa has realized her dream of designing for her own apparel company. She is the creator of Cozy Cocoon, an adorably chic infant swaddling garment that helps to soothe the baby as well.  Cozy Cocoon has gained an international following among some rather fussy customers and their equally discerning parents. She talks about her role as a designer for the very youngest fashionistas…

What is your design background and how did the idea for Cozy Cocoon come about?

Actually, it seems I was born with a passion for design. As a toddler I carried a big suitcase full of clothes and a giant baby doll everywhere I went. I would change the clothes all day long. I had many brothers and sisters, so I had a big stash of clothes to choose from to add to my suitcase! And, whenever I could sneak into the nursery of the real baby I would; I had to change the clothes as fast as I could so my mom wouldn’t catch me!

I got my first sewing machine at the age of 12. It was so magical to me, and I never stopped sewing from that point on. I attended F.I.T., where I won all the awards for design in my class.My teacher then hired me to design at the London Fog coat company.

In 1998, as a mom with 27 nieces and nephews, I came up with this idea to calm my fussy newborn niece. The idea flashed into my head and I knew I could find a way to gently hold her flailing arms with cotton/spandex! I went to the store that moment and bought a piece of stretchy cotton fabric. I made the first pattern on the baby that day.  That was the beginning of the Cozy Cocoon.

Cozy Cocoons are both beautiful and functional. What makes them unique?

No ties, no snaps, no buttons, no straps. It slips onto the baby like a sock. So you simply scrunch it up like a sock and stretch it onto the baby for a perfect swaddle every time. No uncomfortable zippers or Velcro, no complicated wrapping or strapping. It’s soft, stretchy cotton and it has a flip back pocket for easy diaper access. So you can change the diaper without startling the baby.

What is the inspiration for your Cozy Cocoon designs and what fabrics are used?

We use pure cottons of a nice 10 oz. weight with just a little spandex, 5%, so the baby can stretch and explore naturally. This allows for the fabric to hug the baby close without the worry of unraveling fabric. My design ideas come from the world around me, the beautiful babies I see everyday, and the fun whimsical ideas that are constantly popping up in my head.

Where are your garments manufactured?

We custom make all of our fabrics here in the USA, in a mill in North Carolina. We cut and sew all of our cocoons here on Long Island and sometimes use a small factory in Brooklyn.

Is it challenging to work with your very young models?

Yes! We have so much fun with the beautiful babies that come to our photo shoots. It takes a lot of patience to wait for the baby to cooperate. It is such a blessing to be in the presence of so many newborns and to dress them in these adorable outfits. The moms and dads are always so happy. It’s a very rewarding experience.

Cozy Cocoons are an international sensation. Where is your largest customer base and where can Cozy Cocoons be purchased?

Yes, we are happy to say that we ship worldwide on a daily basis from right here in North Bellmore, New York. Our biggest fans are in Asia, Dubai, and the U.K. We are currently working on a plan to launch Cozy Cocoon in many stores in the U.S. by the year’s end. You can find us now online at:

-Rhonda Erb
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