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MODA FOOTWEAR Preview of the children’s s/s 18 collections ATTENTION TO DETAIL Kids’ accessories spotlight TALKING POINT Grace Tindall on her online lifestyle boutique, Scandibørn

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18: Twenty Questions with Anna Swift, director of Cooshoo and winner of the Best Footwear Store category in the CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016

32: Top Drawer A/W17 Preview of the kids’ gifts available at September’s show.

21: Attention to detail CWB’s pick of kids’ accessories


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 34: Style guide Rainwear 35: Laura loves The coolest products for kids 50: Talking point Grace Tindall, founder of Scandibørn

24: Barn of Monkeys Winner of this season’s Bubble London Rising Star award 26: Shining stars The bestselling footwear styles from this season’s Bubble London

39: News 46: Emma Robertson, head of design at BMB Laura Turner meets the design talent behind the UK’s largest schoolwear supplier

28: Show stoppers CWB’s product picks from Bubble London S/S 18 30: Moda Footwear Preview of the children’s S/S 18 collections Front Cover image: Wolf & Son AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 - 03

See things differently... #discoverbubble 28 & 29 January 2018, Business Design Centre Apply for a stand at


COM MENT: The lifestyle retail concept is by no means a new phenomenon, but in terms of the children’s sector, it is a movement that’s growing. —

Something that was very apparent to me this season whilst walking around the s/s 18 kidswear shows was the increase in nonfashion brands. From gifts and accessories through to decor and furniture, there was more available than ever. And, on speaking to these brands, the feedback was pretty unanimous; more and more kidswear independents are looking to develop a wider in-store offer, one which includes gift-led, non-fashion and non-seasonal items, including product and apparel for mums and dads, too. So, in light of more kidswear retailers investing in the add-on potential of lifestyle product, this issue we bring you a selection of content we hope will provide further inspiration in this area. Product-wise, we have a spotlight on kids’ accessories on page 21, covering everything from jewellery and bags through to hosiery and hair accessories, while on page 32, you’ll find our pick of children’s gifts, accessories and decor from Top Drawer A/W17, which takes place on 10-12 September at London’s Olympia. On the retail front, we focus on stores catering for home and family on page 14. And, for the Talking Point interview on page 50, we speak to Grace Tindall, founder of online lifestyle boutique Scandibørn, which brings the best of Scandinavian children’s design to the UK. Those of you who attended Bubble London last month may have seen Tindall taking part in the show’s expert panel, discussing how to grow an interiors business as well as highlighting the latest trends in kids’ interiors. Picking up where she left off, Tindall reveals her advice and tips for independent kids’ stores looking to dip a toe into lifestyle, as well as uncovering the story behind her own successful business.

Editor Laura Turner Contributors Isabella Griffiths Christina Williams Victoria 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 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.

The other key focus for CWB this issue is footwear, bringing you the bestselling ranges from Bubble London s/s 18 as well as previewing the children’s offer from the forthcoming edition of Moda Footwear, which takes place on 6-8 August at Birmingham’s NEC. Alongside the regulars, our next issue for October will place focus on schoolwear, with CWB’s dedicated edition for the sector including the latest news from the UK’s leading schoolwear suppliers as well as the products and innovations coming through for Back to School 2018, with our preview of this year’s Schoolwear Show on 15-17 October. Until then, we will continue to bring you news and views from the kidswear industry on, with additional unique content available via our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. 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.




BEBE BOMBOM EXTENDS AGE RANGE For s/s 18, British babywear brand Bebe Bombom has extended its age range from 0-24 months up to 0-36 months. The brand, which offers classic, tailored designs made using 100 per cent certified Peruvian pima cotton fabrics, has also introduced additional pieces, including alpaca wool and pima cotton rompers for toddlers. Other highlights include embroidery and hand smocked designs, all handmade by Peruvian native artisans. Sustainability is a core value of Bebe Bombom, proudly working with like-minded partners who share its eco-friendly and ethical philosophies and promote work environments that protect the dignity of all workers and support the empowerment of women. —

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIMBLE Handmade kids’ footwear brand, Bimble Shoes, is launching a limited edition style to celebrate its first birthday. Only 30 pairs of the limited-edition baby slipper named Sunsplash have been made. Produced in luxe leather and all individually numbered, the baby shoes come complete with a dust bag and mini shoe box for added gift appeal. Available in size one, the luxe slipper is targeted at 3-12 months. Meanwhile, the wider Bimble Shoes collection focuses on soft baby moccasins, which allow feet to develop naturally. Designs range from classic everyday styles for first walkers through to the luxe Black Label collection featuring metallics, animal prints and furry styles. —


Ethical and organic babywear brand Darlo is celebrating a key milestone, having recently provided 8,000 meals for children in India. Darlo partnered with the Akshaya Patra Foundation to fulfil its mission of providing a whole week’s worth of school meals for a child in India for every item of its clothing sold. The brand, which was established in 2015, also recently expanded its sleepsuit line with the addition of a zip collection as well as launching the Sleep Fruits range. Made from 100 per cent organic cotton, the new zip design is available for 0-12 months in bold, gender neutral prints. —

