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BUBBLE LONDON Exclusive preview of this season’s show RELAXED LUXE Showcase of the a/w 17 collections PEPA & CO. Pepa Gonzalez on the latest developments of her childrenswear business



NEW SEASON FRESH SOLE Bubble London / Stand A30 MODA / Stand G48 For more information contact Matt Wright on 07703 856072 or




27 18



05: Comment

18: Pepa & Co. Interview with Pepa Gonzalez, founder of childrenswear company Pepa & Co. which includes an online boutique, an own brand collection and most recently, a bricks and mortar store

06: News 08: NCWA 10: Open for business Legal and business advice plus industry opinion 14: Retail Therapy Store profiles and retail news 16: Brands to Watch Editor’s pick of brands 24: Style guide Toys

20: Twenty Questions with Elizabeth Mason, owner of Cool in Cloth and winner of the Best Kids’ Store category in the CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016 22: How to increase the profitability of your retail business Thierry Bayle, founder of Global Fashion Management, on how to grow your business’s profitability by 43 per cent over the next season

25: Laura loves The coolest products for kids

27: Bubble London Exclusive preview of the a/w 17 show

70: Talking Point Anna Whitehouse, founder of Mother Pukka

44: Relaxed luxe This season’s autumn/winter collections

58: Moda Footwear Preview of the kids’ footwear collections at this season’s show

SCHOOLWEAR 63: News: 64: Business Resolutions With the New Year upon us, schoolwear suppliers reveal their business resolutions for 2017

Front cover: MarMar Copenhagen 0045 212 561 21 07855 509069 (UK agent) JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 - 03


See things differently...

29 & 30 January 2017

Business Design Centre #discoverbubble

COM MENT: Welcome to the first CWB issue of 2017 and a happy – if a little uncertain – New Year to you all.


The end of March marks the deadline for the triggering of Article 50 - the formal process that begins the two-year period for negotiating Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Soon, PM Theresa May will have to begin explaining her plans and how she intends to achieve them. Until then, it’s business as usual. For the childrenswear industry, this means the start of the autumn/winter buying season. For exclusive insight into what the UK’s leading kids’ trade fair, Bubble London, has for visitors this season, check out our show preview beginning on page 27. As well as providing prospective buyers with a helping hand in forming their a/w 17 hit list, the preview includes details on the show’s many features and events. These include an extensive seminar programme, the Bubble Bookshop and We’ve Got Chemistry, a campaign celebrating innovative brand collaborations. Meanwhile, new initiative ‘Push-me-pullyou’ will see Bubble London present a selection of top British pushchair brands, while the infamous Rising Star competition makes a welcome return, showcasing the season’s most promising launch-brands. In keeping with the a/w 17 theme we have our seasonal photo shoot, Relaxed Luxe, on page 44 presenting the new season’s collections. For those seeking a/w 17 children’s footwear collections, head to our Moda Footwear preview on page 58, which offers a taster of the children’s footwear brands exhibiting at the forthcoming event on 19-21 February at Birmingham’s NEC. Now, what if I told you we could help you increase your business’s profitability by 43 per cent over the next season? Interested? Then look no further than page 22 where you will find Global Fashion Management’s founder,

Editor Laura Turner Contributors Isabella Griffiths Christina Williams Victoria Jackson Editorial assistant Rebecca Jackson Designers Michael Podger Clive Holloway James Lindley Richard Boyle Sales executive Michele Ali Subscriptions Head of childrenswear Lindsay Hoyes Editorial director Gill Brabham Marketing director Stephanie Parker Managing director Colette Tebbutt Reprographics/printing Image Data Group Ltd 01482 652323

CWB is published 6 times per year by ITE Moda Ltd, The Old Town Hall, Lewisham Road, Slaithwaite, Huddersfield HD7 5AL. Call 01484 846069 Fax 01484 846232 Copyright© 2017 CWB Magazine Limited. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any written material or illustration in any form for any purpose, other than short extracts for review purposes, is strictly forbidden. Neither ITE Moda Ltd nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage to transparencies and any other material submitted for publication.


Thierry Bayle, and his insightful report, ‘How to increase the profitability of your retail business.’ Talking of successful retailing, don’t miss our interview with Pepa Gonzalez, founder of the leading online childrenswear boutique, Pepa & Co. Established in 2013, the business has rapidly grown since launch and now encompasses a successful own-label collection, as seen being worn by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as a physical bricks and mortar boutique located in London. In schoolwear, we take the start of the New Year as inspiration to unearth schoolwear suppliers’ business resolutions for 2017 in our feature on page 64. Our next issue for March/April will include a focus on footwear as well as rounding up the a/w 17 season. Until then, stay updated with our latest news via and our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Laura Turner Editor

CWB is a joint venture between RAS Publishing and the National Childrenswear Association.

A Buyer Series Fashion Business Publication CWB is a fashion business publication produced by ITE Moda Ltd. Other titles include WWB and MWB. ITE Moda Ltd is an ITE Group company.



CWB NEWS: GIVENCHY INTRODUCES FIRST KIDS’ COLLECTION The House of Givenchy is launching its first kids’ ready-to-wear collection for a/w 17 as a licensing partnership with the CWF Group. The collection will revisit the iconic Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci wardrobe, with specific clothing and accessory offers for babies aged one month to three years and boys and girls age 4-12 years. The collections will be available worldwide from a/w 17 through department stores and premium childrenswear shops. —



9M, a participation of Vendis Capital, has acquired the shares of Amsterdam children’s clothing and lifestyle brand Imps & Elfs, which joins 9M’s existing subsidiary Noppies, a Dutch maternity and children’s fashion brand. “Imps & Elfs is a strong and innovative brand that in a period of 20 years, has built a strong position within premium childrenswear,” says Noppies CEO Anne-Gien Haan. “We are confident our businesses are mutually reinforcing and that we can achieve accelerated growth together.” “Joining forces with Noppies is a major step forward,” agrees Fons Cohen, founder and CEO of Imps & Elfs. “Noppies has a strong position in the market for maternity and childrenswear and we are confident Imps & Elfs will benefit from the economies of scale Noppies offers in the field of multi-channel sales, sourcing, procurement and operational processes.” —

Launched in November, is a new online marketplace targeting independent retailers and traders across multiple product categories, including fashion, in a bid to rival Amazon. The site takes no selling fees and works on a subscription model whereby sellers pay a monthly fee of £49, with major retailers already confirmed including World of Books, the fourth largest Amazon seller in Europe and the largest Amazon bookseller in the UK. “We are off to a flying start and delighted with the response from sellers in the first weeks,” says Cas Paton, MD of “The feedback has been very, very good – sellers are telling us that they are fed up with paying the high seller fees on Amazon and eBay and welcome a British alternative that puts sellers first.” —

GREAT BRITISH BABY COMPANY LAUNCHES ACCESSORIES Autumn/winter 17 sees the launch of The Great British Baby Company’s luxury British-made accessories range. Designed to complement its mainline coat collection, it includes fine Scottish knitwear, woven silk ties and bowties, handcrafted leather belts and college stripe scarves. Additionally, as the official fundraising partner of child protection organisation ECPAT UK, the brand is offering a range of special edition purple accessories throughout a/w 16 and a/w 17, with all profits going to ECPAT UK to help protect child trafficking victims at home and abroad. The Great British Baby Company is committed to using both British materials and British craftsmanship for its apparel and accessories. — 06 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

NEW FEATURES AT BUBBLE LONDON Children’s trade event Bubble London will return to the BDC, Islington, with an extensive programme of new features this season. Taking place on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 January, the A/W17 show will unveil one of its most comprehensive seminar programmes to date. Highlights include a trend update from top consultant Fiona Coleman, an In Conversation discussion with Lucy Enfield and Sophie Worthington of childrenswear brand Wild & Gorgeous, a buyers’ panel featuring Orchard Agency, Milkshake Boutique, Arnotts and Base London, and five-minute Perfect Pitch presentations from up-and-coming Bubble designers. This season’s show will also see the launch of a new hardware section, featuring top pushchair brands Cosatto, iCandy and BabyStyle. Visitors will have the chance to see the latest models, before taking them for a test-drive. Other new features include a My Baba Green Ambassador installation, featuring the parenting blog’s pick of eco and organic Bubble brands. Elsewhere, standout area Bubble Bump will return with a new line-up of maternity and nursery brands. They will be joined by a host of children’s fashion, footwear, gift and interiors brands – including new signings MarMar Copenhagen, Lurchi by Salamander, Skogstad, Mueslii, Les Rêves d’Anaïs, Scamp and Dude, Sleepy Doe, Easy Peasy and Happy Calegi. To browse the exhibitor list, see the seminar programme in full and learn more about the show, visit —

ADIDAS ORIGINALS X MINI RODINI Adidas Originals has teamed up with Swedish childrenswear brand Mini Rodini on a unique collection, which includes limited edition pieces. Adidas Originals by Mini Rodini comprises a selection of iconic styles from the Adidas archives, such as the Stan Smith and Firebird, which have been blended with hand-drawn prints by Mini Rodini founder and creative director, Cassandra Rhodin The first release, consisting of three pieces for children between the ages of three months and six years, plus footwear, launched on 1 December, to be followed by four further releases throughout 2017. All items in the collections have high sustainability values, including organic cotton and recycled polyester. —


YOOX AND DISNEY JOIN FORCES Disney has launched its first online and lifestyle store on leading fashion e-tail site, Yoox. Accessible from the Yoox homepage, Disney’s digital window will host the latest designer collaborations inspired by Disney, Disney Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel, across apparel, accessories, footwear and interiors. The kids’ offer sees product divided into Baby for 0-24 months, Kids for 3-8 years and Junior for 9-16 years, with collaborative designers including Little Eleven Paris, Moon Boot, Samsonite, American Tourister and Vans. Going forward, Yoox will be adding new Disney collections, including those connected to upcoming movie launches. —

MILLENNIALS MISTRUST ONLINE RETAIL SECURITY Research by LexisNexis Risk Solutions has revealed UK millennials have growing security concerns around sharing personal information with retailers. The report, titled UK Millennial Study: Privacy vs. Customer Experience in Retail, shows that despite millennials being digitally connected via smartphones and laptops, more than half are concerned about having their identity stolen through online or mobile/app-based activities. The research also found that 84 per cent of millennials do not believe that their personal information is fully protected online and 93 per cent stated that they do not fully trust retailers with their data. Despite this, 89 per cent of millennials are still shopping online at home, with nearly half doing so on their smartphone and 29 per cent on their tablet. —

THE FUTURE OF CLICK & COLLECT Market analyst Verdict forecasts click & collect expenditure to increase by 64 per cent between 2016 and 2021, compared to online growth of 38 per cent over the same period. Growth will be across all categories, led by clothing and footwear, which is forecast to grow 85 per cent over the next five years. According to Verdict, while home delivery subscriptions - whereby consumers pay upfront for delivery for a year - encourage customer loyalty, click & collect remains favourite for encouraging additional spend. —




Premium British shoe brand Start-rite has confirmed further staff changes as the company continues to strengthen its business. Martin Murdon has joined Start-rite’s finance team in the role of commercial analyst. Murdon is an experienced commercial analyst whose most recent position has been with Banner, a supplier of office products. Murdon will work closely with the brand’s CEO Ian Watson and the finance, commercial and product teams. Meanwhile, Sara Pleavin has joined the company’s sourcing and development team as fitting assistant and product support. Pleavin previously worked for Dune and gained experience in both the buying and fitting process. —

Hackett London, the luxury British childrenswear, menswear and accessories brand, has revealed consolidated turnover for the year ended 31 March 2016 increased by 5.8 per cent to £175m from £165m last year. In the main, the increase in consolidated turnover is attributed to growth in the retail channel of 12.7 per cent. A new flagship store opened in Tokyo’s Ginza district in March 2016, with further stores opened at One New Change in London and in the new Victoria Gate development in Leeds. Additionally, the brand opened a ‘pilot’ store in the USA, with plans to open further stores during 2017/18, and upgraded its website as it continues to develop its digital platform. —

House of Fraser (HoF) has opened its first store in China located in Sanpower Plaza in Nanjing’s Xinjiekou. Najing is a key centre for tourism, receiving around 500,000 visitors per day. Spanning six floors and more than 435,000 sq ft, the store plays host to over 300 brands including Barbour and Dior. It also presents a number of new labels to the Chinese market, including Radley and Cambridge Satchel Company. “The store has focused on bringing international brands and a premium shopping experience to China,” says HoF chairman, Frank Slevin. “We’re confident it will demonstrate the unique status House of Fraser can achieve in the market.” —


— Childrenswear brand Molo is launching a new brand identity and logo. Implemented from s/s 17, the new logo features a cleaner, streamlined look designed to be “more recognisable in the field of kidswear brands” and also appeal to an older target group, since a large part of Molo’s collection is now available up to age 16 years.

