When it comes to fashion, Ava Cutrone-Calvo has a front-row seat.
The bubbly 8-year-old is the daughter of Kelly Cutrone, the straight-talking PR powerhouse behind People’s Revolution and star of her own Bravo TV reality series, “Kell On Earth.” Alongside her famous mom, Ava regularly makes the rounds at glitzy industry events, shops some of the world’s hippest boutiques and even sits on the sidelines of runway shows produced by People’s Revolution.
It’s no surprise, then, that the second-grader is a budding fashionista. “I’m really into clothes and fashion,” Ava told Footwear News during a recent visit to the chic loft she and her mother share in New York’s Soho neighborhood.
Inside Ava’s bubblegum-pink bedroom, amid collections of dolls, snow globes, animal figurines and “Madeline” picture books, is a closet packed with trendy designer dresses and an eclectic array of shoes ranging from bright-pink Dr. Martens to sparkly, sequined ballet flats. “I like things that are cute and colorful,” said Ava, rummaging through the racks and shelves and holding up favorite pieces.
For Ava and Kelly, mother-daughter bonding time often involves shopping trips around Manhattan and the many other cities they visit together. The two make an annual pilgrimage each summer to one of their favorite Big Apple kids’ boutiques, Shoofly, to stock up on footwear for the coming school year. “We’ll go there and buy eight or nine pairs — some dress shoes, a few boots, a couple of tennis shoes,” Kelly said. “I’ll spend as much as $900 in one visit.”
They also enjoy hunting for bargains at Target. “I love it because I can get 10 pairs of shoes there for the price of one at another store,” Ava gushed.
When it comes to choosing looks, Kelly encourages her daughter to experiment and have fun with fashion, but she draws the line at certain things — among them, high heels. “She has the rest of her life to wear heels,” she explained. “I want her to feel free to express herself through fashion, but I still believe in setting boundaries.”
Still, that doesn’t stop Ava from playing dress-up in her mom’s closet and taking her boots and stilettos for a spin around the apartment. “My mom has the coolest shoes,” said Ava, pulling out a succession of glamorous styles, including Nicholas Kirkwood fur-trimmed booties, Maison Martin Margiela glittery heels and YSL towering wedges. “I can’t wait to wear them when I get older.”
Pairs owned: Around 35
Brands: Converse, Crewcuts, Dr. Martens, Faro, Gap, Geox, Juicy Couture, Spring Court, Tretorn and Xhilaration, among others
Personal style: “I’m pretty girly. I like lots of glitter and anything pink or purple.”
Favorite designer: Sonia Rykiel
Favorite styles: “I love dressy shoes, especially ballet flats. I also wear a lot of sneakers. I practically live in my Chuckies [Converse Chuck Taylors]. And I have tons of flip-flops for wearing on the weekend.”
Favorite pair: Juicy Couture bright-pink fringe boots. “I usually wear them with dresses and skirts. They’re really comfortable. I love, love Juicy Couture.”
Favorite places to shop: Shoofly and Bu and the Duck in New York; Flicka and Fred Segal in Los Angeles; Target, Crewcuts, Juicy Couture, Diesel, Gap Kids, H&M, Zara Kids in Paris
Shopping sidekicks: “I usually shop with my mom, my grandma or my nanny. I like to pick out my own things, but sometimes I’ll ask my mom for her opinion. But we dress very differently. She wears way too much black, and I don’t like to wear black.”
Biggest footwear trend at school: “Chuckies. The black ones are popular right now. My [classmates] and I are really into trading shoes. My friend Tallulah [recently] gave me a pair of Chuckies that she custom designed online. They’re really cool.”
Celebrity fashion idols: “Selena Gomez. She wears a lot of pretty dresses. I really love the pink dress she has on in her video ‘Naturally.’ I also like Demi Lovato, but she wears too much black, too. I like color.”
Shoes on your wish list: “High heels because they would make me taller. But I’m not allowed to wear them until I’m older. I also want more Converse — maybe a pink pair, a bright-purple pair and a sky-blue pair.”
Other must-have accessories: Hats, hair clips, scarves, jewelry and purses