BUBBLE LONDON SS18 Kids’ trade event Bubble London closed its doors last month after two successful days of attracting key buyers seeking fresh, new talent. Boasting over 80 new collections for s/s 18, coupled with an influx of debuts including Born Bespoke, That’s Mine, Carlie Grace, Eva & Indie and the show’s Rising Star winner Barn of Monkeys, Bubble yet again confirmed its position as the launchpad for new design in the kids’ sector. The show welcomed a diversified line-up across the sectors, with non-apparel categories, including homeware, accessory and nursery brands, reporting a particularly positive reaction from buyers. “The feedback from retailers at Bubble has definitely been that niche, add-on collections are an essential purchase to create an inspiring in-store offer,” says Sarah Oliver, who debuted at Bubble with Cradle & Tonic, a luxury range of natural candles for pregnancy, birth and nursing. Tabara D’Diaye, founder of new Bubble exhibitor La Basketry, which offers handcrafted baskets ethically sourced from female artisans in Senegal, shares the same view. “I’ve definitely got the impression retailers are looking to create a lifestyle concept in-store. Independents are really picking up on the add-on potential of non-clothing collections within the children’s sector,” D’Diaye says. Bubble London will return for its a/w 18 edition on 28 & 29 January 2018 at the BDC, Islington. —

US BABYWEAR BRAND TARGETS THE UK Little Zi is a new brand of luxury baby clothing, whose philosophy is to create pieces that are timeless, elegant, sustainable and comfortable, with a focus on handmade embroidery and crochet. Designed in the US and produced in Peru using pima and native cotton, Little Zi caters for 0-12 months. However, due to having complete control of its production and manufacture, it can also accommodate premature and larger sizes up to 24 months as well as having no minimum order requirements. For s/s 18, Little Zi uses both organic and pima cotton. The organic cotton line includes six collections and uses no dyes. The Pima line consists of 15 collections in regular Pima and two collections of Pima knits, the latter being light and thin enough for babies to wear in the summer. —

RUBY AND FREDDIES’ BOXES OF DELIGHTS Personalised British baby gift and clothing brand Ruby and Freddies has rebranded and introduced bespoke packaging. Specialising in luxury baby bouquets, all of the brand’s clothing is designed, printed and made in Britain, as are the new, contemporary gift boxes. Clothing items include vests, hats, bibs, blankets and babygros. Nursery prints and cards are also available. —



NEW STYLISH, SUSTAINABLE KIDSWEAR Cooee Kids is a new sustainable kids’ clothing brand for boys and girls aged 2-7 years. Set up with social responsibility and good ethics at its core, the brand’s entire production process supports the Ugandan people who make the clothing, from the farmers to the seamstresses. Made sustainably from 100 per cent CmiA-certified African cotton, which certifies every part of the process to support the people making the clothes and ensure they are treated fairly, the collection includes T-shirts, dresses, skirts and shorts, all featuring imaginationinspiring, hand-drawn print designs. —

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is powering innovation in retail, Retail Insider’s Digital Retail Innovations Report 2017 unveils. The study recognises the top 50 retail technology initiatives of the last year, with innovations around AI in customer communication and supply chain operations claiming numerous spots on the list. For the second consecutive year Amazon was crowned the UK’s number one digital innovator, taking all three of the top spots. The innovations were scored by an advisory panel consisting of expert analysts and senior researchers from a range of companies, including Burberry, David Jones, Tesco, Planet Retail, Pinterest and Shop Direct. The panel’s scoring was based on four criteria: innovation, commercial potential, potential influence across the sector, and potential benefit to customers. —

BUNKS MAKES A SPLASH Bunks is a new premium swimming trunks brand designed for boys aged 8-14 years. Exclusive prints are inspired by far-flung locations and include seaweed, starfish, inky waves, seagulls, palm trees, pineapples and a sea urchin design. Each pair of Bunks is made using quickdrying, SPF50 fabric with triple-seaming and colour co-ordinated drawstring ties. Bunks is also an environmentally aware brand, supporting the Plastic Oceans Foundation to keep the oceans plastic-free. —


CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR LEAD THE WAY IN SMARTPHONE SPEND Spend via smartphones will outperform spend via tablets, accounting for 51.5 per cent of the UK mobile and tablet market in 2018, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData, with clothing and footwear categories leading the way, set to account for 42 per cent of all smartphone spend in 2020. The company’s latest report reveals that sales of tablet devices are declining as consumers choose to spend more time on smartphones. Consequently, spend via these devices is set to grow 112 per cent in the next five years. By 2022, spend via smartphone is forecast to account for 23.8 per cent of all online expenditure, up from 15.1 per cent in 2017. —


The s/s 18 collection from luxury children’s footwear brand Young Soles continues the brand’s ethos of bringing British heritage and contemporary styling to children’s shoes. Designed to evoke childhood memories, this season’s inspiration comes from camping and festivals. “For our look book, we sourced a vintage tent and sleeping bags and set up camp in Epping Forest, creating an early 90s festival vibe,” says brand founder, Louise Shill. Collection highlights include the introduction of early walker shoes, with two new styles: an ankle T-bar and a Velcro fastening monkey boot, both on the brand’s EVA sole with stitch down construction in EU sizes 18-24. Young Soles has also introduced additional larger sizes (EU 36-40) to its range, with new style Wallabee boots, Derby shoes and desert boots taking the total number of styles in these sizes up to 10. —

— Debuting for s/s 18, Eva & Indie is a new brand of kidswear, offering jersey cotton dresses in colourful, unique prints. Created by illustrator Vivian Gaprelian, the range of handcrafted clothing places emphasis on bright colours and bold prints, all of which are designed in-house.

