For better or for worse, as Strategist editors and writers, we cannot turn off our shopping brains. With “Saw Something, Said Something,” we’ll be writing about the tiniest of details that have caught our eye — status toothpaste in the background of Lizzo’s TikTok, a plant so rare it’s called a Birkin, or a specific face cream in a Roy sibling’s medicine cabinet.
The first time I saw Vanja Sevigny Mačković was outside Veselka after a member of the NYPD anti-terrorism squad had injected me with the COVID vaccine, and all I wanted was a deluxe meat plate. He was smaller in person (which celebrity isn’t?) and flaxenly cherubic, so ever since that first encounter, I’ve been trying to catch glimpses of 1-year-old Vanja’s life from his famous mother Chloë’s Instagram.
That’s where I clocked this Schoenhut My First Piano when Sevigny posted the choicest of her son’s holiday presents, including a Pepe Rosso hat and, presumably, the Baby Yoda pontificating atop the miniature upright. Even now, it’s a screenshot I am afraid to delete. As a former concert pianist (three Carnegie Hall appearances) who has aged out of the target audience by more than two decades, I cannot for the life of me explain why a toddler’s instrument that doesn’t even have 30 percent of the standard amount of keys and whose sound has been described as “plinky” would appeal to me. Could it be the squat shape for equally low-to-the-ground future Lang Langs? Or simply the cute-aggression absurdity of a pink toy keyboard? (NB: Vanja’s exact model is available on eBay, but the My First Piano II is more widely available — and comes with seven additional keys.)
What it most certainly does have is the sort of creative, heritage-y veneer a wine aunt would look for in a gift she’d deposit before jetting off to Courchevel. (Several Strategist staffers said they could recall having grown up with one, which leads me to question how many wine aunts live among us.) The product description does also rather confidently say the kids’ clavier could function as “the centerpiece of play areas,” but as part of my own noncelebrity-infant life, I can imagine it as a compositional challenge on which I’d pluck out discordant, Mozartiana musical jokes, “Chopsticks” style.
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