— Lelli Kelly is launching a brand new concept for its a/w 17 clothing offer. A collection of tops – T-shirts, sweatshirts and sweat dresses – will be delivered with an organza bag of ‘gems’. The gems have a magnetic back, which allows them to be attached to the garment and for the wearer to customise their own look.

— Familiar, a leading Japanese baby and childrenswear brand, is targeting the UK for sales growth. Founded in 1950, the label is well established within its home market, with five flagship stores in Japan and the Japanese Imperial Family included among its customers. The collection includes newborn clothing for 0-3 months, childrenswear for 6 months to 5 years, nursery, bedding and toys.



NCWA NEWS: The latest news from the National Childrenswear Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT: Whilst politicians disagree about what Brexit really means, the United States ponders what President-Elect Trump will really do and companies struggle with exchange rates, now is not the time to be fainthearted. Inflation may have risen to 1.2 per cent in November, but employment rates are at a record high and unemployment figures are at a record low. Compared with most of our competitors, the UK is in a strong economic position and, however one voted in the EU referendum, there are new opportunities to seize and new challenges to meet. The autumn/winter edition of Bubble London is fully back this month (Sunday 29 and Monday 30 January). Whatever place you occupy in the market, whether you are a manufacturer/supplier, a retailer or an agent, you need to be at Bubble London to take advantage of what the exhibition can offer you and, at the very least, to see what your competitors are up to and to check that you are au fait with the trends for autumn/winter 2017, in styles, colours and fabrics. Before visiting Bubble London, do not forget the free videos on the NCWA website with hints on how to visit an exhibition, as well as how to exhibit. A third video gives an outline of the seven retail training videos available to all NCWA members. Why not have a quick look at before your trip? When you are at the show, do not forget to visit the NCWA stand in the Gallery to find out what we can offer you, for as little as £95+VAT for an annual subscription. From a free page on NCWA’s website, on which you can give details of your products, ranges or shop, together with up to 10 images which can be updated at any time, to discounts on a range of services. These include website construction and photography from UShoot Studios, based at the Business Design Centre, and the chance of reducing your insurance premiums and energy costs. You will also get a 50 per cent discount on your subscription to CWB. Details on all that NCWA does and offers can be found on our website, If you wish to contact us, please telephone 020 7843 9488 or e-mail Michelle Payne will be happy to help you before the show and both she and I will be on the NCWA stand, or walking the aisles, throughout the two days of Bubble London. Finally, Government ministers and UK civil servants are beginning to ask what the childrenswear industry wants to achieve during the Brexit negotiations. Do tell me what you think about tariffs, skills shortages, Standards and the CE Mark, to name but four. I know there will be other burning issues too, so see you at Bubble London. Elizabeth P Fox

NCWA Council: Chairman: DAVID HULL Agent Vice Chairman: VIRGINIA ROSS Pollyanna Retailer Imm Past Chairman: SHARON BEARDSWORTH Emile et Rose Manufacturer Treasurer: DAVID BURGESS David Luke Ltd Manufacturer

Executive Director: ELIZABETH FOX


24 Main Street, Stewarton, East Ayrshire Childrenswear boutique Ellie’s Kidswear offers its customers a range of brands including the likes of Emile et Rose, Mitch and Son, A Dee, Sarah Louise, Dani, Ido, Sarabanda, Minibanda, Leon Shoes, Timberland, Bryony, Ikks, Billieblush, Catimini and Carrement Beau. Clothing spans from newborn to eight years and includes footwear, clothing, accessories and gifts for boys and girls. Having opened in early 2016, Ellie’s Kidswear is planning on redeveloping its website,, in the near future.

ITTY BITTY BOUTIQUE With a strong social media following of over 90,000 on Facebook and more than 4,000 Instagram fans, Itty Bitty Boutique needs no introduction. The independent online boutique has gained popularity for many reasons – the variety of products and diverse range of categories being just two. Now stocking Believe by Katie Piper and The Signature Range by Billie Faiers, the boutique has significantly strengthened its brand portfolio, which includes own label Itty Bitty and key brands such as Kidult & Co. In November 2016 the boutique upgraded its delivery process to further improve delivery speed and service.

Make your voice heard

Council Members: MARK BARNETT Barnett Agencies Agent NUALA MCKENNA Nuala McKenna Agencies Agent DIANE SHAW Agent SARAH TAYLOR Agent MALCOLM TRAVIS Travis Designs Manufacturer RACHEL RILEY Rachel Riley Manufacturer JILLIAN PETRIE Young Trend Retailer DAVID PARKER Baby Melanie Retailer President: KEN SCATES Marketing consultant Vice Presidents: LESLEY FALLON Retail consultant JACKIE COOK Retail consultant


• Membership is open to everyone involved in the British childrenswear industry.

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• Associate membership, open to non-British organisations, is now available. • Membership costs from £95.




For the fourth time in a row, childrenswear brand Kissy Kissy has received a prestigious Earnie Award, which is voted for by retailers in “recognition of outstanding fashion design for children”. Kissy Kissy’s most recent win was for Best Sleepwear Company, awarded in honour of the brand’s printed, soft Peruvian pima cotton pyjamas for children age 12-18 months to six years. Since its launch three years ago, Kissy Kissy’s pyjama range has expanded to include seasonal and holiday themes, as well as designs to complement its baby collections. —

Joules, the British lifestyle clothing brand for men, women and children, recently opened a new store in Ludlow, Shropshire. To celebrate the opening, Joules offered Early Bird queue prizes for the first shoppers to visit, including a £200 voucher for the first customer. Located at 10 King Street, the new shop has created 11 new jobs. “We’re thrilled to be opening a new Joules store in Ludlow,” says Tom Joule, founder of Joules. “We are really looking forward to bringing our unique personality and style to shoppers over the coming months.” —


A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR FRUGI Childrenswear brand Frugi has been included in The Sunday Times ‘Ones to Watch’ list as part of its annual Virgin Fast Track 100 table. Now in its 20th year, The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s 100 private companies with the fastest-growing sales over the last three years. The ‘Ones to Watch’ list represents the best of the rest; a top 10 of companies, whose growth falls just short of the main league table, but who are set to grow rapidly in the future. “I am so proud that we have been recognised for this esteemed business accolade,” says Frugi founder Lucy Jewson. “We always wanted to prove that you can create a highly successful brand while upholding strong ethical and environmental beliefs and being recognised for this established award has done just that.” Established in 2004, Frugi is a leading UK ethical and organic children’s clothing brand, whose sales have more than doubled over the last three years. —


Recent additions to baby brand aden + anais’ offer include the Metallic collection and the Cosy Muslin collection. The Metallic range sees the label’s signature 100 per cent muslin get a metallic makeover, adding a touch of sparkle to prints across swaddles, blankets and muslin squares. Meanwhile, the Cosy Muslin collection features a first of its kind fabric for the brand using 100 per cent brushed cotton. Available in swaddles and a new 70cm x 70cm size buggy blanket, it provides softness and breathable warmth, while the open weave helps reduce the risk of overheating. —

ZUMA GETS DIGITAL New child-friendly digital platform Kidscast.TV is the home of children’s clothing brand Zuma the Dog’s new digital series, ‘Zuma the Dog and Friends’, which officially launched last month. As well as providing access to Zuma the Dog and Friends, Kidscast.TV – which is a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety – plays host to a variety of other new shows alongside well-known children’s favourites. “I am delighted to be a part of this exciting new project,” says Zuma the Dog brand owner, Samantha Morgan-Bertish. “Through this platform and licensing we can see Zuma the Dog leap from a children’s clothing brand to an entertainment character; it’s very exciting stuff.” —

— GLL World Baby Agencies is holding a showroom event in London City Centre from 1-6 February at 196 Edgware Road, W2 2DS. The childrenswear agency represents Spanish and Portuguese brands, offering classic, colourful and chic elegant collections.

KITE EXPANDS COLLECTION Childrenswear brand Kite Clothing has unveiled an a/w 17 collection 30 per cent bigger than last year’s. Entitled ‘When I grow up I want to be…’ it celebrates life through the eyes of children. Highlights include astronauts, dancers, mountain climbers and unicorns translated into strong, fun-filled imagery and on-trend styles. Coupled with Kite’s signature crossover colour palette, and plenty of styles that both boys and girls will be happy to wear, the collection offers countless mix and match opportunities. The season sees the emergence of two-tone prints and fresh new styles, including a zippy sleepsuit and fleece onesie and underwear sets for older children. The outerwear range has also been extended. Additionally, the unisex baby range introduced for the first time 12 months ago returns for a/w 17 with a fresh new look. “We’ve pulled out all the stops to create the best range ever,” says Kite’s product director, Jo Spragg. “It’s packed with colour and prints that are right up to date, we’ve had so much fun translating the ‘When I grow up’ theme into fabulous imagery.” —

— NCWA will have a stand located in the Gallery at the forthcoming edition of kids’ trade show, Bubble London on 29-30 January at the BDC, Islington. Buyers and exhibitors can visit the stand to meet the NCWA team and learn more about the benefits of membership.

— Recent additions to the NCWA membership list include retail member Carousel Baby Boutique in Bridlington and Jomari, which has joined NCWA as an agent member.



Open for business Bringing you straight-talking legal and business advice. —

VERONIQUE BERGAU Associate and STEPHEN SIDKIN partner at Fox Williams LLP

WHEN THE END IS IN SIGHT: A REMINDER FOR BRANDS AND DISTRIBUTORS Come the end of a distributorship agreement, few think to turn back to the original contract. But refreshing your mind as to the terms that were agreed (most probably a number of years earlier) could well bring you huge benefits by saving you time or earning you extra profits. Alternatively (and importantly) it could also prevent you from later finding yourself in breach of the contract and even facing legal proceedings. Option to Buy Back On or prior to termination of a distributorship agreement, a brand may have the option to buy back from the distributor any remaining stock. A brand should consider whether it wishes to exercise this option. Often the timeframe in which to exercise the option is short, so do not miss it. Perhaps it will benefit the brand if that stock is sold by a successor distributor? For example, if a brand suspects that a distributor is going to offload the stock to a discount reseller (which could potentially damage the brand’s image) the brand may wish to exercise the option. EU competition rules affect a brand’s ability to impose criteria upon a distributor in order to control the distribution of goods, for example, by determining to whom the goods can be sold, or the price at which they can be sold. Therefore, this may be the only chance a brand has to legitimately take control of stock and prevent goods from entering into or diluting a particular market. Alternatively, from a distributor’s perspective, this could be a straightforward and cost-effective opportunity to shift the remaining stock. Once the timeframe has lapsed, a distributor may become obliged to return the goods to the brand without payment if it has not managed to sell the goods during the sell-off period (see further below). Save yourself some exertion and remind the brand. Sell-Off Period Many distributorship agreements allow a distributor a certain period of time, following termination of the distributorship agreement, in which to sell any remaining stock. At the end of that period, unsold stock may have to be returned to the brand, without payment. Distributors should take careful note of all deadlines to ensure that all sales are completed and delivered to their customers well within the sell-off period. Selling goods beyond that period will constitute a breach of the agreement, potentially giving rise to a legal claim by the brand. Exercising Set-Off To misquote the PM, ‘set-off is not sell-off’. But brands need to be aware of set-off. A distributor aggrieved by the brand’s termination of the distributorship agreement may claim that termination by the brand is a breach of the agreement entitling the distributor to claim damages. It is then a potentially easy win for the distributor to: 1. sell off the remaining goods; and 2. receive payment from its buyers; but 3. fail to pay invoices owing to the brand at the time of termination of the agreement and setting off the invoice value against its claim for damages. Four Top Tips 1. Remind yourself of your rights and obligations on termination. 2. Diarise any deadlines for buying back, returning or selling off the goods. 3. Distributors – ensure all sales and deliveries are completed well-within the sell-off period. 4. Check whether your agreement excludes a right to set-off. © 2016 Fox Williams LLP 10 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

