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Retired NBA star Dwyane Wade's daughter 3-year-old daughter Kaavia James Union Wade is already a star — from her huge social media following on Instagram, to a book, "Shady Baby," written by Wade and his wife and Kaavia James's mom, actress Gabrielle Union, about her. And now the toddler has yet another impressive addition to her list of accomplishments: a fashion line inspired by her.
Today, kids’ fashion brand Janie and Jack debuted a new collection in collaboration with the Wade and Union inspired by their daughter, Kaavia James. The collection features dresses, bathing suits, hoodies, sandals and slippers, headbands and even matching bags.
Wade and Union designed this collection with Kaavia James's fashion sense and interests as the main focus. “For us, having a collection like this, we just try to look at Kaavia’s life. We say, ‘Okay, what does Kaavia do? Let’s try to go there.’” Wade told Shop TODAY. This is reflected not only in types of apparel — dresses, swimwear — but also in specific details like ruffles that he says Kaavia James gets excited about in her own everyday wear.
Wade says he and Union utilized Kaavia James's feedback on pieces they were creating by seeing what she naturally gravitated toward. The pair would put options in front of the little girl and take note of what she physically grabbed. They then used that knowledge to guide their designs.
Though what Kaavia James was most excited about wasn't the clothes themselves, Wade says, but how she can match her best friend, Crosby Sparrow. “I think, for her, she loves the fact that her and Crosby can kinda not be dressed just alike but have some similar swag when we put them in this collection,” he said of the line's best-friend matching component.
The Wade family have been big fans of the Janie and Jack even prior to the collection, due to the brand's wide variety of colors, patterns and styles. “Kaav enjoys wearing Janie and Jack and we enjoy seeing her in it,” he told us.
It’s so cool to go around the world and see the influence and impact that Kaavia has made through social media… And it’s cool to hear how other families get joy out of our little girl.
That love and excitement for the clothing was something Wade and Union wanted to convey when creating a collection of their own. Their goal was simply: “How do we create this world of joy?” Choosing to do so through using the bright colors and fun patterns they initially loved from the brand, Wade says he hopes people take away just that. “This is a world of joy imagined. So hopefully when people see this collection, they take away from that.”
Though this is hardly the family's first foray into fashion. From Gabrielle Union’s collections with New York & Company to their daughter Zaya’s interest in modeling, Wade emphasized the importance of fashion for their family. “It’s very important for our family to have individual self expression and I think fashion allows you to have that individual self expression because what you wear is custom to you [and] how you wear it,” he explained.
That focus on individuality and personal exploration lends to his and Union's parenting stye. “It’s hard when you have more than one because you’ve got to keep an eye on them at all times,” he laughed. “Just like Gab and I try to have our individual brands away from the ‘Dwyane and Gab’ brand, it’s important that our kids understand that what they like will be different than what we like, if that’s the case.”
And Wade understands that personal brand quite well, and how easily it can change. Since retiring from the NBA in 2019 after a 16-year-long career, Wade has noticed a shift in the way people recognize him.
“I think, before I retired and before Kaavia was born, most everywhere I went in the world it was ‘Hey, Dwyane Wade!’ I was Dwyane Wade. Now I go around the world and I’m probably Kaavia James’s dad first. I’m probably Gabrielle Union’s husband second. I’m Zaya Wade’s father. I’m not Dwyane Wade any more,” he told us before adding that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s so cool to go around the world and see the influence and impact that Kaavia has made through social media… And it’s cool to hear how other families get joy out of our little girl,” he said.
To see and shop the full collection, scroll below.
Kaavia James Union-Wade x Janie and Jack
True to Kaavia James' taste, this dress combines ruffles and bright colors for a fun and flowy pick.
"Kaavia loves to put on a dress. She loves to spin in her dress. She loves to watch the bottom of the dress kinda float around like a spaceship and she gets amazement out of that. And so we want little girls as well to do that. Put that dress on and spin around and watch it float, watch it fly, and love what you’re wearing," Wade said.
Focusing on bright colors in the absence of patterns, the criss-cross back adds an element of playfulness to this simple dress.
A matching set like this one makes it easy to get ready and without sacrificing playful patterns.
Like Kaavia James and Crosby, besties can match with this outfit in a similar style. It's perfect for a playdate at the park or the beach.
While it might seem early, now is the time to start thinking about bathing suits for the summer. Get ahead of the curve with this halter swimsuit that has ruffles at the top your toddler is sure to love.
This terry romper is perfect for putting over their bathing suit after they get out of the water. Kaavia James looks forward to wearing fun clothes before and after swimming, Wade shared, so it was important to include pieces in the collection for that purpose.
For something looser that you can just throw on and go, this terry poncho is an easy option. It also comes in orange.
For the toddler who prefers a t-shirt post pool, terry cloth is the way to go. This polo will have them leaving the pool or beach in style.
Pair the white polo with these bold green shorts that feature an eye-catching white trim.
Don't forget about the accessories! A fun printed headband like this one can tie together even the simplest of outfits.
If you have a toddler, you know how much they love to carry things with them in their own little bags of all shapes and sizes. This straw tote with a rainbow trim is adorable and one you can even match with a tote of your own.
Keep their feet secured in these slingback sandals that come in a classic braided style. They pair well with everything from shorts to dresses.
Pool slides are a must for any beach day. And these are perfect to get on and off quickly.
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