About the Brand
Our tagline “Nostalgia sewn for little darlings” speaks from our hearts, our love for children.
The Runaway Pony collection is about a celebration of children and their precious childhood moments. We love seeing the little darlings 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 irresistible sunsuit requires 30 pieces to sew, we just go for it. Our made-in-America sweet pieces offer age-appropriate, nostalgic and classic silhouettes with playful, tasteful style of our signature darling details mixed with European flair and American whimsy. We use top-tier textiles and an exuberant mix of print and color. We founded the company in 2013 and our pieces have been sold at upscale children’s boutiques and online to dress children in style throughout the country and abroad.
The charm of Runaway Pony lies in its feminine sensibility. We understand how a child appreciates print and vibrant hue, so we delightfully 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.
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 was founded in 2013. 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 fashion designer with a background in wealth and business management and a lifetime passion for classic and vintage fashion, designs and art. Playing “dress-up” began in her “Oma’s” (Oma is Dutch for “grandma”) closet when Dian was five years old, where Dian loved to try on Oma’s colorful, stylish party shoes. Though her grandmother has passed away, her zeal for fashion and style lives on in Dian. In addition to vintage fashion, Dian is passionate about classical art, vintage children’s books, French decorative arts and Hollywood Regency style interior designs. She is constantly inspired by many things she sees and reads. She dreams in color everyday and just loves to create pretty things with a refined and playful sense of style.
At age eight, Dian went to a recital of Swan Lake, and was swept up in its grandeur. After that, she began ballet lessons passionately and had performed numerous times professionally for decades. She also taught ballet to young children for a number of years. Dian started designing dresses for herself at the age of ten. She worked with a local seamstress a number of times to create a number of classic pieces including her own 17th birthday party dress, a couple of 60’s skirts, and a dance skirt for her tap class. Despite of her immense passion for design and art, she pursued business school and worked in the financial world in New York City and Los Angeles until she became a mother.
Dian had 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 Dian, 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. She has now created over 50 vintage-inspired patterns with over 100 designs and counting to the collections.
Dian 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.”
Dian serves as Runaway Pony’s founder, creative director and designer. She works closely with her production team in downtown Los Angeles. Her husband Sean helps managing the business, and her daughters often model the clothing. Though Dian constantly “rides” Runaway Pony (and her other lines Dian McManus & Co. – a women’s accessory line, and Breadcrumbs & Co – a dog’s accessory line), Dian is devoted to raising her two little girls, Fiona and Keira, cooking and caring for the family and their home, the family’s three cats, two bunnies and one little fluffy dog. She still enjoys a ballet class when she can and vows to never stop dancing. You can also find Dian re-re-re-arrange furniture in their home, re-paint vintage furniture or re-decorate their home again and again. There is no day spent without being with and thinking of children, being inspired and bursting with creative artistic ideas!
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, often theatrical touches from her ballet days admiring opulent ballerina costumes and always, with 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