ANDREW MABBUTT CEO at reviews and customer analytics company

HOW TO SNARE BUSY CONSUMERS AND BUILD TRUST It’s well known that online fashion and clothing retailers are up against it; the buying process for the sector is traditionally a tactile and immersive experience. So, for new and lesser known brands operating online, building that level of trust to encourage consumers to place an order with no option of checking the quality first is no easy feat. So, how can a new company build that level of trust with browsers to turn them into customers? Muddy Puddles is an example of a premium childrenswear brand specialising in waterproof outerwear and durable footwear whose primary target market is busy mums with limited time and hectic schedules. The team at Muddy Puddles paid great attention to their target market, and through research understood that word of mouth was central to parents’ buying. In order to make a purchase, visitors to the site must have bought into the brand and believe in the quality. Without being able to touch and assess the products in advance, the site relied upon reviews. Real customer reviews were a way to harness that recommendation process and word of mouth online, and on a larger scale. By showing reviews left by other customers, new prospects could benefit from their experiences and feel reassured by genuine feedback. Not only did the inclusion of reviews bolster trust in the brand, it also paid off in other ways; Muddy Puddles earned a 4.8 star rating, which trebled its click through rate from 2.7 per cent to 9.2 per cent. This shows how powerful a good star rating can be, especially when displayed online, as it conveys in a quick glance that a site is worth that valuable click. Not only did the inclusion of reviews lead to a boost in traffic and sales, it also led to reduced costs; the company was able to reduce its Pay-Per-Click advertising thanks to the organic traffic that was already coming to the site. Building trust is an essential component of online retail success and can be difficult to achieve through a screen. While online shopping is a popular pastime, it becomes trickier with higher value items and premium brands. Reviews help to speed up that success, broadcast the triumphs, and encourage new business to take a chance on a new brand; delivering real results all the way from increased traffic to decreased ad spends.


Three retailers discuss the advantages of running a blog and share their tips on how to make it a success. —

ALEX BUNCE Director of Tots & Frocks, Dartford, Kent

When and why did you launch a blog? We launched it in 2015. It was something we had on our ‘to do’ list for a long time, as it gave us a way to engage our customers on a different level and help answer some of the questions that don’t easily fit in an FAQ. What benefits do you feel a blog contributes to your business? We can see how many people read them and there is a definite correlation between the subject we post about and the enquiries or sales we get on the sites. On a less mercenary level, it shows people that we are not just a faceless company, that real people work here and it helps build trust. It also gives us a chance to pass on knowledge and advice that we might not be able to share elsewhere. Finally, it does all help with our search positions, as Google etc. reward what they consider good behaviour. What tips would you give a kidswear retailer considering launching a blog? Try to be yourself and use what you know. We deal with things day to day that seem obvious to us in the trade, but many parents simply do not think about (for example, for mail order companies – how many parents measure their baby’s foot length?). Also, it seems obvious, but keep it upbeat. How do you manage your time when it comes to blogging and running a shop? Honestly? Not well enough. Like many childrenswear retailers, we’re a small business, so have to be a jack of all trades. I’ve recently started setting myself monthly task lists and try to achieve a minimum of one task a day, no matter how small. There is nothing as satisfying as crossing another task off your list. Blogging is actually one of the easier things, so I should have no excuse for delays, as you are surrounded by inspiration. For anyone wondering where to start, think about this: “What question do you constantly get asked by your customers?” —

LYNSEY MACDONALD Website and social media administrator, Jilly’s Online and Young Trend, Wishaw

When and why did you launch a blog? We launched our blog earlier this year as a space for us to talk about our product range in more detail. To ensure our website is easy to navigate, we try not to overload each product page with too much information. We thought creating a blog to run alongside our website would allow us to engage with our customer base, express our passion for the collections we stock and create a visual and fun way for customers to interact with us. What research did you do into blogging beforehand? Blogging has been a part of my personal life for several years, so the setting up of and initial content creation for a blog was something I was already familiar with. I was aware from the start that generating sales via something like a blog does not happen overnight, but when used over time it can become an integral part of a business to reach new customers, especially with the direction in which technology is moving. Reading a variety of blogs is a good starting point for research and can be a great way of getting inspiration. How do you use your blog as a marketing tool? Over the past few months, our focus has really been getting content on to the blog, so that when a customer visits it there is plenty of material for them to read. This is useful not only in generating additional links to our products, but tagging the post with appropriate keywords is helpful in terms of SEO. Moving forward, however, we see that there is great potential in collaborating on blog posts with parenting bloggers, who have an established audience within our target market. Which blogs do you follow? In terms of bigger websites, I really like the blog on Alex and Alexa – it has a nice variety of topics, including interviews with designers and style edits, which are always interesting to read. A recent discovery has been the Crab and the Fox blog, which is lovely and has a distinctive style in keeping with its website. As far as parenting blogs go, we’ve been enjoying Vicki from Honest Mum and Kirsty from Life with Boys’ posts. —

PAMELA HOLT Owner, online retailer Little Chickie

When and why did you launch a blog? We launched a blog a couple of years ago. We thought it’d be a great way to share more information about our products, as well as write interesting articles that our customers would enjoy reading. What benefits do you feel a blog contributes to your business? We think the blog shows our passion and knowledge about our products, as well as showing we’re up-to-date with the latest market developments. It’s a great way to share our ideas and information. We try and write blogs on topics that our customers will find interesting and it’s great to engage with our customers on our blog. Can you give examples of the kinds of posts you produce? We post blogs on a variety of topics, including new products and brands, outfit ideas, seasonal posts (like Christmas gift guides), as well as general information and lifestyle posts for babies and toddlers (e.g. tips for car journeys with babies). What tips would you give a kidswear retailer considering launching a blog? Research the blog topics ahead, consider how the blog will fit with your brand and allocate time to writing it and uploading it to your website. Also, try and make it fun and interesting to read and include photos. How do you manage your time when it comes to blogging and running a shop? We tend to plan the topics for our blogs ahead by several months and then split them between the team to write when they have a spare minute. We aim to post about once a week, but it can get tricky during busy times of the year. —




RETAIL THERAPY Pop-up shops, news and store events from the world of childrenswear retail. — KIDS EMPORIUM BY LAZY FRANCIS 406 Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW10 Kids Emporium by Lazy Francis is a new multi-brand children’s boutique situated in Chelsea, London. The concept store, which opened in November, is a joint venture between Alina Sakhterova and Olga Kruze, co-founders of the Lazy Francis childrenswear brand, and Julia Varesko, founder of childrenswear label, JAM London. The boutique’s offer is designed to cater for all types of customer, taste, budget and need. Clothing spans basics and casuals through to special occasion and luxury kidswear for 0-12 years, alongside footwear, accessories, toys, gifts and interior design pieces. JAM London and Lazy Francis’s collections are permanently stocked alongside clothing from brands such as Dotty Dungarees, Tuta Kids, Angel’s Face and Merri Merini. Baby clothes are available from Albetta, Magnet Mouse, Infantium Victoria, Moksha Cashmere, Bambini and Me, Bebe Organic and Paz Rodriguez, with footwear from Pom D’Api, Angulus, Bobux and Melton. Toys brands, meanwhile, include Maileg, Viga, Fiona Walker and Wood like to Play, with accessories from Bowtique, Miss Nella and Little Miss Twin Star jewellery. “We would like to become a destination shopping venue in Chelsea, growing a loyal customer base of returning customers,” says Sakhterova. “We will continue to launch new and exciting brands and products to stay fresh and interesting. We are working on a couple of partnerships with artists at the moment, and a couple of new brands may come on board that specialise in ethically manufactured products. We are also looking to launch additional services – beyond retail – for our clients; services that busy families might need help with procuring.” The store itself has been designed to be cosy and welcoming (there’s even a friendly puppy in attendance most days) whilst also providing a designer boutique look – think copper rails and exclusive decorative elements, such as upcycled furniture. Developments for 2017 include the launch of an online store at the beginning of the year and the roll out of a gift card and loyalty scheme.



FERAL HEARTS 5 City Limits, South Parade, Leeds LS27 September saw Marie Bernard open Leeds children’s lifestyle store Feral Hearts, stocking clothing, accessories and toys for 0-6 years. Bernard focuses on offering brands she views as “British heroes”; labels such as Jax & Hedley, Dudes N Dolls and Didi + Bud, as well as providing a platform for new and exclusive brands. Feral Hearts is the first UK stockist of Sons of Sioux and the only store in England to stock Même kidswear. With its white walls and white floating shelving, the shop’s streamlined aesthetic directs focus upon the clothing’s detail and design. A dedicated 500 sq ft space is used to host family focused activities including craft sessions, messy play, themed story workshops and baby raves. New in-house sessions planned for spring include a coffee morning and a single mums club.

TODDLIES Founded by a close-knit family team with over 45 years of experience in the fashion and textile industry, Toddlies is a new online platform dedicated solely to children. Launched in May, it specialises in unisex clothing – basics, stripes and bold colours that can be mixed and matched in playful combinations – with a focus on sustainable, high quality materials. The website has been designed to reflect the retailer’s choice of clothing and styles, with easy-to-use tools, bright colours and fun campaign imagery featuring throughout. The store is updated with new products every season, with the current brand portfolio including Mariposa, Quo Quo, Wakamono, Antebies, Pidi Pidi and Yoyo Everyday. Plans are to add more new brands to the site this year.


HARRODS COMPLETES MINI SUPERBRANDS CONCEPT Harrods’ Mini Superbrands concept in its fourth-floor childrenswear department recently welcomed its fourth and final room featuring new boutiques from Burberry and Chloe. Burberry has created a 2,000 sq ft space in its signature British style, offering a full lifestyle collection from 0-14 years. The Chloe childrenswear boutique, a worldwide exclusive, mirrors the brand’s womenswear concept and offers clothing and accessories for three months to 14 years.

MONKEY MCCOY In line with its 10-year anniversary, kids’ UK fashion site has launched a brand new website. Fully responsive with mobiles and tablets, the site now allows users to search by product, brand, price, gender and colour. Founded in 2006 by Kerrie McCoy, Monkey McCoy offers fashion for children up to 10 years, alongside toys, gifts and décor. The initial inspiration for the store came from Kerrie’s own struggles to find stylish, trend-led choices for children in multi-brand shops. Ten years down the line, the current brand list includes A Little Lovely Company, Bang Bang Copenhagen, Bobo Choses, Jax & Hedley, Lapin & Me, Mini Rodini, Tobias & The Bear and Wildfire Teepees.

PSYCHE BOLSTERS E-COMMERCE BUSINESS Psyche, the Middlesbrough independent department store for men, women and children, recently celebrated the official opening of its £500,000 e-commerce extension, which will house a buyers’ office, offices for support staff, a boardroom and enhanced facilities for the growing staff base, in particular across the e-commerce department. Online transactions through Psyche’s state-of-the-art website account for nearly a quarter of all sales and are rapidly growing. The business has recently appointed six new members of staff and plans more recruitment in the near future.

Retail news in brief: JOULES BRAND CONTINUES TO EXPAND ACROSS ALL CHANNELS Joules’ latest trading update covering the 26-week period to 27 November 2016, which is the first half of the group’s 2017 financial year, shows group revenue for the period has increased by 16.2 per cent to £81.4m. Retail revenue increased by 15.8 per cent to £56.7m, driven by good growth across stores and e-commerce. The brand has continued to expand its retail presence in line with its plans, with the opening of 10 new stores during the period.

