The unruly bunch was there to model for rockstarbaby infant wear and accessories, a line launched this spring by Torres, 48, and designer Cinzia Spalletti, 41. No pink booties. No blue buntings. Instead the label, which is sold at FAO Schwarz and Henri Bendel, features such untraditional duds as black cotton rompers ($18) and gray nylon cargo pants ($28.50). "They're using baby-friendly materials translated into a hip New York look," says Sharone Glaser, owner of Manhattan's trendy Z'Baby Co. stores. Even Jon Bon Jovi is a fan. "They're pretty cool clothes," says the singer. "I love the little work boots."
Born into a family of Cuban immigrant seamstresses, Torres had an epiphany at a 1999 party attended by music-industry people and their kids. The guests "were dressed in black, and their babies were in baby colors," he says. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if the kids could dress like the rest of the family?' " A few days later he called Spalletti, whom he had met through a friend, and asked her to be his partner (Torres invested $1 million and created the line's color schemes).
As the label takes off (about $1 million in sales) the Manhattan-based Torres—who married his third wife, model Maria Alexandra Marquez, 25, in September—envisions dressing rock star babies of his own. Meanwhile he'll follow the lead of his new fan base. "I believe," he says, "in taking baby steps."
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