SMALL BUSINESSES BOAST HAPPIEST WORKERS Workers in start-ups and micro-businesses are more likely to enjoy their jobs, according to new research by the One4all Spotlight Awards, a free to enter awards scheme that recognises exceptional staff in the UK workforce. The survey of 1,220 workers revealed almost 1 in 3 (31 per cent) of employees in businesses containing a maximum of nine members of staff said they “love” their jobs. Those in companies with more than 500 members of staff were the least likely to love their jobs, with just 15 per cent claiming this to be the case. People employed by businesses with nine or fewer employees were most likely to stay with their current employer for the rest of their working lives, with 23 per cent also stating they take personal pride in their company’s achievements. —

— Award-winning natural infant skincare brand Kokoso Baby is launching two new baby washes to complement its popular organic coconut oil. Additionally, alongside the new coconut washes, the brand is also launching a natural konjac bath sponge suitable for cleaning newborn skin with water alone. Together, the three new products make up the Kokoso Baby Gentle Cleanse Journey.

— The Bshirt is a new breastfeeding top designed to encourage women to breastfeed confidently in public. The top can be worn on its own or as an undergarment. The Bshirt is ethically made with organic cotton and packaged in biodegradable and recycled packaging.



NCWA NEWS: The latest news from the National Childrenswear Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT At a meeting of the European Working Group on the Safety of Childrenswear in June, progress was made on the revision of the Guidance Note to EN14682, the Cords and Drawstrings Standard. If I were a cynic, I would think that there are designers out there who sit down with the express aim of finding a way around the Standard by thinking of design features that are not specifically covered in the Standard. This is, of course, not within the spirit of the Standard, which aims to prevent accidents involving strangulation and entrapment, the former being the greater hazard for younger children, the latter the greater for older ones. It is not possible for the Standard to cover all possible garment designs and the advice has always been that there would be situations when a risk assessment would have to be undertaken, firstly by the manufacturer/supplier and secondly by the retailer. The revised Guidance Note, in a series of Questions and Answers, with explanatory pictures and diagrams, will seek to deal with such things as animal ears on hooded garments. One does, however, have to ask why it was necessary for a designer to add decorative cords to the back of knee-length socks, without thinking of the possible entrapment in, for example, bicycle wheels. During the meeting, it was also agreed that a number of new work items needed to be considered in the future. These include the safety of attachment of buttons and press fasteners. I fear that a further revision of the Cords and Drawstrings Standard may also be on the cards, so there will be much work ahead. NCWA provides the Secretariat to the Working Group and Mrs Sue Bolton (who presents our seminars on the Safety of Childrenswear) is the Convener. NCWA members have the opportunity to raise their own questions and concerns at the seminars and to benefit from NCWA’s involvement in the Standards process. (The next seminar takes place on 12th September.) There has recently been some good news for British brands, as HM Government has announced increased funding for British clothing and textile companies exhibiting abroad. Grants will be available for both Pitti Bimbo and Ciff in early 2018. There has also been good news in that it has been revealed that the Government plans to continue the duty free access enjoyed by a number of the world’s least developed countries post-Brexit. This will give reassurance to many suppliers and retailers. Do get in touch for further information. If you are not a member of NCWA, you can join online,, or speak to Michelle Payne in the NCWA office, 020 7843 9488, or e-mail Details on all that NCWA does and offers can also be found on our website, and membership starts at £95+VAT per annum. If you join now, you would also be eligible to attend the next Safety of Childrenswear seminar. I look forward to hearing from you. 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

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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 Executive Director: ELIZABETH FOX


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Organic baby essentials brand Mori, which is known for its socially conscious approach to manufacturing, is launching a Panda Collection. The mainly monochrome collection comprises 100 per cent organic cotton jumpers, hoodies, T-shirts, joggers, shorts and daywear outfits for babies and toddlers from newborn to 36 months. Each piece in the collection features a unique panda design, which has been hand-drawn in London by the brand’s in-house design team. Additionally, £1 from every panda collection piece sold through the Mori website will go towards adopting pandas in China, for which the brand will share pictures and updates. —

Organic brand Red Urchin has introduced new beanie hats into its children’s accessories collection for a/w 17/18. Alongside previous bestsellers, the new brushed jersey organic cotton beanies feature the brand’s latest fabrics and are reversible to offer two looks in one. Unisex in design and available for children aged 3-12 years, the range comes in four colourways, with bright graphic prints on one side and a plain colour on the other. Other items in the collection include the Snooch, a reversible snood, the hoodie Snooch, Armies, which are fingerless gloves and arm-warmers, ponchos and the Toob skirt to layer over leggings. —

