About the Brand
The Runaway Pony collection is about a celebration of children. We love seeing kids at their most precious moments: daydreaming, story-telling, catching butterflies, playing dress-up and seeing the Nutcracker ballet for the very first time. Our goal is to create clothing that reflects a child’s bright spirit and innocence. With that in mind, we start our patterns by scratch crafting each one to have classic vintage appeal. If a pattern, such as our sunsuit requires 30 pieces to sew, we just go for it. We offer age-appropriate, classic silhouettes with playful and tasteful style, top-tier textiles and an exuberant mix of print and color.
The charm of Runaway Pony lies in its feminine sensibility. We understand how a child appreciates print and vibrant hue, so we fearlessly combine flowers, stripes and dots, incorporate an extra bow, a generous flourish of ruffles on the inside and outside of our garments, offer pockets for all her treasures, and add pompoms, ribbons and lace galore. The Runaway Pony look pairs a classic American childhood with European flair. “Runaway Pony designs are like a piece of rich, gorgeous dessert: layered with the kind of ornate adornments that bring a precious outfit – and a precious moment — to life. It is those moments that burst with love,” says McManus. We’re proud to say our clothing is made in Los Angeles, California.
How practical are our pieces? At Runaway Pony we understand that a child’s day is about more than looking adorable. We know kids love to get messy, and we say, Let them! Our designs are made with the highest quality materials that will endure cupcake frosting, chocolate smears and tomato sauce. And they’re versatile: children can wear Runaway Pony while playing in the sand, skipping in a field of flowers, or for special occasions such as a tea party at New York’s Plaza Hotel and a carousel ride in Paris.
We invite the world to celebrate the innocence of childhood by dressing children as children in nostalgic yet fresh designs that can last a lifetime. They’re only small once. We want to honor that time in the most beautiful way.
The Company’s Background
Runaway Pony launched in Spring 2014. The company was born of a dream to relive childhood memories and preserve the beauty and sweetness of classic children’s vintage clothing. The company’s inception is as much about fashion as it is the story of McManus’ endless love for her daughters, Keira and Fiona.
McManus’ love for her children drove the selection of the name Runaway Pony. Runaway Bunny, a classic children’s book by Margaret Wise Brown, published in 1942, was a favorite tale from McManus’ childhood. The book tells the story of a bunny that always runs away from its mother. The mother rabbit, patient and adoring, shows the bunny that being safe and protected is what love is all about. That patient love reflects McManus’ mothering style, while “pony” represents carousels that are the true essence of childhood nostalgia. It’s no wonder the company’s charming logo is a rocking horse.
About Dian McManus
Dian McManus is a self-taught designer with a background in wealth and business management and a lifetime passion for fashion and art. Playing “dress-up” began in “Oma’s” (grandma’s) closet, where McManus loved to try on Oma’s colorful party shoes. The company’s launch date, February 7th, honors Oma’s birthday. Though her grandmother has passed away, her zeal for fashion and style lives on in McManus.
McManus dreamed of having her own vintage-inspired children’s clothing collection, ever since her first child, Keira, was born in 2008. It was at that time that McManus’ mother-in-law Sally gave her a gift that set the Runaway Pony style in motion: a sunsuit that Sally wore as a baby. The gift so delighted McManus, that when she launched her business her first design was the Sunkissed Sally Sunsuit. The item has been a best-seller ever since. When Keira’s sister Fiona followed three years later, the urge to start her own line couldn’t be denied.
In addition to vintage fashion, McManus is passionate about classical art, children’s books, French decorative arts and Hollywood Regency interior design. She loves to create pretty things.
At age eight, McManus went to a recital of Swan Lake, and was swept up in its grandeur. After that, she began ballet lessons in Jakarta, Indonesia where she was born. She performed numerous times professionally, and later taught ballet to children.
McManus sketches, works with patternmakers and hand-selects the fabrics and trims for the Runaway Pony collections. “We work with vendors across the country to choose the finest cottons and other high-quality fabrics, trims and ribbons from the USA, Japan and Europe,” says McManus. “All of our adorable pieces are manufactured in Los Angeles. It feels really good to be part of the local economy, helping individuals and families to pursue their own American dream.”
McManus serves as Runaway Pony’s founder, creative director and designer. Her husband Sean manages the business, and her daughters often model the clothing. It’s a busy life for the McManus clan!
Runaway Pony’s spring/summer collections are made of breathable materials such as cotton, including seersucker and linen. For our fall/winter lines, we mix cotton, velvet, corduroy, twill, taffeta and organza for fancy, picture-perfect party dresses. Each of McManus’ sophisticated dresses includes playful touches and a big dose of happiness.
We are committed to providing excellent service. Our collections are carried at upscale children’s boutiques and online. We would love to get to know each one of you, and love seeing the pictures you share with us.
From our loving hearts to yours,
Founder + Designer