La Petite Caravane

We love to find out what other people are doing with their days. French born children’s wear designer Thuy-Tien Crampton is the face behind her successful children’s wear label La Petite Caravane,, which makes superlative use of vintage and unusual fabrics. The clothes are beautifully crafted and Thuy-Tien keeps each collection small in other words, go to La Petite Caravane for an individual look. Here is our interview.

Some of the things you might do in a day?

As an entrepreneur and mother, improvisation best describes my daily schedule. My day may begin with blogging and meetings for La Petite Caravane followed by an improvised afternoon beach escapade with children for a few hours before quick aperitif with friends. The day often ends at the design table for the next collection, after everyone is asleep in bed.

Describe your style

Minimalist, structured and elegant. I like having few but beautiful pieces. Growing up in Paris, I enjoyed finding unique clothes for which I have a “coup de coeur”. Rather than follow fashion, I collect beautiful pieces. I may go to a small designer or find something at a vintage shop.

Can you name your three best traits?

Enthusiasm, curiosity, attention to detail.

Who or what inspires you?

Unexpected encounters with people and places. I love taking photographs of visually striking scenes that may appear in surprising places. An example is the image I took while in a changing room in a  small family-owned Beijing clothing shop.

Which achievement are you most proud of?

I am very proud of my children, for being such wonderful travellers and growing into curious and engaging people. Launching my own company, La Petite Caravane, has also been a journey full of exciting adventures. It has been really gratifying to see my designs and love of textile appreciated by many, especially the children who wear the clothes.

Where is your all-time favourite place to visit?

My home in Paris to see my old friends, Normandy for the brocantes and Ireland for the country lifestyle.

What are you currently reading?

I recently re-read Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, which has so many wonderful recurring characters walking through.

What are you listening to?

As a former saxophonist, I often play classic jazz like Cannonball Adderley when we have people over. That said, nothing beats a good night dancing to 80s music!

One of the meals you love most

My mother is an amazing cook. Almost everything coming out of her kitchen is exquisite, from her gratin d’endives au jambon to homemade Vietnamese pho.

The drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) you enjoy?

I am a tea-aholic and often been teased for importing bags of tea to Hong Kong from Paris. While in university, I actually tried to get a job at my favourite tea shop, Mariage Freres in the Marais. They turned me down because only men – all of whom wear white linen suits – are allowed to serve from behind the tea counter. I didn’t want to work at the cash register.

Your favourite stores?

I have pilgrimages in various cities, including an itinerary of vintage shops in Paris, antique stores in Rangoon and paper shops in Tokyo.

Any pets?

While we do not have any pets in Hong Kong, our summers are spent helping my sister-in-law shepherd her small flock of rare zwartble sheep along with feeding horses, hens, dogs, cats, ferrets, rescued hedgehogs and anything else that turns up on the doorstep of an Irish country house.


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