SCHUH KIDS OPENS AT BLUEWATER Footwear retailer Schuh has opened a dedicated kids’ store within the retail and leisure destination, Bluewater. The 1,000 sq ft shop is located immediately adjacent to the existing Schuh store. “The performance of children’s shoes at Bluewater has been phenomenal and so we are very pleased to be able to act on this success by opening a standalone Schuh Kids,” says Schuh’s retail director Phil Whittle on the recent store opening.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY CELEBRATIONS Natural Baby Shower, a Surrey-based retailer of ethical and eco-friendly baby products, was one of 100 small businesses invited to a reception at No.10 Downing Street to mark the UK’s fourth annual Small Business Saturday, which took place on Saturday 3 December. Victoria Hampson, owner of Natural Baby Shower, attended the reception together with the Small Business Minister, Margot James, and other small business owners from around the country. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 - 15




BRANDS To Watch CWB editor Laura Turner selects the must-have collections to get in-store. —




Established in Finland in 2014, Mainio is a unisex organic clothing brand for babies through to 10 years. The label offers comfortable style designed for year-round wear. Its quirky and fun prints are defined by a fascination with wild and strange colour combinations – the more unusual the blend, the better. Mainio uses 100 per cent organic cotton and produces its garments in factories that have social accountability standards and high levels of working conditions. Wholesale prices ¤10-¤30.

London based clothing brand Laundry Tribe has been catering for fashion-conscious boys aged 3-12 years since 2015. The label’s collections offer focused, mini capsule wardrobes comprising jackets, shirts, trousers, sweatshirts, T-shirts, knitwear and accessories. Style inspiration is taken from key men’s street trends, delivered in a way that adds appeal to a younger market. Outerwear is particularly strong, with hero pieces including the 3-in-1 Utility Jacket. Shirts, including jersey shirts, provide a slightly smarter look, but with the comfort of a T-shirt. Wholesale prices £6-£54.







AliOli Kids is a UK childrenswear agency specialising in Spanish labels, but it also offers an own label collection, developed by the agency following feedback from retailers that they were struggling to restock mid-season. Launched in 2014, the collection initially offered rainwear, before introducing a range of smart everyday wear in 2016. Comprising approximately 30 pieces per collection, key colours include mustard, grey and French blue. Available short order, the brand uses 100 per cent cotton and hand finishing to create quality clothing suitable for newborn up to 10 years. Wholesale prices £19-29.

Established in Portugal in 2015, Andorine is a luxury lifestyle brand offering comfortable, functional and stylish designs for boys and girls age 2-14 years. Manufactured in the north of Portugal, the label is based on three key criteria – “Soft Luxury”, “Iron Free” and “EasyWear” – and comprises two lines; Special Edition and Collection. Special Edition consists of memorable pieces for special occasions where quality and attention to detail are key. Collection, meanwhile, is a relaxed line offering a wide range of basics, fashion, and accessories. Wholesale prices ¤25-¤100.

Australian childrenswear label We Are All, for 2-12 years, is looking to expand into the UK and European market. Established in 2015 by Rebecca Amos and Chantel Phillips-Hill, its creation was inspired by the founders’ 15 years of global travel for fashion and design. Focusing on unique, custom designed prints across dresses, shorts, T-shirts, skirts, shorts, knitwear, trainers and sandals, the collection comprises 28 styles of girls’ and boys’ clothing plus four styles of shoes. Wholesale prices £7-20.




In 2013, Pepa Gonzalez launched online childrenswear boutique Pepa & Co., bringing UK customers a curated line-up of timeless, handmade Spanish labels. Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, including the launch of a Pepa & Co. own-label frequently spotted being worn by Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and the recent opening of a London boutique. CWB’s Laura Turner learns more. —

Laura Turner: What was the motivation for setting up back in 2013? Pepa Gonzalez: I moved to London from Malaga six years ago and at that time, was working for the marketing department of the Spanish Embassy. Whilst in between jobs, and looking for a permanent role in marketing based here, I realised how difficult it was to find lovely, traditional clothing for babies and children at affordable prices in the UK. In Spain, we truly care about what we wear. It’s a means of expression and makes us feel good. We also care about the quality and the provenance of both our children’s and our own clothing. In Spain, the childrenswear is much more classic in style; shirts with Peter Pan collars, soft colours, floral prints. It was this aesthetic that I found was not readily available here and essentially what I wanted to bring to the UK. So, in 2013, I decided to launch Pepa & Co. Initially it started with me handpicking my favourite children’s clothing brands from Spain and bringing them to the UK via my online boutique. Listening to what clients liked and didn’t like allowed me to build up a huge 18 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

knowledge bank and it was based on this feedback that I launched my own Pepa & Co. label, which has since become our most successful collection. LT: How would you summarise the ‘look’ of your own-label? PG: I design the collection myself and always with the clients in mind. The style is classic, inspired by the clothing from past decades that we, and our parents, once wore as children. I come from a large family of four brothers and my mother always dressed us in smart, traditional clothing. My brothers were often told they looked like princes and that sentiment still sticks with me today. My aim is to create timeless clothing reminiscent of past generations. LT: And what does the product line comprise? PG: We offer a wide variety of clothing for newborn up to eight years including babywear, bespoke christening outfits, everyday dresses, separates, shorts, trousers and knitwear alongside footwear and accessories. We recently expanded our accessories collection to include hair bows and bands, which have been

extremely popular and literally flying off the shelves. All of our brand’s clothing is made in Spain and the quality of each garment is second to none; this means high quality materials and ethical production. Each of our hand smocked pieces is stitched by hand for instance, which guarantees the high quality and detailing of each garment. Our collection is also limited edition; that way our customers can be sure to have exclusive clothing that not everyone else will have. Despite all of this, our clothing is affordable compared with other childrenswear brands. LT: What are your bestsellers? PG: Our bestselling items are the Pepa & Co. hand smocked dresses, frilled collar Liberty print baby bodysuits, the knitted cardigans, sweaters and moccasins. LT: Has media coverage of the royal prince and princess wearing Pepa & Co. helped boost sales? PG: It hasn’t changed our brand overall, but the ‘royal seal of approval’ has certainly given us a platform to make our small independent


brand known worldwide. It was lovely to receive so many positive messages from around the world and we were pleased that mums were able to discover Pepa & Co. because as they say, it is very difficult to find elegant and traditional children’s clothing at affordable prices. We always enjoy seeing any of our clients pictured in our clothing, but both Prince George and Princess Charlotte wearing our brand has been an honour for me. The best thing to happen out of this was to introduce Pepa & Co. to new customers from around the world. I feel very curious when we send orders to obscure places worldwide; I always try to imagine where the families are, what their daily routine is, and how amazing it is that someone on the other side of the globe decided to click on our site, fall in love with our collection and place an order with us. LT: Are there any plans to make your own label available wholesale? PG: We are currently selling through Harvey Nichols’ new online children’s department, but there are potentially plans in the pipeline for us to go wholesale in the near future. LT: Which other childrenswear labels do you stock? PG: Initially, when I started the business, I sourced Spanish brands to bring to the UK; ones offering classic styles in premium quality fabrics yet which were affordable. Now, we mostly sell our own Pepa & Co. label with a few handpicked items from renowned Spanish

brands such as Nanos and Bonnet à Pompon. I have built up good relationships with my manufacturers since launching my own label and the plan is to continue developing and expanding the Pepa & Co. product line to include even more pieces in classic styles with a modern twist. I fly regularly to Spain to meet my manufacturers so that we can discuss the design of every collection and I can personally check the quality of the materials used to produce it. LT: Who is your target audience? PG: I see our customers as global and not restricted to any location. We are lucky enough to have had orders from all over the world, including Korea, Brazil, Russia and the USA as well as the UK. We mostly sell to females between the ages of 25-45, those who love fashion and enjoy shopping for timeless pieces for their little ones and to see them look like children. LT: How do you ensure a great customer experience? PG: We do the hard work for the customers by organising and photographing our products by looks, including clothing and accessories, which allows customers to visualise an entire outfit. My background in marketing and my previous experience in this field has definitely helped me in communicating my brand to a wider audience. We also offer a private boutique in Fulham where customers can browse through our collections from the comfort of a physical space.

LT: How has the new Pepa & Co. boutique enhanced the business? PG: We opened the boutique and head office just off Kings Road in Fulham back in March 2016. This was really to give our customers the chance to browse through our collections in person and to enhance the shopping experience. It has also gave us a space to run day-to day head office activities. LT: Are there plans for further stores? PG: We organise and attend various pop-up shops throughout the year, but currently there are no plans to open another store. LT: Would you say demand for Spanish childrenswear labels is increasing in the UK? PG: Demand and interest in Spanish childrenswear has increased in the last five to 10 years, not just in the UK, but worldwide. This is thanks to many of the European royal families who are choosing Spanish brands to dress their children. LT: What’s the next phase for the Pepa & Co. business? PG: We would like to improve our clients’ online experience and offer them a more personalised service. We are growing, and would love to have more presence in other European countries and the USA, as response from these territories has been fantastic. We will continue listening to our clients in order to design what they want and need and we will do our best to bring the most beautiful summer and winter collections to dress babies and children up to eight years of age. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 - 19


TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH... Elizabeth Mason, owner of Cool in Cloth in Barnstaple, Devon, and winner of the Best Kids’ Store category in the CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016. —

1. What’s your average day? Firstly, I walk the dogs and feed the kids – a big job in itself. I then cycle five miles to work. My first job is making sure the internet orders are picked; I feel terrible if something hasn’t been updated as our system is not integrated as of yet, so we do our best to do it every night. The bulk of the remaining day is made up talking to customers, which is my favourite pastime, and being on the lookout for new things – I love going through trade shows’ websites. I move the shop around a lot too, to the annoyance of a few customers who like everything to be in the same place. 2. Was retail something you always wanted to do? No, it wasn’t. However, I do love clothes, shoes, shopping and meeting new people and my customers seem to like what I do. I’ve made so many lovely friends through the shop, although sometimes I see them out and about and think, “How do I know you?” 3. What do you love most about your job? The people. I have had so many chats with new mums who just need some solidarity, understanding and a kind word. Equally, I love hearing about other people’s lives and what they do. I’m not just nosy, I promise, but sometimes, after all my own travelling, I miss and forget there’s an amazing world still out there, with everyone leading different and interesting lives. I also love all of the beautiful, high quality children’s clothes and shoes I get to see. There

is such amazing design and quality out there, from so many brands, season on season.

insights and great information. My advice is to keep talking, to anyone, in any business.

4. And the least favourite part of your job? VAT returns and cash flow.

11. Which is your favourite kids’ clothing brand? I think Waddler is beautiful. It uses baby alpaca and organic pima cotton to create fair-trade clothes, accessories and toys for babies and children.

5. What is your greatest achievement career-wise? Probably that I have been so adaptable over the years. I previously trained as an air traffic controller, a journalist – a bad one, a private air crew member and I outfitted the interiors of private jets for a while, too. They were all career achievements, whether long or short term, and need acknowledging that they are part of me and my journey. I do sometimes wish I’d had just one career and had made milestones, but it’s just not me. I constantly change and I don’t like to be in one place too long. My other achievement is that I can now run my website without freaking out about the things I don’t understand. 6. What motivates you in your job? To be good at what I do, to see my customers’ reactions and to know that nine out of ten times they will come back to me for the same brand. 7. What do you love about the kidswear industry? The beauty of high quality products and artisan makers re-emerging more and more. Even though this isn’t the bread and butter of my business, it makes it so interesting. 8. Who is your dream customer? Any customers who are happy and buy a few outfits, and knowing those pieces will be worn together and loved. 9. How did you decide on the shop name? I started out at the local market, but with a baby, it was too difficult getting up at 4.30am along with all the packing and setting up. So, I opened a shop, and the name was inspired by the idea of selling cool kids’ clothes and reusable nappies – Cool in Cloth. I actually wanted to change the name, but it had already stuck and in the end, everyone knows it. 10. Do you have a business mentor? No, I don’t, but I have spoken to many different business owners who were all full of their own

Best KIDS’ store Independent REtail Awards


12. If you launched your own kidswear label, what would it be? A knitwear brand. 13. If budget was unlimited, what would your dream store be? I’d like a few stores and I’d want them to have a huge tube slide in the middle, as well as a hairdressers and a story corner to keep children entertained so their parents could shop. 14. What is the best and worst piece of business advice you’ve been given? The best had to be, ‘don’t give everyone discount, whether they are friends or not’. I do sometimes though, I can’t help myself, but I know I can’t do it all of the time. The worst was from BT saying they could do my SEO, but ended up ripping me off. 15. What been your strangest customer request? I got asked for a nappy for a grown man. 16. What do you wish you’d known before you started Cool in Cloth? That cash flow is king. 17. Where do you find inspiration? I love design, I see it all around. And when I’m not doing everything else, I read, a lot, whether it be websites or magazines. 18. What’s your productivity secret? I ebb and flow on this, I’m afraid. 19. Where do you see your business in five years’ time? I’d like my website to be much more successful. 20. How do you plan to promote being a CWB Independent Retail Award winner? Social media, it really works, especially Instagram – thank you, CWB.

