Family Fashion

February 2020 View more

By Annemarie Mannion

Dresses from the Lapin House Spring 2020 line, $103–$142

The small, yet precious details of the clothing are what dazzled Bodgana Lynevych when she first visited Lapin House, a creator of high-quality children’s clothing.   

Lynevych, who lives near Schaumburg, was visiting a shopping mall in her native Ukraine two years ago when she first came upon the store. She was so charmed by the hand-sewn beading, miniature fabric dolls attached to the front of little girls’ pastel dresses, and rugged, fleece-lined jackets for boys, that she decided to apply to open a franchise herself.  

“They already had Lapin House in Ukraine, and I fell in love with it,” Lynevych says. “I thought, why don’t we have that here?” It didn’t take long for Lynevych and her business partner and friend, Naperville resident Yuliya Kotsovaska, to decide to bring Lapin House to the United States. “I contacted the company and we traveled to Greece and met with the owner, and we just clicked. She said she’d love to work with us,” Lynevych says. 

Both Lynevych and Kotsovaska are mothers and their children often wear Lapin House clothing. Kotsovaska has two girls, ages 8 and 6; Lynevych has twins, a boy and a girl who are 5 years old. “People are always asking where our children get their clothing,” Lynevych says. 

Bunny top and shorts set, $117

It took two years of work, but Lynevych and Kotsovaska finally realized their dream of opening the first Lapin House store in the United States in September, on the second floor of Oakbrook Center (100 Oakbrook Center, 630.716.2212,, across from the food court and not far from Nordstrom. They chose Oak Brook for a very good reason. “It’s a very family-oriented community,” says Lynevych who believes the high-caliber, unique details of the clothing will appeal to families throughout the Chicago area. 

“Every collection has a design and a theme,” says Lynevych, about why she likes the clothing. “They create their own unique designs and fabrics, and everything is made in Greece. Lapin House really concentrates on details and making the clothing comfortable for children.” 

She points to a pale pink dress with tulle and faux fur details hanging in the store. “I’d never seen anything like the quality of this tulle and this faux fur,” she says. 

Button-down shirt, $100 from Lapin House Oak Brook

Much of the store’s clothing is manufactured with cotton and other top-quality materials. The patterns can’t be found elsewhere, and are made to complement one another year after year in clothing that is geared to children from 1 month old to 14 years old. “They’re famous for their sets that go together right away,” Lynevych says. The clothing also is sturdy. “It’s going to last longer than just one wash,” Lynevych says. 

The family-owned company got started 45 years ago in Greece, and remains headquartered there, although it now has 115 stores worldwide. The store was named Lapin, which means rabbit in French, because the founder’s daughter loved rabbits, Lynevych says.

The store features clothing for both special occasions and every day. A look through the store’s catalog showing the spring collections gives a sense of its unique elements. Photos feature girls in tulle skirts, floral and nautical themes, and pretty patterned leggings with coordinating tops. 

Overalls, $119 from Lapin House Oak Brook

The boys’ winter clothing collection included blazers with crests, patterned pullover sweaters, fur-trimmed jackets and double-zip jackets over a hooded sweatshirt. 

Perusing the store with her 1-year-old daughter Teresa—tucked in a stroller and wearing a Lapin House cream-colored knit cap with a faux fur tassle—Chicago’s Svitlana Vintoniak says she’s a fan of the store. “I like everything,” she says. “It’s made of cotton and the quality is good. It’s comfortable for children. That’s what is important to me.”

To give a sense of the prices, a girl’s tulle skirt in pale pink with a coordinating cashmere pink sweater is $245; a boy’s knitted cardigan with a plaid lining is $107. 

Lynevych says she and her businesspartner are splitting their time in the store, and are always excited to help customers find whatever they need, from a perfect special-occasion dress for a girl to a rugged jacket or pants for a boy. “We enjoy helping our customers and we try to remember every customer who comes into the store and buys something from us,” she says. The store also offers free gift wrapping. 

Looking around the store, Lynevych says she sometimes has to pinch herself to realize she made her dream of bringing Lapin House to the U.S. come true. “I still can’t believe it’s ours,” she says. 

Photos Courtesy Lapin House