SMALLS GETS BIGGER British clothing brand Smalls, which offers fully traceable merino essentials for children aged 0-14 years, is offering an expanded range for s/s 18. Highlights include the Au Natural line, which is made from unbleached, dye-free, superwashed 100 per cent superfine merino, featuring a new fluoro yellow stitch across a variety of styles. Blue Steel is the new colour of the season, with the dusky blue shade available across the entire Smalls range from baby up to 13-14 years. Meanwhile, in response to customer demand, the Smalls Oma Romper T-shirt will also be extended up to age 5-6 years. In other news, November will mark further growth for Smalls, with the launch of a debut adult capsule range. —


NCWA WELCOMES SUPPORT FOR WORLD’S POOREST COUNTRIES The National Childrenswear Association (NCWA) has welcomed news that the Government will preserve duty free access to the UK market, currently utilised by the world’s poorest counties. It was uncertain as to whether duty free access would continue post-Brexit. However, a joint statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Department for International Trade and the Department for International Development, pledges to maintain the access. The statement confirms that 48 of the world’s least developed countries included in the list will continue to benefit from free access, despite the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Moreover, new ways of improving access for other countries will be explored. The news is welcomed by the childrenswear industry, as currently 45 per cent of clothing and textile imports come from the countries on the list, with Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia all important suppliers to the UK. NCWA chairman David Hull says, “Concern has been expressed by a number of NCWA members about the position of these countries and whether duty free access would continue post-Brexit. Whilst we still have to see all the details of the plans, news of the Government’s commitment will reassure many in the industry.” —

JOULES OF MONMOUTH RELOCATES Last month saw lifestyle brand Joules relocate its Monmouth store to a larger, improved location at 46-48 Monnow Street, Monmouth. The new store, conveniently located on the town’s main high street, offers the opportunity for customers to shop children’s, women’s and men’s collections. “We’re thrilled to relocate our Monmouth store to a bigger and more convenient location for our customers,” says Tom Joule, founder of Joules. “The customer response we’ve received over the past six years in the town has been brilliant and we’re really looking forward to continuing to bring our unique personality and style to shoppers.” —

— AliOli Kids has moved to a new showroom and hired an additional member of staff. Based in Chelsea’s Design Quarter, the new showroom allows the UK agency to showcase its Spanish childrenswear labels Condor, Fina Ejerique, Martin Aranda and Tartaleta as well as its own-brand collection, AliOli Kids.

THE ESSENTIAL ONE New NCWA member The Essential One has launched a brand new range for s/s 18. Available for 0-18 months, the Tiny Essentials collection encompasses all of the essential items needed for a baby’s first wardrobe in three soft colour palettes: neutral white/cream, baby pink and baby blue. Using 100 per cent superfine cotton for softness and breathability, the collection presents high quality details and luxury packaging for added gift appeal. Highlights include pram suits, newborn starter packs (featuring an all in one, vest, hat, bib and scratch mittens), vest and legging packs, all in ones, dungaree sets, top and legging sets and dress and legging sets. —

— An NCWA seminar on Cords and Drawstrings / Mechanical Safety of Childrenswear will take place on Tuesday 12 September. NCWA’s seminars give an introduction to the Standards process, as well as an outline of the Standards, BS EN14682, Technical Report TR16792 and BS7907. Places are limited; please contact Michelle at the NCWA office on for a booking form or further information.

— Ethical French sneaker brand Veja, which is represented in the UK by NCWA member Breitenstein Agencies, has dropped in Selfridges this summer. Veja sneakers are made entirely from ethical, sustainable materials, including wild rubber and organic cotton sourced from small, family farms and fair trade businesses in Brazil.



Open for business Bringing you straight-talking legal and business advice. — STEPHEN SIDKIN, Partner, Fox Williams LLP

GUESS THE QUESTIONS THE EU COMMISSION WILL ASK The European Commission is flexing its muscles, announcing new competition law investigations into several US companies and one from Japan. American clothing and accessories brand Guess is under investigation by the European Commission as to whether certain restrictions in its distribution agreements illegally restrict retailers from selling Guess products cross-border to retailers or to consumers in other member states. The investigation will also focus on whether Guess is restricting wholesalers from selling to retailers in other member states. The announcement of this investigation was followed one week later with the EU Commission announcing separate investigations into sportswear brand Nike along with Sanrio and Universal Studios. This second batch of investigations focuses on whether the distribution practices of Nike, Sanrio and Universal Studios allegedly restrict traders from selling licensed merchandise cross-border and online within the EU. In the case of Nike, Sanrio and Universal Studios, it seems that by requiring licensees to restrict the licensees’ distributors from selling cross-border and online, they may have breached EU competition law. In any event, in launching these investigations the Commission is sending a message that businesses involved in distribution arrangements (whether bricks and mortar or online) which infringe EU competition law are vulnerable to attack. The announcement of the investigations took a toll on Guess and Nike with their respective stock prices falling sharply on the New York Stock Exchange in response. In addition, the brands may face potential securities claims by shareholders under US law on the basis that either company may have issued materially misleading business information to the investing public. Many businesses often restrict distributors from cross-border selling. Other businesses with multiple national websites often restrict or deny access to consumers in order to partition geographical markets or as part of pricing policies. But territorial restrictions on the sale of products raise competition law concerns. In particular, restrictions of the territory into which a distributor may sell are generally considered hardcore restrictions of competition, subject to a limited number of exceptions. The European Commission’s investigation into Guess’s distribution agreements and practices follows a two-year long inquiry into the e-commerce sector. In the final report published in May 2017, the European Commission highlighted that retailers are frequently refusing to sell to customers abroad by imposing measures known as ‘geo-blocking’. For example: • blocking access to websites, • re-routing customers to websites targeting other member states, or • by simply refusing to deliver cross-border or to accept cross-border payments. Whilst the majority of geo-blocking measures result from decisions of the retailers themselves not to sell cross-border, more than 11 per cent of retailers complained of contractual cross-border sales restrictions imposed on them in their distribution agreements. In the press announcement regarding the investigation into Guess, the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, made it clear that “one of the key benefits of the EU’s single market is that consumers can shop around for a better deal”. As part of the European Commission’s overall Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission proposed in 2016 a new Regulation to ensure that consumers wishing to buy products (or services) in other EU member states are not discriminated against by reference to their nationality, country of residence, or establishment within the EU. In effect, the Regulation aims to prevent unjustified geo-blocking. At the present time, the proposed Regulation is under review by the European Council and European Parliament. © 2017 Fox Williams LLP 10 - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017