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HOW TO INCREASE THE PROFITABILITY OF YOUR RETAIL BUSINESS Thierry Bayle, founder of Global Fashion Management, offers advice on how to increase your business’s profitability by 43 per cent over the next season. —

If you can put your hand on your heart and say that you’re totally happy with the profit your retail business is making, then congratulations, you must be one in a million. Back in September, I spent four days running a free retail surgery at Who’s Next in Paris. I’ve been doing it for the past few seasons and every season the waiting list gets longer. The question at the heart of every conversation is always the same:


HOW CAN I MAKE MORE MONEY FROM MY SHOP? You’re reading this because it’s what you want to know too. Before we go any further, think about this: are you ready to change the way you work in order to turn things around? Right now you’re probably reviewing your sales performance over the autumn. Let’s focus on the buying. Successful buying is a mix of art and science. The art is the buyer’s instinct for what’s hot in the coming season; the science part is how much to buy and when to bring it in. I’ve been looking at the results for one of

my clients over the summer. We’ve been working together for less than a year. Here are his results for July 2016 compared to those for 2015: 2015 2016 Number of items sold 856 857 Sales +25 per cent compared to July 2015 Margin +43 per cent compared to July 2015 As you can imagine, he’s delighted and his comment was, “Now I understand why we talk about the Science of Buying.” Before we look at the details of how he achieved this, I need to


“Successful buying is a mix of art and science. The art is the buyer’s instinct for what’s hot in the coming season; the science part is how much to buy and when to bring it in.”

draw your attention to a number of key points: Never underestimate the relevance and importance of sales and stock data. I mean the basic but specific information about exactly what you sell. Not Big Data, just the numbers by class of goods, value, discount, stock. These numbers will tell you the truth about what is happening in your shop. Not a week goes by without a retailer telling us one thing about what is hot/happening in his store while the sales data tells another story. Every time you look at data, action should follow. So if your turnover is less than £400,000 to £500,000 per year, look at it once a month and see the progress around the 15th of the month. Who will look at your data each month and question it? Another key to turning things around is your state of mind. I’m not suggesting tinkly music and chanting here, lovely as it may be, but rather the need to view things in a different way and to accept and embrace change. Change needs to become part of the way you work, so that you are able to adopt a different approach when something does not produce the results you want. Every month and season there are new things to deal with, whether it’s brands, looks, approach to business, opportunities or challenges. You need to be open to working differently. What have you changed in your business over the last three months? Getting a new perspective is invaluable in a business. Often only somebody who is outside the business can give you this. For example, recently we were talking to one of our clients about the need to take customers’ birth dates. He was very resistant to this idea because he thought it was too intrusive and might be straying into data protection territory. When we pointed out that we were not suggesting he took the year of their birth, just their birthday, he suddenly realised how it could be used to connect with clients in a positive way (like sending them a voucher for

their birthday to use in his shop, or a free gift). He’s now using this as part of his marketing activity and tells me that it has helped to boost traffic. We all have obstacles which prevent us from moving forward. What you might see as an opportunity, I might see as a problem and vice versa. A sounding board can be incredibly valuable. You need somebody to challenge what you are doing in your business in order to move it forward. Who brings critical thinking each month in your business? Don’t forget that time is a limited resource. Get the priorities right for your business and strive to remain focused. Don’t waste time doing things which are not going to move your business forward. Where possible, try to delegate the more mundane tasks while you focus on what is most important for your business right now, whether it’s marketing, sourcing new brands, updating your shop or studying your sales data. Who will look at the business each month to decide what is important/urgent and what is not?

forget that no brand is equally strong in every product category. • Unlike many other stores, he does not put 100 per cent of his budget in forward ordering. He ensures that whatever he buys on forward order is delivered monthly throughout the season (June to November). This way, his stock remains fresh, keeping both his customers and staff interested in what’s on the shop floor. You might need to learn how to challenge the brands as they are not all ready to work that way. • Unlike other stores, he buys fresh goods in the second half of the season and was still buying s/s 16 goods in July (at a discount and therefore maintaining his margin even when he was heavily discounting the goods). • We also spent a considerable time looking at how and when he studies his sales data, how to prioritise tasks in the business and finding him a sounding board (in this case it’s me).

• Apart from being provided with the right numbers each month in each product class (e.g. dresses, tops, jeans), he was diligently applying some key best practice retail rules. The ‘right numbers’ came from our merchandise plan (OTB plan – a retail tool for controlling stock and forecasting sales).

This is why he achieved a 43 per cent increase in gross profit. Do you want the same thing? You know you want to change. Focus on tasks that you control and avoid wasting energy on things you do not control. Try to buy closer to the season as much as you can; after all, you are often understocked in the second half of the season and therefore losing sales which means you LOSE the customer – possibly even forever. —

• Unlike many independent stores, he now tracks sales and stock by product category and then by brands (not the other way around) and he sees the power of doing that. After all, customers tend to buy by product category first and brand second. As you will never buy a brand forever, it doesn’t make sense to only track data per brand. Don’t

Thierry Bayle Founder, Global Fashion Management Tel. 020 8576 6233 @RetailFashion

I promised to tell you about my client who improved his profit by 43 per cent. Here’s how he achieved it:



Style GUIDE: TOY STORY: CWB’s pick of stylish toys. —

BLADE & ROSE Rocket toy £6.50, 01539 730880 —

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale

FINN + EMMA Finley the Fox rattle buddy £12.25, 01276 408494 —

BEST YEARS Knitted Cotton T-Rex rattle £4.40, 01327 262189 — 24 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

ANNE-CLAIRE PETIT Car ¤18, 0031 2067 92338 —

FRANCK & FISCHER Gaia cuddly elephant Approx ¤13, 0045 2011 1281 —










01: SPRAYGROUND Lil Trippy Shark backpack £32.50 07475 555404

02: TULIPOP Bamboo tableware Wholesale prices on request

03: GLAMMRAGS Sequin bow headband £4.50

04: MAMA DESIGNS Monochrome pineapple Babasac £19.50 0121 366 0267

05: SGT. SMITH Pac-Man ghosts T-shirt £5.80 01484 842264

06: LITTLE SHRIMP Baby hat in a tin £5.00 01373 469541

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 - 25



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NEW BRANDS LOVE & HONOR Created in Hossegor, France, Love & Honor is a kidswear brand for 0-5 years. Seventies skate culture, the beach and music influence the a/w 17 collection, which includes denim harem pants and skirts, shearling gilets, indigo dyed leggings and flutter shoulder tops. Stand VA11 TRIXIE New signing Trixie specialises in home essentials for imaginative modern spaces. The Belgian brand designs everything from towels, cushions and blankets through to wooden letters, posters, bedding and wallpaper. Stand VC9 YPORQUÉ Children’s clothing brand Yporqué was established in Barcelona in 2007. Since launch, T-shirts have been its standout product, intended to stimulate all five senses by incorporating sounds, textures, games or glow-in-the-dark images. Stand E2 GOGANGA Goganga is a new Swiss brand of clothing made entirely in Italy for children age 6-15 years. It combines Italian quality and creativity with Swiss precision and innovation. The Goganga Denim line is key, offering minimal-cut, modern and boldly innovative pieces. Stand B6 MAY DE LYS A key product for playful fashion brand May de Lys is the Hamster hat; made from soft fleece and high quality boiled wool it features ‘ears’ filled with cherry stones which, when the hat is heated up in the microwave for a few seconds, keep the wearer’s ears warm. Stand VC1








TIOOM ET MÈRE All Tioom et Mère products are designed to ensure that children feel comfortable. They are made to accurate patterns that follow the traditional French method, using select materials from various companies in the USA, Europe and Korea, and are produced with sturdy yet delicate needlework. Stand E8 PRINCIPESQUE – STORIES TO WEAR Portuguese brand Principesque – Stories to Wear specialises in playful designs that are a hybrid of dress-up outfits and everyday essentials. Each piece features a specially designed character and every collection is launched with an accompanying story book. Stand VC3 LES RÊVES D’ANAÏS Les Rêves d’Anaïs captures the innocence and beauty of a newborn with a refined range of bedding and nursery products. Whilst extremely soft, products are also designed to be durable enough to withstand the rigours of a nursery environment. Stand VC9 BILLET D’O Billet d’O is a London-based luxury fashion enterprise offering handmade hats created by Belgian designer Nicole Baert. The handmade designs celebrate uniqueness and place great focus on using the perfect fabric for every creation. Stand VC1 SCAMP & DUDE UK brand Scamp & Dude offers kidswear for 1-6 years. Key to the collection are leopard prints, super heroes, lightning bolts and oversized sweatshirts and leggings. For an imaginative touch, a neon pink lightning bolt features on all garments designed to act as a ‘superpower button’ that gives kids a burst of strength. Stand VC29 uuu






POP TWO LITTLE MAGPIES Two Little Magpies’ range of eco-friendly cotton childrenswear and babywear is created and printed in the UK, with all of its manufacturers conforming to ethical trade standards. Inspiration comes from traditional games, stories and songs, with monochrome and bold images key. TOASTIE PIG Toastie Pig’s focus is on creating chic and stylish hats for newborns through to toddlers, which are functional, stylish and soft. The brand is committed to using alpaca and luxurious cashmerino as well as supporting British craftspeople and using responsibly, ethically sourced fur. MATANA KIDS Manufactured in Portugal and designed in Spain, childrenswear brand Matana Kids uses all natural fibres; 100 per cent GOTs certified organic cotton. For each collection, the brand collaborates with a different artist to create illustrative prints. BULB LONDON Bulb London, the London-based kids’ lifestyle and deco brand, creatively incorporates monochrome illustrations of light bulbs into contemporary kidswear and design-led kids’ room decor. Inspiration comes from a modern, minimal yet fanciful London lifestyle. BUDHI BUDHA Budhi Budha is a brand of creative clothing and accessories packed with smart features to make day-to-day life easier for parents and more fun for children. Highlights include backpacks that transform into sleeping bags and buckle-less belts. All items are produced in Europe and are Oeko-Tex certified.







SLEEPY DOE Sleepy Doe is all about timeless printed sleepwear, designed and made in the UK. The brand’s prints are drawn to last season upon season, being used on new products and in different colourways. New sleepwear styles include a lounge dress, unisex short set and a new baby’s popper front sleep-suit. MR. UKY The a/w 17 collection from boyswear brand Mr. Uky is inspired by the idea of heritage; the most classic shapes, fabrics and prints used alongside rich corduroys, herringbones and tweeds. The collection also incorporates matching womenswear and menswear – a capsule maxi-me section – to exemplify how the style of Mr. Uky can translate within the family. BIBIANA LA LíA Fashion accessories brand Bibiana la lía specialises in kids’ headpieces and hats. Designs are always personalised, with all pieces made by hand following traditional techniques. MUESLII Curiosity and a keen attention to detail are the inspiring key values of Italian backpack brand, Muselii. The focus is on mixing and matching different materials, designs, styles and concepts and keeping ahead of trends. SAVVY KID LONDON Savvy Kid London’s collection is designed to defy seasons, offering children’s clothes with no creative boundaries. The varied and innovative range, which is ethically, locally and individually made in the UK, abides by the motto “redefining the way kids dress” and encourages children to embrace individuality.








