For a few years, 77kids was the children's apparel division of the popular retailer American Eagle Outfitters. Founded by brothers Jerry and Mark Silverman in 1977, American Eagle began as a purveyor of brand name clothes--and particularly outdoor apparel. During its first several years, the brand expanded into a chain and opened stores in multiple states. In 1990, American Eagle was bought out by the Schottenstein family, who converted it into the private-label casualwear retailer it is today. The '90s proved to be a successful decade for the company, during which it went public and grew quickly.
Although American Eagle was hit hard by the recession that began in 2008, it launched its 77kids line of apparel that same year. Initially positioned as an online-only concept, more than 20 77kids stores were eventually built in major markets across the country. The sub-brand was never as successful as executives hoped it would be, however, and American Eagle announced that it was selling the 77kids line to Ezrani 2 Corp in 2012. Under new ownership, the existing 77kids stores were rebranded under the moniker Ruum. Business still failed to take off, however, and Ruum declared bankruptcy in 2015.
Although it was only in existence for a short time, 77kids manufactured a wide array of apparel for babies, toddlers, and children, and you can still find lots of great options from the brand via resale. Like its original parent, American Eagle Outfitters, 77kids focused primarily on contemporary casualwear. In tops, you could find plenty of t-shirts, graphic tees, tanks, camis, polos, thermals, henleys, button-downs, and layering shirts. Light outerwear options like sweatshirts, hoodies, sweaters, and cardigans were also available in abundance. Dresses for girls were mostly casual and designed for summer wear, with styles like shirtdresses and sundresses being most popular.
In bottoms, you could find jeans in a number of cuts and washes. Many pants also featured adjustable waists so that kids wouldn't outgrow them quite as quickly. Cargo shorts were featured for boys, while girls could sport skirts, denim shorts, and rompers in warm weather. The brand's swimwear options included swim trunks for boys and both one-piece swimsuits and bikinis for girls. In terms of accessories, you could find products like backpacks, handbags, hats, sunglasses, and more. 77kids also launched a few different types of shoes, including ballet flats, and sneakers.
American Eagle Outfitters chose exactly the wrong time in its company history to try to branch out into children's clothes, and 77kids ended up succumbing to the "Great Recession." The logic behind adding the line of kids' clothing was actually very sound because American Eagle's style is so unique, and it's likely that 77kids could have attracted more customers if it had been given a little more time. Luckily for shoppers interested in the designs featured by 77kids, the brand is a great choice to buy via consignment. The clothes were designed to be hearty and to withstand an active lifestyle, which is why we give 77kids 4.5 stars out of 5.