EMILY BEARDSWORTH Founder of May Creative Marketing www.maycreative

The most common question I get asked is how to market a new brand effectively. This may seem like marketing 101 to many, but the basics are often overlooked. Whether it’s a shop or a new clothing range, the answers are the same: pinpoint your target audience, organise a photoshoot and join social platforms. Who is your target customer? Ask yourself this question every day. Marketing content needs to be tailored to your audience to get the most out of any campaign, otherwise it will become lost in the online ocean. In today’s world of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and websites, the image is king. Your brand’s images will grab your customers’ attention – but that is not always as easy as it sounds. We can be exposed to up to 5,000 marketing images every single day, so you need to pay great attention to what catches your customers’ eye. So, now the images have been created, how can they to be used to the best possible effect? Worldwide, over 2.7 billion of us are active social media users, with way over half of us using the platforms on a daily basis. Can you now think of a more effective way to reach that many people? Again, like a broken record, knowing your target audience is key here. Unfortunately, not all 2.7 billion people are going to be interested in your brand, so don’t spend your valuable time producing content that is just going to be ignored. Great images will attract your audience and clever use of the content will drive customers to your brand or website and increase profits more effectively than any other tool. — To find out more and to see how May Creative Marketing can work for your brand, contact us at or call on 07792 922029.


Three e-commerce experts offer their advice on conversational commerce, mobile opportunity and maximising peak shopping days.

JULIEN HERVOUET CEO and founder, iAdvize

ROB GENTLES Channel director, iVend Retail

PAUL WATSON CEO, Volo Commerce

KEEPING UP THE CONVERSATION 24/7 With shoppers researching and buying products around the clock, it is now more essential than ever to be available to assist them whenever needed. It is astounding that in this digital age, so many retailers continue to operate within restricted opening hours, alienating many of their biggest spenders who work during these times. So how can you effectively keep up conversations around the clock, answering questions when needed, and remain on-hand to help the customer along their purchasing journey? The answer lies in conversational commerce which has been adopted by a host of forward-thinking fashion brands and retailers looking to both reduce volumes of incoming emails and improve customer satisfaction. By ensuring that the brand experience is seamless for the customer, no matter what channel or device they may be using, retailers will encourage greater loyalty and conversion rates. Successful conversational commerce platforms need to achieve a careful balance of automated response and human interaction. By using a mixture of machine and human interaction, retailers are able to provide round-the-clock assistance, efficiently managing a salesperson’s time to deal with more complex issues, while chatbots can quickly respond to easier enquires, such as store opening times. Our recent research shows that 75 per cent of online consumers want support at some point in their buying process and a fifth of these (19 per cent) said they most need customer service support when they first look up a product. This demonstrates the need for fashion retailers to react to customer queries promptly, at the time of most convenience to the customer, and start conversations right at the beginning of the buying process. As the retail world becomes more complex through technological advancement, retailers need to ensure they are agile enough to keep up with the shifts in customer expectations and demands. By simply being on hand at any time to answer customer queries and assist with buying journeys, retailers will ensure that they are not missing out on conversion opportunities and aren’t damaging customer relationships or discouraging lucrative brand loyalty.