GREEN & ECO KITE CLOTHING Inspired by the theme ‘When I grow up I want to be…’, the new a/w 17 collection from Kite Clothing includes astronauts, dancers, mountain climbers and unicorns translated into strong, fun-filled imagery and on-trend styles. New items this season include two-tone prints, a zippy sleepsuit and fleece onesie and underwear sets for older children. Stand C1 HATLEY Creating comfortable, warm, nature-inspired apparel is Hatley’s goal and a/w 17 is no exception. This season includes more plaids and whimsical designs as well as soft textures and colour palettes encompassing deep jewel tones and classic neutrals. Highlights include new layering knits, dresses, vests and jackets. Stand C41 PULP Baby essentials brand Pulp uses bamboo fabric and ecological cotton produced in Poland with Oeko-Tex Standard certificates. Benefits of the bamboo fabric include thermo-control, biodegradability and softness as well as high water and odour absorption. Silver ions are added during the production process to make the fabric antibacterial and boost UV protection. Stand VB8 RED BUTTERFLY Red Butterfly offers hand-smocked frocks and outfits for babies, girls and boys, which are designed for both everyday and special occasionwear, including weddings and christenings. Highlights include smocked bubble rompers, two-piece shirt and pant suits for boys, bishop cut dresses and gowns. Stand POP EASY PEASY Sustainable French brand Easy Peasy creates trend-led eco footwear for children. The label’s environmentally friendly shoes, boots, trainers and accessories are crafted from vegetable-tanned leather and use water soluble glue. Finishing touches include wing details on baby slippers and printed canvas dust bags. Stand D19 32 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017






ANNALIV Inspired by Scandinavia, log cabins, fairy tales and folklore, Annaliv’s a/w 17 collection offers bright traditional Swedish primary colours married to the softest natural fabrics. Nordic winter animals like the bear and elk are immortalised in prints, painted by hand in water colour by the brand’s founder. Highlights include the new bear coat and the Little Grow range, which has been expanded in terms of colours and now caters for newborn sizes. Stand VC45 ADEN + ANAIS Amid its offer, aden + anais has launched a range of swaddles and blankets in on-trend metallics. The label’s bamboo-muslin swaddles come in a wide range of prints, including Winnie-the-Pooh, Bambi and Jungle Book designs, from its recent collaboration with Disney. Soft and naturally hypoallergenic, they can be used as pram covers, burping cloths and comforters. Stand Bump VB3 BEBE BOMBOM Handmade sustainable luxury is at the heart of the Bebe Bombom babywear brand. The baby clothing collection is made in luxury pima cotton fabrics and includes hand-smocked styles and embroidery. Stand D1 MARMAR COPENHAGEN MarMar Copenhagen offers stylish clothing for girls and boys aged newborn to 14 years. The a/w 17 collection is inspired by early settlers and Native American tribes, fused with poetic renditions of moons and floral wilderness. Comfort and wearability are key, as is the brand’s aim to reduce its environmental footprint by using mainly Oeko-Tex certified textiles. Stand B22 CAM CAM COPENHAGEN Founded by architects Sara Giese Camre and Robert Warren Paulsen, Cam Cam Copenhagen focuses on sustainability; organic bedding, bibs, muslins, accessories and nursery essentials, which are designed to last. Stand C4








HOMEGROWN & BRITISH BABY ACORN Taking inspiration from nature and the British woodland, Baby Acorn offers babywear made in Britain using soft, 100 per cent cotton. Highlights include nature-inspired prints in colours from the forest; woodland animals, such as hedgehogs, mice and bunnies feature on sorbet pastels whilst Nordic foxes grace side fastening sleepsuits with coordinating accessories. Stand VB12 JAM LONDON Luxury British childrenswear label JAM London was established in 2014 to give children the chance to take their first steps towards developing an individual sense of fashion through innovative, versatile and comfortable clothing. Collections focus on luxury yarn knitwear and natural fabrics and include coats, jumpers, cardigans, dresses, blouses and skirts designed to suit any occasion. Stand POP THE GREAT BRITISH BABY COMPANY Offering an outerwear collection that combines the best of British premium cloth, craftsmanship and heritage to create distinctive coats with British-dyed pure silk linings. Key for boys are the reefer coat and doublebreasted weekend coat and, for girls, the pea coat and the dress coat. A new British-made accessories range will also be available. Stand VC53 CHAMOMILE BABY Chamomile Baby offers garments designed and made in Britain for newborn up to 6-12 months. Using pure cotton, design features include embroidery and all-over prints. Specialising mainly in unisex designs, highlights include a coordinated range of sleepsuits with integrated scratch mittens, long and short sleeve bodysuits, hats, bandana bibs and shawls. Stand VC47







HANNAH & TIFF Hannah & Tiff takes inspiration from south east Asia’s culture for its collection of clean and understated pieces for 2-10 years. Highlights include hand embroidery, contemporary silhouettes and subtle pastels teamed with minimal prints. Stand VA13 OH…MY! KIDSWEAR A quintessential British brand with an eccentric twist, Oh...My! Kidswear offers crafted occasionwear for girls aged 4-12 years. Typical looks include digital florals and delicate lace teamed with jewelled bodices. Stand B8 EARLY DAYS Early Days offers a range of babies’ and young children’s shoes. Manufactured in the UK since 1952, it provides both in-stock and made to order ranges of pre-walkers and first walkers. Stand B56 RACHEL RILEY British luxury baby and childrenswear label Rachel Riley returns to the show with its new a/w 17 collection, which includes fine tailoring, exclusive vintage-inspired prints and keen attention to detail, such as intricate hand smocking. Stand B7 THE LITTLE SHOEMAKER The Little Shoemaker offers children’s shoes that are entirely handmade in England. For a/w 17, colours are influenced by autumn leaves, with hues including burnt brick, juxtaposed with brighter shades such as apple green. Styles are relatively contemporary, yet with a playful nod to classics of yesteryear. Stand VC51 CUTE CUTE This season’s Cute Cute collection features pom-poms, sparkly glitter and Swarovski crystals. Key for a/w 17 is a mixture of soft pinks and creams for baby girls and, for older girls, options in black navy, silver and gold. Stand C38 uuu







BUBBLE BUMP AVERY ROW Cot sheets, moses basket sheets and hand-woven baskets have been added to Avery Row’s capsule collection of unisex nursery products, which includes blankets and cushions in colourful geometric prints and its signature portable play mat – The Go Everywhere Mat – designed to be easily carried or hooked onto a buggy. JEM + BEA Jem + Bea has redefined the baby changing bag by creating an essential luxury for the modern parent. The range neatly combines contemporary silhouettes with luxurious materials and a multitude of practical features. HELLO MUM Hello Mum is a new brand of baby clothing made in Great Britain. Garments are stylish, comfortable and practical and suit both baby boys and girls aged 0-3 months. Items can be purchased individually or as a complete set in a bespoke gift box, which includes a ‘hello mum’ letter: a message from baby to mum. BAMBOO KIDZ Bamboo Kidz is an eco-friendly and thermo-regulating babywear range made from soft bamboo fabric. Key pieces include easy-to-wear wrap around body suits with matching trousers, as well as onesies and sleep suits. The collection also includes trousers made with double layering to protect crawling knees. SQUIDGE & PIP British-made brand Squidge & Pip was conceived by mum-of-two, Mary Lord. Inspired by searching for the perfect statement gift for her expectant friend, Squidge & Pip was born from a passion to create a fun, yet stylish, teething toy that blends function with contemporary design.







CUDDLE MATES Made from 100 per cent soft cotton fabric and entirely machine washable, Cuddle Mates are designed to be a pillow and friend in one. Uses include helping newborns with essential ‘tummy time’ exercises and aiding older babies to sleep independently in a healthy side sleeping position. KERIKIT Leading the way in multifunctional bag design, KeriKit’s luxury leather baby changing bags combine quality, function and fashion. Designed for easy organisation, the collection features intelligently designed bags and coordinating accessories for baby and lifestyle. MAMA & BELLE Stylish teething jewellery company Mama & Belle offers fashion-forward, baby safe and chewable jewellery for mums. For safety, every necklace is securely knotted between each bead and thoroughly tested. They are also dishwasher safe. The range of on-trend silicone teething jewellery goes beyond easing babies’ gums by donating at least 10 per cent of profits to charity. CHEEKY CHOMPERS Designed and made in the UK, the Cheeky Chompers range of innovative teething and baby products includes the Neckerchew, a chewable dribble bib; Comfortchew, an attachable teething comforter; CHEWY, the attachable hippo teether; and Cheeky Blanket, a fun and practical baby blanket with hidden tags. MOTHERLYLOVE Motherlylove offers natural skincare products for pregnancy and beyond developed from 40 years of midwifery and nursing experience. The collection includes oils to reduce stretch marks, relieve aches and pains and soothe swollen joints as well as massage oils for baby. uuu





GALLERY MAYORAL Mayoral presents the Imperial Garnet trend for girls for a/w 17, recreating an urban and street theme. Wine colours are used with blacks and marzipan tones to create an innovative colour palette. Combinations of materials include leatherette and navy striped fabrics, double fabrics and checks with Lurex thread. For boys, Mayoral presents a more urban, sport chic style for a/w 17, where yellow coexists with metallic blue and cream. Stand G49 KISSY KISSY The Kissy Kissy collection is famous for its softness, using 100 per cent pure Peruvian Pima cotton. Kissy Kissy prides itself on creating quality fashion with attention to detail and innovation. Focus is on traditional layette with an innovative twist, infusing timeless details with whimsical prints in a wide selection of colours. Stand G8 GUESS KIDS Warm shades and pop hues feature in the a/w 17 collection from Guess Kids. Fluffy knitwear, fur and velvet strewn with glitter, sequins and embroidery reflect the lively playfulness of the girls’ offer, while a vintage college style goes hand in hand with streetwear for boys. Stand G50 AGATHA RUIZ DE LA PRADA The Agatha Ruiz de la Prada Baby collection returns this season, defined by original designs, fun colours, hearts, clouds and flowers. Stand G9 SARABANDA The Sarabanda Girl collection includes an American university style, Back to School look this season. Denim is key, as are oversized hooded sweatshirts, bomber jackets, knits and the colours blue, red, white and grey. Other looks for girls are Preppy in Black, Luxury Winter and Urban Military Style. The university style follows through in a Back to School theme for boys, too, offering a 38 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017





modern mix of garments, including a bomber jacket and long sweaters with graphics that fully embody the theme. As with the girls’, the boys’ collection includes Preppy in Black and Urban Military Style themes alongside the Hipster Culture look. Stand G4 TUTTO PICCOLO Tutto Piccolo is the result of decades of experience in the textile industry and business, passed down generation after generation. Since 1840, the brand’s founders and successors have paid special attention to detail, professionalism and knowhow, which is the basis for the building up of the company. Tutto Piccolo’s look is characterised by its distinction, exclusivity and differentiation, providing a traditional yet innovative product. Stand G9 CATIMINI Highlights from Catimini’s a/w 17 collection includes tailoring – tweed, herringbone and stripes – mixed with floral patterns, ruffle dresses and retro sport style, which is revisited in printed fleece and quilted items. Also key are “hand-made style” knits and patchwork fur mixed with tech materials including coated velvet. The colour palette focuses on dark blues illuminated by bright yellow, while bursts of incandescent orange-red enhance warm neutrals. Stand G48 IDO For girls, the a/w 17 collection ranges from comfortable and sporty garments and all-over star print sweaters, T-shirts and denim through to elegant dresses, full taffeta skirts, knitted dresses and a gold faux leather skirt. For boys, the offer includes a Back to School college style; formal suits for special occasions, consisting of waistcoats, jackets and trousers, with bow ties to complete the look; and minimalist printed tops and sweaters. The iDO Mini collection for 0-18 months comprises garments for everyday wear and special occasions. Stand G4 uuu










