Hanky Blanky is a truly unique and vintage-inspired clothing website that sells hand-crafted designs for babies and toddlers. From infantwear and blankies to bibs and handmade dolls, Hanky Blanky is made with love and homespun craftsmanship.
If you have your own little Swee’Pea, you simply have to check out Rosi “Rouge” Zingales’ designs!
Olive: How long has Hanky Blanky been in existence?
Rosi: I made my first Hanky Blanky in 1985 for Brenda, my friend’s first child. I am an avid collector and had come upon about 500 hankies at one estate sale. They were so pretty and I wanted to do something with them. In fact, Brenda, now 28 yrs old, still has it hanging in her room! I began the line in 1993 making blankys, pillows and bibs. Each year I would think of something different to apply them to: an A-line linen dress, or diaper covers. I used to sell wholesale, reaching about 90 stores across the nation, including ABC Carpet, Anthropologie and Barneys.
Rosi: Hanky Blanky is a second business which arose out of my love for vintage hankies. I kept collecting them and amassed quite a collection. My full-time career has been making costumes for the theatre and film. My studio happened to be just next door to NYC’s Antique Garage, so I would be searching every weekend for more hankies, and always drawn to vintage toys, vintage textiles and vintage baby clothes which have been my inspirations. At one point, my friend Bonnie showed me her husband’s baby quilt his mother had appliqued for him and my Animal Wrapper is a blanky based on that, using all vintage cotton prints for my animal appliques. Bonnie and I were flea market fanatics!
Rosi: In the costume world there would always be down time, so I used that time to create, re-purposing the vintage fabrics and adjusting the patterns for a modern day fit and wear.
Rosi: I learned to sew in the Girl Scouts at age 8.
Olive: Are all your designs upcycled?
Rosi: My mini plush are made with upcycled woolens and sweaters.
Olive: Do you have a favorite style icon or designer?
Rosi: My favorite style icon is Audrey Hepburn! Such grace.
Olive: Do you live in NYC? What do you like most about living and working here?
Rosi: I am fortunate to live and work in Manhattan. I love NYC for its verve…..there’s a constant inspiration with the energy of the people……Throughout my career, resourcing has been the greatest thing about NYC, being able to find anything you need for any type of project!
Olive: If you could design an outfit for Popeye’s son, Swee’ Pea, what would it
Rosi: I have a sweet bunting for Swee’ Pea! It is my version of a bunting my mother had made for us as babies. it is available on Etsy.
Rosi: One big goal for this coming year is to simplify! There are so many things I’d like to and need to do….to better the business. I guess the biggest goal would be to get more good photos to list more product on my Etsy shop.
Olive: Well, this interview has been a pleasure. You are so talented! Your designs are incredible.
Rosi: Before we go, I would love to share a photo with you. This sweet red-haired little baby is wearing my Hanky Onesie and….her name is Olive!!!
About Rosi ‘Rouge’ Zingales
Owner, Designer, Cutter, Maker, Chief Cook and Bottle Washer! Rosi Zingales had a love for fabric since she started to sew in the Girl Scouts…oh so many moons ago! She loves putting together beautiful prints, blending the colors and incorporating vintage-inspired patterns for BABY!