MAKING THE MOST OF THE MOBILE OPPORTUNITY While fashion brands and retailers are continually developing loyalty programmes to recognise, reward and keep customers, a third of UK shoppers are still disappointed in the levels of personalisation in current schemes. Original research in our latest Omniprogress Report shows that, with a typical shopper being part of up to five loyalty schemes on average, fashion retailers must make the most of the mobile opportunity and recognise where digital loyalty can be improved to effectively retain and reward loyal shoppers in an increasingly competitive, omnichannel environment. A great way to deliver against the digital demands of connected consumers is to incorporate mobile personalisation, with as many as 40 per cent of UK shoppers claiming that they would like personalised offers sent directly to their mobile device as they enter a physical store. Additionally, a quarter of consumers said they would benefit from regular incentives and offers being sent direct to their smartphone via an app, which will in turn enable them to claim rewards both online or in-store. As well as personalisation, another key area for refinement is the fragmentation between online and in-store loyalty scheme rewards. Increasingly, shoppers want their loyalty to be rewarded equally across a retailer’s sales channels, as well as being able to redeem the same offers and incentives wherever they shop – be it online or in the store. Yet, almost half of UK consumers (49 per cent) claimed to have missed out on offers by not claiming the reward before it expired. What’s more, 16 per cent of UK consumers said that they often forget to use the loyalty cards in their wallets, meaning further rewards are unused in-store. These results highlight how today’s customers no longer differentiate between channels: they simply choose the channel that is most convenient to them at the time. A mobile-first strategy will enable retailers to connect with consumers on a personal level over a device that’s always to hand, engaging in a conversation where the retailer can understand the loyal customer and actively personalise incentives to suit their needs and interests.

HOW TO MAXIMISE PEAK SHOPPING DAYS Peak periods and shopping days are big business for any retailer. But these large shopping events are skewing normal shopping behaviour as customers wind down their spending and wait for the best prices and offers. Successful retailers start preparing for the ‘hottest’ sales days at least six months in advance. How do you stack up? Your first step should be analysis. Lots of analysis. Any information you can gather to assess the past performance of each product category in your inventory will benefit you during the next peak period. Insight such as sales performance on each marketplace/ channel, sales per hour/day, regional trends, profit margins, warehouse efficiency, shipping speeds and customer satisfaction vs return rates is crucial. This data needs to filter through to your product strategy and merchandise sourcing, enabling you to create stronger marketing campaigns, engage customers in a meaningful way and build targeted offers based on personal preferences. Product listings are crucial for a high quality customer experience. Buyers don’t have the patience to sift through every available offer. Good pictures are extremely important, size information should be visible and positive customer reviews should be proudly displayed. Customer service is equally crucial. Just because it’s a busy period doesn’t mean you can get away with being unresponsive. One-day delivery is quickly becoming an industry standard and retailers that have already made significant investments in this area are increasing their market share rapidly. On your list should be a thorough evaluation of warehouse processes and delivery options. Invest in your logistics to provide quick, free delivery options that customers now favour. Another important aspect to consider is your discount and promotions policy. Knowing in advance what products you expect to sell quickly and their associated profit margins will enable you to prepare ahead of the rush. Even though the UK is one of the largest e-commerce markets in Europe, you shouldn’t ignore the opportunities offered by international markets and their specific peak days. Expanding your business cross-border can avoid the need for heavy discounting during low season. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 - 11


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CELEBRATING INDEPENDENT CHILDRENSWEAR RETAIL CWB Independent Retail Awards 2017 This year marks the third annual CWB Independent Retail Awards, recognising performance and innovation across the childrenswear sector and providing a platform from which to reward excellence in childrenswear stores both old and new. Winners will be chosen by an industry judging panel selected by and including CWB editor Laura Turner, and announced in December. “I am delighted to embark on the third round of CWB Independent Retail Awards CURIOUS ORANJ following the success of the previous years’,” says Turner. “In a time where independent retail is facing so many challenges, not least the uncertainty of Brexit, we hope these industry awards will play some small part in supporting childrenswear independents, flagging up the talent, creativity and innovation that goes into this sector. “I cannot wait to see this year’s line-up of wonderful retailers take their crowns and receive the commendation they deserve.” As well as the prestige of being crowned the best in childrenswear retail, the winners will receive a comprehensive store marketing package and dedicated coverage in CWB magazine, both in print and digitally.


Independent retailers across the UK are invited to nominate their stores for the following categories: BEST KIDS’ INDEPENDENT STORE


The Best Kids’ Independent Store category is open to independent retailers across the UK who solely trade within the children’s apparel, footwear or accessories sectors. Designed to recognise the talent of those who bring the best in branded childrenswear to customers in their local region and beyond, the award will highlight a retailer within the sector which has become a destination store in its own right. —


BEST ONLINE STORE The Best Online Store category is open to independent retailers across the UK who do not have a bricks and mortar shop and trade exclusively online in children’s apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to recognise the talent of those who bring the best in branded childrenswear to customers on a digital level, the award will highlight a retailer who has turned a domain into a destination in its own right. —



The Best Footwear Store category is open to independent retailers across the UK who specialise exclusively in the children’s footwear sector. Designed to recognise the talent of those who bring the best in branded children’s footwear to both parents and children, the award will highlight a retailer with exceptional fitting and customer service as well as an essential offer of footwear brands. —

BEST NEW STORE (LESS THAN TWO YEARS) The Best New Store category is open to independent retailers across the UK who trade solely in children’s apparel, footwear and accessories and have opened within the past two years. Designed to recognise a start-up retailer that has opened since 1 July 2015, the award will highlight the innovation and determination required to launch a successful independent business. —

BEST BABY STORE The Best Baby Store category is open to independent retailers across the UK who specialise exclusively in newborn and baby essentials, including baby clothing, nursery product and maternitywear. Designed to recognise those serving the comprehensive needs of parents and gift buyers, this award will highlight the in-depth knowledge, specialised customer service and complex product mix required to be a success in this field.