The programme of features and events at this season’s Bubble London. BUBBLE BOOKSHOP: The Bubble bookshop will return for a second outing, bringing visitors kids’ titles from the likes of Phaidon, Barefoot Books, Halliday Books, Carlton Books and Austin Macauley. SEMINAR PROGRAMME: The Bubble a/w 17 seminar programme promises to be one of the most exciting yet. This season, visitors can expect trend updates from leading consultant Fiona Coleman, five-minute ‘perfect pitches’ from new Bubble brands, and exclusive panel discussions with industry experts – including Wild and Gorgeous’s Lucy Enfield and Sophie Worthington. WE’VE GOT CHEMISTRY: This January, Bubble is celebrating more innovative brand collaborations as part of We’ve Got Chemistry. Returning for a second season, the campaign will showcase joint collections from unisex kids’ label Tobias & the Bear and Mr. Men (pictured), merino specialist Smalls and sleepwear brand The Bright Company, and The Bonnie Mob and brilliantly irreverent lifestyle blog/clothing line, Selfish Mother. GREEN AMBASSADOR: Bubble recently appointed its first ‘Green Ambassador’ – Leonora Bamford, founder of parenting website My Baba. Leo and her team will be sharing news about organic, fair trade and eco-friendly signings throughout the season, before curating a special green installation at the show itself. BKD ICE CHALLENGE: This season, Bubble has teamed up with London-based artisan bakery BKD, inviting selected kids’ retailers to take part in an ‘Ice Challenge’. Participants will decorate their own Bubble-themed biscuits, with the best-in-show icer winning a BKD workshop for their store. BKD will also be holding kids’ cake-decorating sessions on both days of the show. SPUN CANDY: There’ll be more sweet treats courtesy of Spun Candy, which is returning to the show with its handmade lollies and bespoke rock. LAGO: Italian design brand Lago will also be making a welcome return this season. The furniture specialist is set to showcase its innovative kids’ interiors at Bubble London a/w 17, as well as dressing the event’s press office and lounge areas. PUSH-ME-PULL-YOU: Bubble is playing host to a selection of top British pushchair brands, including Cosatto and iCandy. Visitors will have the chance to see the latest designs in a special installation area and even take selected models for a ‘test drive’. RISING STAR: The renowned Rising Star award will also return for a/w 17, showcasing and celebrating Bubble’s most promising launch brands. As ever, the winning designer will receive a free stand at the next edition of Bubble London.


ADELITA’S STAND C16 Adelita’s was born from the passion for little girls’ dresses and especially for the details and the quality of the materials in each piece. Hand-crafted for little girls aged 3 to 7 and a world apart from the mass-produced numbers that flood the shops. Tel: 0040752199299 Email:




Goganga is a new Swiss brand distinctive and unique, the clothes’ comfort and wearability express character and strong personality. The Goganga child is practical and fun. The style is meant for everyday wear.

Lazy Baby provide organic baby clothing to make you smile. Offering a range of beautiful soft, organic brushed cotton, long and short sleeved t-shirts, hooded tops and baby grows that reflect a fun positive lifestyle.

Tel: 0041 919126000 Email:

Tel: 07967 471406 Email:



La Petite Luciole was launched in October 2016 in Hamburg. A desirable range of handmade & unique dresses for girls aged from one month to twelve years.

Established in 2008. A danish children’s fashion brand, with sophisticated, cool luxury clothes for boys and girls. From newborn to 14 years old and a special collection for women.

A desirable collection of formal boys wear sizes 2 - 18. Featuring a unique selection from contemporary designs to modern styles. Transforming young boys to handsome gentlemen.

Tel: +49 171 19 19 491 / +49 40 32 69 00 Email:

Tel: 07855 509069 Email:

Tel: 441626249120 / 7185603157 Email:


29 & 30 January 2017 PRINCIPESQUE STAND VC3 PRINCIPESQUE – ‘stories to wear’ are a unique kid’s brand, that’s not afraid of black and white, stepping outside blue and pink and inside a world where there are so many stories to tell. They specialize in playful designs that are a hybrid between gorgeous dress up outfits and everyday essentials. Email:

Business Design Centre #discoverbubble

Harem trouser, £14 and long line top, £16, INDIKIDUAL, 07882 178 873 Pompom hat, HANNAH & TIFF, £18, 020 3176 4476

RELAXED LUXE This season’s autumn/winter collections.

Photographer: Richard Boyle Stylist: Victoria Jackson Models: Buddy Rees & Sophia Mcclelland

Plane jumper, JAM LONDON, £22-26, 020 3794 9061 Ripstop combat trousers, FRUGI, £16, 01326 558462 Hat, LALA & BEA, price on request, 07769 704379 Trainers, FRODDO, £28-£31, 01707 888388

Coat, MARMAR COPENHAGEN, ¤64.50, 07855 509 069 Knitted crop top, KNIT PLANET, £14.50, 07789 227 081 Bottoms, LALA & BEA, price on request, 07769 704379 Hat, LALA & BEA, price on request, 07769 704379 Striped top (seen underneath), price on request, LALA & BEA 07769 704379

Gilet, LE MU, £32.50, 07796 173771 Check dress, WHERE’S THAT BEAR?, £32, 07968 597 831 Boots, YOUNG SOLES, from £39.00, Pinwheel bow clip, GLAMMRAGS, £2.25, 07496 867 746 Tights, stylist’s own

Shirt, KITE CLOTHING, from £12, 01202 733222 Twill trousers, WHERE’S THAT BEAR?, £32, 07968 597 831 Striped top, MARMAR COPENHAGEN, ¤13.50, 07855 509 069 Knapsack, ANNALIV, £18, 020 8144 2118 Shoes, ANGULUS, from ¤46.60, 07855 509 069

Top, BANG BANG COPENHAGEN, ¤29, 07849 852 851 Trousers, SMALLS, £27, 020 7002 7600 Backpack, MUESLII, ¤22.30, 0039 0239 445950 Trainers, BOBUX, £21, 01280 701683 Jewel stone hair clips, GLAMMRAGS, £2.50, 07496 867 746

Silver sequin jacket, HOLLY HASTIE, £40, 020 7127 9107 Ruffle sleeve white stars dress, HOLLY HASTIE, £40, 020 7127 9107 Black hat, ANGEL’S FACE, price on request, 01732 823700 Tights, stylist’s own

Vintage rose fur coat, ANGEL’S FACE, price on request, 01732 823700 Sequin trousers, LE MU, £26, 07796 173771 Velvet top, LE MU, £19.50, 07796 173771 Trainers, ANGULUS, from ¤46.60, 07855 509069 Sequin bow headband, GLAMMRAGS, £4.50, 07496 867746

Please come and see us at:

BUBBLE LONDON Business Design Centre, London, Stand D21, 29 – 30 January 2017

MODA NEC Birmingham, Stand 41, Hall 17, 19 – 21 February 2017

GATWICK SHOW Holiday Inn Gatwick, 26 – 27 February 2017 UK Distributor: Ltd E: M: +44 (0)7796 766669 T: +44 (0)1707 888388

Froddo are delighted to congratulate their new stockist Cooshoo for winning Best Footwear Store in the CWB Independent Retail Awards.

The essential resource for the childrenswear industry


To advertise on call Michele Ali on 01484 846069 or email


FEET FIRST Previewing the children’s footwear collections available at this season’s Moda Footwear on 19-21 February at the NEC, Birmingham. —

SHOESME Established in 1999, Shoesme offers Dutch designed kids’ shoes, which are manufactured in Portugal using premium quality leathers. The brand places strong emphasis on fitting, comfort and durability for each developmental stage of a growing child, with concept ranges from pre-walkers through to teens. Stand F51 BIBI Founded in 1949 in Brazil, Bibi creates shoes specifically for children and approved by the Brazilian Association of Foot and Ankle Medicine and surgery. The collection offers shoes for different stages of children’s foot development, combining orthopaedic research with imaginative and fashion-forward styles. Stand H48 BOBUX Bobux continues to make creative waves in 2017 as well as constantly striving to learn more about healthy foot development and ensuring its shoes are both stylish and good for kids. New this year is the launch of Kid+, which following demand, sees Bobux extend its sizes to beyond pre-school age. Stand H58

PEDIPED Autumn/winter 17 sees the launch of a new sole unit for children’s footwear brand Pediped, with the aspirational, low profile street sole adding a new dimension to the collection. The new unit will showcase low and high top styles for both boys and girls in a range of stylish materials. Stand G48 EL NATURALISTA KIDS El Naturalista Kids’ a/w 17 collection includes animal print textures and new models such as trainers with colourful, fresh and daring designs. Grey, black and leather colours are key, alongside a warm new Bordeaux tone, and purple. Stand G60 58 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017


SHOO POM Made from premium leather and quality fabrics, Shoo Pom footwear uses materials selected for their flexibility and strength, with a focus on colour, originality and innovation. Shoo Pom’s first-steps shoes and walking shoes are designed to accompany children’s growth and facilitate foot development. Stand F49

SUPERFIT The new collection from Superfit is structured around three focal themes – Urban Casual, Street Sports and Winter Fun – and includes first-steps footwear and new widths. For 2017/18, the brand is launching six new product groups as well as updating the entire collection to be fresher, trendier and to feature more sophisticated technology for babies through to teens. Stand F40

ART KIDS Art Kids brings a full-colour a/w collection, with new models including trainers with vintage touches. Inspired by urban trends, chic styling and geometrical lines, key collection details include reinforced toecaps, patent leathers, printed suedes and stretch materials on mountain boots. Stand G60

ZAXY From the creators of Melissa plastic shoes, Zaxy offers babies’ and kids’ footwear made from patented soft plastic. Key styles include Butterfly Luxe and Romantic Bow for kids and Bubblegum Blush and Glitter Heart (pictured) for babies. Stand F29

FRODDO Autumn/winter 17 highlights at Froddo include natural and premium quality materials and linings ranging from soft leather through to wool and sheepskin. Style-wise, animal prints, emojis, flower patterns and new textured and shiny leathers all feature, with contrast stitching key. A large selection of waterproof models are also available. Stand H41

ECCO Since 1963 it has been ECCO’s objective to produce high quality, casual comfortable shoes with a perfect fit. Catering for the whole family, the brand’s kids’ collection includes shoes and boots for boys, girls and toddlers. Stand I21



63: News

64: Business Resolutions With the New Year upon us, schoolwear suppliers reveal their business resolutions for 2017.


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Schoolwear NEWS:


The latest news from the schoolwear industry. SMES’ SKILLS SHORTAGE

ENCOURAGING OUTLOOK FOR UK TEXTILE MANUFACTURERS A recent survey carried out by Make it British, the resource for information on UK manufacturing and British-made brands, revealed “business is better” for 45 per cent of UK textile manufacturers, with many enjoying increases in production of 25-50 per cent in 2016 compared with 2015. Of the 95 UK textile manufacturers surveyed, 30 per cent reported receiving more enquiries now than prior to the EU referendum, but did highlight that they are being hit by rising costs for raw materials, many of which are imported from the EU. —

With 50 per cent of small businesses with over five employees planning to grow their headcount over the next two years, finding skilled staff tops the list of challenges for business owners, according to a recent report by UK independent venture capital investors, Albion Ventures. This is the first time SMEs have identified a shortage of skilled staff as the biggest obstacle to growth ahead of red tape and regulation, which ranked in second and third places in 2016. Political uncertainty and leaving the EU were ranked in fourth and sixth place respectively. According to the fourth Albion Growth Report, which is based on interviews with 1,000 SMEs and highlights factors that create and impede growth in post-Brexit Britain, the biggest skills gap reported by over 26 per cent of SMEs is marketing, followed by new technology (21 per cent) and business planning (17 per cent). The smallest skills gap is in financial management at only 9 per cent. Entrepreneurs in the east Midlands are the most underpowered in marketing, with 32 per cent lacking expertise in this area. The technology skills gap is the widest in Scotland (34 per cent), while a quarter of businesses in the north east also felt they lacked expertise in HR. —


SOURCING SCHOOL FOOTWEAR The UK’s most comprehensive trade footwear event, Moda Footwear, is once again set to present a varied selection of school footwear amid its forthcoming a/w 17 edition. Highlights from the impending show, which takes place on 19-21 February at the NEC, Birmingham include Back to School shoes from brands such as Bo-bell, Froddo, RAP, Ricosta, Petasil, Pediped and Lelli Kelly. For further information on the exhibition, or to register as a visitor, visit —

RECYCLING UNIFORMS TO RAISE SCHOOL FUNDS Pupils at Mab’s Cross Primary School in Standishgate, Wigan, are donating ‘grown out, not worn out’ school uniform garments to other children who have outgrown theirs as part of a recycling scheme to help raise school funds. Entitled Unicycle, the initiative’s additional aims are to provide an alternative means to affordable school uniform and to help cut landfill. Funds generated through Unicycle will go towards renovating the school’s playground. —

— Long-standing Gravesend school uniform independent Bobby’s Fashion and Schoolwear has closed its doors this month after over 40 years of trading. The retailer cited rising rent costs and declining profits as the main contributing factors behind the closure.