HAVING ALL THE FUN A look behind the style of Italian brand Fun&Fun.

The Gio.Fran.Baby organisation was founded in 2001 by Giovanni Catapano who, in line with his family’s tradition, dating back to 1990, decided to create a new kids’ clothing company for 0 to 16 years. Relying upon research and product quality, the company stood out immediately and irresistibly in the market. Gio.Fran.Baby grew rapidly, and today it distributes and produces the Fun&Fun, She.ver, Jey Cat and Marc Ellis New York brands throughout Italy, in Europe and worldwide. Company Profile The Fun&Fun brand’s success in national and foreign markets stems from its quality and specific character, while its brand image is strengthened thanks to its attendance at Pitti Bimbo in Florence. The brand has improved over the years – strong styling and quality products have enabled Fun&Fun and She.ver to capture the attention of the public, who have appreciated the peculiarities and features of this innovative product. Fun&Fun, She.ver and the other brands are stocked in some of the most prestigious Italian boutiques and partnerships with some of its best customers were created by establishing dedicated corners and, at the same time, building the foundations for franchise, single-brand shops. Furthermore, the company has brought together a skilful management team to support Giovanni Catapano in creating a solid structure in order to distribute the brand at an international level. At present, Fun&Fun has more than 1,000 sales points in Italy and abroad: in Spain, Portugal, Germany, United Kingdom, Middle East, Morocco, in addition to Russia, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States. The Brand’s Philosophy Fun&Fun tastefully interprets a fresh style full of joy and amusement. The brand includes three different product lines: New Born, Baby, Girls and Boys, dedicated to the respective age groups. The strong points of Fun&Fun style are its attention to detail, the use of refined and precious accessories and bold and brilliant colours. Graphic and delicate motifs feature on the New Born and Baby lines, while fresher and more modern prints characterise the Girls line, and trendy and bold designs the Boys line. She.Ver dresses up girls throughout the day, in the morning at school, during leisure time and for special occasions with a modern, metropolitan look. The collection is complemented by matching accessories and footwear. The New Born and Baby collections are developed around the same ideas, softened and enriched by a more romantic theme Behind the Brand Giovanni Catapano, in addition to being the owner and head of Gio.Fran. Baby, represents above all the company’s core. Over time, he has been able to create an increasingly more organised team: designers, pattern-makers, art directors, tailors, graphic designers and product managers support him daily in producing the collections. Fairs and Distribution In addition to its presence in the various national and international markets, supported by the best distribution means, Fun&Fun attends the most important industry fairs: Pitti Bimbo in Florence, Kleine Fabric in Amsterdam, Bubble in London, CPM in Moscow, Baby Expo in Kiev and Chic in Beijing, without leaving aside the ENK Children Club in New York City. New Plans New plans include targeted growth in the retail sector with the opening of new sales points in Italy, the creation of a development plan to strengthen the foreign markets where the Fun&Fun brand is already well-known, and expansion to fast-growing economical-geographic areas such as Brazil and Australia.

WELDON AGENCIES Andrew Weldon Tel: 01704 576033


RETAIL THERAPY We reveal our favourite independent boutiques as well as news and store events from the world of childrenswear retail.

HOME AND KIDS 121 Lee Road, Blackheath, London Back in 2008, Maritza Masiello opened her first shop in Hither Green, London, where she spent five years trading before closing to concentrate on her online business. However, missing the buzz of being in-store, Masiello sought another site in 2015 and opened a shop in London’s Blackheath. Today, Home and Kids specialises in gifts for all of the family, but this wasn’t always the case. The product offer has evolved over time, with the initial focus being purely on kids’ brands. As Masiello’s own children have grown-up, so has her stock range, resulting in today’s wider family lifestyle offer. For kids, the shop carries newborn and children’s gifts as well as decor and accessories from brands such as A Lovely Little Company, Design Letters DK, Donna Wilson, Amy & Ivor, Lara & Ollie, Rock Me Kids, Wee Gallery and Sewheart Felt to name but a few. It isn’t just the product range that has developed over time, though, so has Home and Kids’ retail concept. The Blackheath premises Masiello took on in 2015 had been a restaurant in a previous life, and with the landlord keen to keep that licence going, Masiello agreed to open the shop complete with an in-house cafe serving tea, coffee, cakes and a brunch menu. In addition to the café, Masiello hosts in-store workshops, which are all run in collaboration with local creatives. For kids, there are holiday craft events during the day and for grown-ups, evening workshops and even supper nights, including one occasion run by a famous local chef. Despite being a juggle, Masiello has found the evening events to be extremely valuable, providing shopping opportunities for those customers unable to get to the store during the day. With so many exciting components to Home and Kids, Masiello is set to begin work with a branding consultant in September, with the aim being to cohesively unite the various components of her business.



MON POTE 177-179 North Street, Bristol Anna Clements opened her Bristol lifestyle store for grown-ups and kids in April 2014, swapping a career as an intellectual property lawyer and part-owner of cafe, for a more family-friendly option. The result is a colourful shop designed to capture children’s imaginations whilst offering parents something unique on the local high street. Mon Pote carries a range of kids’ lifestyle product with a focus on decor, gifts, books, toys, baby, stationery and party from brands such as Meri Meri, A Little Lovely Company, Noodoll, Lapin & Me, Mama Designs, Olli Ella, Play and Go, House of Disaster and Sunny Life Australia. Plans are to grow both the retail and online arms of the business, with Clements currently looking for new premises for the kids’ store to enable the expansion of the range, particularly in kids’ decor.