Late last year, PMG Schoolwear acquired the assets of Class Designs Hanwell, a long established retail supplier of school uniforms in West London. Commenting on the development, Paul Gelernter, MD of PMG, says, “This is great news for schools, suppliers and parents of children and students who attend schools supplied by Class Designs. It means the business will continue seamlessly and the supply chain will be unbroken. PMG is one of the largest, most experienced and competitive suppliers of school uniform nationwide. We bring strength and reliability. “For PMG, it gives us a personal relationship with schools and parents in the area. We are a multi-channel supplier and will maintain the outstanding service that Class Designs has provided over the years. PMG will also ensure the quality, service and value for money that PMG is famous for will extend to the customers of Class Designs. “The service we provide to schools and parents will also be enhanced by moving it to bigger premises nearby, which will benefit from our updated transactional website and advanced technology, all designed to give a better shopping experience.” Mary Gill of Class Designs, adds, “I am delighted that we agreed terms with PMG. I was concerned that the business should go to an experienced schoolwear supplier who understood and would maintain our tradition of excellent service. Under the new management, and with the strength of PMG behind it, I am confident the business will go from strength to strength. “I will continue to be involved with the business and I am satisfied that this move will enable us to provide an even better service to our schools and parents.” —

— Since the collapse of BHS, The Fashion & Textile Children’s Trust - a charity that has been supporting families in the UK fashion and textile industry for over 160 years - has seen an influx of former BHS employees applying for grants to help meet the cost of essentials, namely school uniforms, winter clothing and shoes.

— Corporate clothing supplier Incorporatewear has donated 1,300 pairs of shoes on behalf of its client Virgin Atlantic to Sal’s Shoes, a charity that provides pre-loved shoes to impoverished children worldwide. The shoes are destined for schoolgirls in need, with the first consignment distributed in Zimbabwe before Christmas and the second being delivered this month to Burkina Faso. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 - 63



RESOLUTIONS The start of a new year is the perfect time to assess goals and aspirations. Rebecca Jackson speaks to schoolwear suppliers to discover their business resolutions for 2017. —


“Following the referendum in June 2016, I hope we can get back to a more stable environment for the schoolwear market, and focus on what matters most to schools, parents and pupils. Talking about Trutex specifically, we will continue to put our customers at the heart of our organisation, and focus on trying to improve in everything we do next year. We are excited about the prospects of 2017 and look forward to working with our many customers.” MATTHEW EASTER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TRUTEX


Having taken into consideration everything that was thrown at us in 2016, our resolution is to simply look forward to getting on with the job in hand which is all about assisting customers with their sales and marketing. Our priority resolution as a company in 2017 is to share the sales and marketing benefits of our products and applications by reminding everyone as to the power of One. With over 25 years’ experience in over 45 countries, we confirm that customers who actively target personalised samples to customers get results and create new business. This cost-effective method of marketing generates actual orders and improves customer perception of you as a supplier. The schoolwear market is changing and those involved directly in supplying the market also need to change. The focus is on what else can you supply to the school, and on supporting it with an actual personalised sample for evaluation. TheMagicTouch continue to host sales and marketing seminars throughout 2017 at its UK headquarters in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. —


Our new year’s resolution for 2017 is to communicate the benefits of a UK-made product both to our customers and schools in general. With children’s garments made in the UK you can be sure that they are made for children and not by children. The Charles Kirk workforce work under the same national conditions as the parents of the children that wear our garments. There are lower carbon emissions as the garments are not transported vast distances by air or sea. Due to the higher minimum wage levels in the UK, which are nearly 20 times more than those set in some parts of Asia, our garments will be more highly priced than imports but, by using our skilled workforce and good quality raw materials, we produce hardwearing garments that will not just last months but years. —



Our New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to be better. This goal complements our vision of being a great company to work with. We want our customers to benefit from an even better service, faster turnaround times and improved quality year on year. We resolve not to cut corners, cheapen products or add to our range, because we aim to represent stability and trustworthiness in the coming challenging years. For our suppliers, this means sustaining strong and loyal relationships. For our people, we want to reward trust, care and customer service excellence. In 2016, as an employeeowned firm, we demonstrated our responsibility to do the right thing for our customers and our people. This was showcased by the BBC who featured us as a role model in response to the important debate about excessive boardroom pay and greater corporate governance. Finally, we will continue to live up to our customer charter by not supplying schools or parents directly. —



It is looking like another exciting year ahead. At David Luke, we’ll be focused on continuing to invest in key stock lines such as Eco blazers, jackets, skirts and trousers, where we’ve been achieving year on year growth. We will be aiming to enhance our stock support and service delivery further, as this will be even more important to retailers if the trend towards a last-minute Back to School continues into 2017. We remain committed to providing our customers with resources to support with school tender applications and presentations. There are many different tools we have put in place and we will be exploring more ways of ensuring that independent retailers can retain control of the supply contracts held with schools.


Having put 2016 to bed, with all its challenges, I am very excited to look forward to 2017. My personal goal is to get the Golden Finishes (GF) range of cost effective promotional textiles in front of as many schoolwear companies as possible, explaining the benefits of promoting these products to schools, clubs and businesses and why garment retailers can explore other revenue streams that sit perfectly with their existing offerings. I will also be looking at how GF can work closely with dynamic and forward thinking garment suppliers to offer more to their retailers. Working together, I have always believed, is the way forward in business and if each level of the supply chain can benefit, then there is a real incentive to make this work for all involved. I am continually investigating new and exciting ways that we can develop the range. We will continue to promote the benefits of ‘Made in the UK’ and will be getting out on the road to talk to customers both directly and at shows. This is how we at GF have built the business to where it is today and how we will be continuing to build throughout the new year. I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be another fabulous year for Golden Finishes – so let’s make 2017 great together so we can all benefit from the success. —

“We have a few goals for the New Year; firstly to continue growing our export side of the business to 10 per cent of turnover, and secondly to reduce lead times (especially on our UK made products) during the Back to School period. As usual we are keen to provide a service unrivalled in our sector and to not allow Brexit to be all-consuming.”

“We have had an encouraging year since launching our specially adapted schoolwear brand that is suitable for children with eczema and sensitive skin in September 2015. In 2017 we plan to consolidate and further build on our market presence and brand awareness throughout the UK. In addition, we plan to continue our product development so we can meet more than the uniform needs of children with sensitive skin. We have products in the pipeline that we plan to bring to market in 2017, so watch this space. I am anticipating an exciting and busy year for Totally Cool Clothing.” JUDY MICKLETHWAIT, FOUNDER/MANAGING DIRECTOR, TOTALLY COOL CLOTHING

Following the recent acquisition of SWI and Orion Teamwear, our vision is to encourage customers to wake up in the new year to our exciting, new and invigorated sportswear portfolio. APTUS Performance is our professionally designed ready-to-wear collection which brings a new class of sportswear to the industry. Technical fabrics as well as innovative designs are the direct result of collaborative research with students and staff. The collection offers six pieces for girls, and six for boys. Girls, who have historically been under-catered for on the school sportswear field, will welcome a range of unique features incorporated into each garment to ensure a flattering fit. The purchase of Orion Teamwear has added a new bespoke dimension to our sportswear line-up in the form of Teamwear Kit Design. We are now able to offer either cut and sewn or sublimated products made from Orion’s advanced, technical fabrics, in an unrivalled choice of colour and designs. BMB is already widely known as the leading schoolwear provider in the UK. Our vision is that our greatly enhanced sportswear collection will help us get to the top of our game in this sector, too. —




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ANNA WHITEHOUSE Founder, Mother Pukka Journalist, editor and mother Anna Whitehouse is founder of, an infamously candid and witty blog for news, events, reviews and honest comment “for people who happen to be parents”. This month, Whitehouse will be joining the judging panel for kids’ trade fair Bubble London’s Rising Star competition, which champions the best launch brand at the show. In the meantime, CWB catches up with Whitehouse to learn more about the personality behind one of the UK’s most popular and humorous parenting blogs. — LT: Which blogs and social media accounts are you following? AW: @Clemmie_telford for her brutal, laugh-out-loud honesty; @dresslikeamum for her knockout fashion threads; and @notsosmugnow for being the biggest woman champion on the internet. LT: What are your top blogging tips? AW: Don’t follow the crowd. Pave your own way and people will listen. Authenticity is a word bandied about, but it essentially means “just be you”. Harder than it sounds on the internet. LT: As a parent, which are your go-to kids’ fashion brands? AW: Tiba & Marl for nappy bags, Scamp & Dude for cool kids’ threads and Kyna Boutique for serious quality and stuff that doesn’t get mashed up after one day at nursery. LT: What do you feel modern-day parents want and expect from a kids’ brand? AW: Something that stands out, something that lasts, and something that has a story. Kidswear label Scamp & Dude does all of those things. Its motto is “a superhero has your back” after Jo, the brand’s founder, battled a brain tumour and feared leaving her children behind. It’s a brand with a strong aesthetic and much heart.


Laura Turner: What was the drive behind Mother Pukka’s launch? Anna Whitehouse: I was working in-house at the L’Oréal Group as a senior copywriter and felt that the precarious balance between work and family life wasn’t, well, working. So I quit, and officially launched Mother Pukka – a platform “for people who happen to be parents”. The one common denominator across parenthood is humour and that is the focus – as long as I’m laughing more than I’m crying, I’m winning. LT: How did your professional background lend itself to Mother Pukka’s creation? AW: I used to be a journalist, so I was always keen on tackling punchy issues – like our Flex Appeal campaign to promote flexible working – and then I moved into being a lifestyle editor for Time Out and Grazia. Those two experiences combined led to Mother Pukka. I wanted to push the boundaries of what a blog could do. Why can’t fashion unite with politics? 70 - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

LT: Who do you see as your target audience? AW: Everyone and anyone in a family. Brothers, sisters, grannies, granddads, teens, mums. People, really. I have many non-parent followers who follow for our Flex Appeal campaign; they are interested to know what will happen when they have kids. LT: Can you tell me more about the new e-shop? AW: We are launching a Flex Appeal portable coffee cup this month, which will be available via an e-shop on the Mother Pukka website to support the campaign and keep the conversation going. That’s the start – from here, who knows? LT: Which is your favourite social media platform and why? AW: Instagram. I find it more inclusive and positive than other channels. I think because it’s more personal, people tend to respect each other a little more. You can hide behind words, but not as easily behind photos.

LT: How would you sum up your views on parenthood? AW: Do it your way. Ignore the books (other than @mother_of_daughters’ one, How to grow a baby and push it out) and try not to let them eat too many Monster Munch. LT: You’re on the judging panel for this season’s Bubble London Rising Star competition, which celebrates the show’s best launch brand. What do you generally look for in a brand? AW: A stellar story, a knockout look, and something that’s not going to dissolve in the wash. I’ve loved many a brand whose wares haven’t lasted the week. Lt: What’s the next phase for Mother Pukka? AW: To remain true to our hashtag and “parent the s**t out of life” – wherever that may take us.