FEATHER AND NEST 26 High Street, Wallingford, Oxfordshire Established in 2015, Feather and Nest is a home decor and lifestyle accessories emporium. Owner Angela Dobson brings extensive experience to her business, having worked as a buyer for over 20 years for retailers such as Laura Ashley, Next, BHS and Waitrose. Housed in a listed building with open fireplaces, oak beams and exposed brick walls, Feather and Nest offers children’s gifts including socks, tights, hair accessories, bags, jewellery, cushions, bamboo melamine, party decorations, stationery and books from brands such as Meri Meri, Catherine Tough, Sass & Belle and Dobson also has her own collection of cacti and succulents called Wild & Green. Plans include opening a second store within the next two years.


GIVENCHY KIDS LAUNCHES AT CHILDRENSALON Childrensalon, the online retailer for children’s designer fashion, has launched the first collection from Givenchy Kids as its exclusive UK stockist online. The Givenchy Kids collection features 125 designs and offers a modern and curated “mini-me” line for 0-12 years. “Givenchy has been one of the most influential French fashion houses throughout time and we are incredibly excited about this wonderful collaboration,” says Michele Harriman-Smith, Childrensalon’s CEO.

MARSHES & FLINT Founded in March, online boutique Marshes & Flint – The Little Lifestyle Store, is owned by Didi Fenwick and Becky Lavender. The duo keenly support local designers and have brought many on board alongside favourite international labels. Covering clothing, accessories, toys, partyware, gifts, homewares and baby goods, just some of the brands stocked include aden + anais, Belle Enfant, Buddy + Bear, Fanny & Alexander, Jax & Hedley, Konges Sløjd, Little Hotdog Watson, Meri Meri, Nor-Folk, Organic Zoo, Ostheimer, Fabel Heart and My Little Cozmo. Marshes & Flint also offers parties and party planning as well as operating as a pop-up shop.

COST OF ENERGY THREATENS BRITAIN’S INDIES A new survey has shown over half of UK micro-businesses, including independent retailers, feel the rising cost of energy is threatening their future. The report, commissioned by independent energy supplier Utilita, revealed that 45 per cent of micro-business have been asked to make large upfront payments, 31 per cent are on a high tariff because they are seen as a credit risk, 21 per cent have been turned down by an energy supplier and 71 per cent have been caught out by unexpected T&Cs.



Lifestyle brand Cath Kidston, which offers ranges for women, home, kids and babies, is moving its Guildford store to the new Tunsgate Quarter retail and restaurant development in the centre of the town. Cath Kidston has taken a 1,770 sq ft unit in the new development, which will open in October, offering 18 retail shops and eight restaurants.

A new upsized River Island regional flagship store is set to launch at centre:mk, Milton Keynes. Due to open in time for Christmas, it will be double the existing unit size, at 20,000 sq ft, and will carry the brand’s full range of menswear, womenswear and children’s fashion ranges.

CARD PAYMENTS OVERTAKE CASH The British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) annual Payments Survey has revealed that, for the very first time, the volume of retail purchases made by card now accounts for more than half of all customer transactions. The shift is partly driven by UK customers increasingly using cards for lower value payments as well as retailers’ investment in payment technology, which has facilitated greater customer choice over how they pay for goods both instore and online. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 - 15




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


01: G. NANCY


Australian sleepwear label G. Nancy offers organic and ethically made long and short pyjama sets and nighties for children aged three months through to 10 years. Timeless design and durability are some of the label’s core values, alongside a muted colour palette and enchanting, illustrative prints. All G. Nancy pyjamas are made from locally knitted GOTS-certified organic cotton jersey, printed with the softest water-based inks and manufactured within Australia. Available in the UK via Little Icons childrenswear agency. Wholesale prices ¤15-25. /

Established in Melbourne, Australia, in late 2016, new children’s shoe brand Anchor & Fox launched its first collection to market in March. Created by a mother of two, it provides vintage-inspired styles such as T-bar shoes and brogue boots targeted towards ages 1-5 years. Available in a variety of colours, all of the brand’s shoes are produced from genuine cow leather and feature the Anchor & Fox logo on the insole. Plans for the brand include establishing UK stockists and potentially expanding into clothing, offering a small number of boutique pieces each season.






05: WOLF & SON

New British adults’ sleepwear brand Great & Small Clothing has launched a coordinating junior brand named Tinies. Now catering for the whole family, Great & Small Clothing taps into the popular twinning trend with its pyjamas for 18 months up to extra-large adult sizes. For added gift appeal, the Tinies collection also includes bibs and blankets. In terms of design inspiration, the brand embraces woodland and nature themes, with foxes, bears and squirrels all featuring. For the festive season, it has teamed with the multi-award winning toy Elf for Christmas to create Christmas Eve pyjamas. Wholesale prices on request.

Launched for a/w 17, Wonderers is a new British childrenswear brand for boys and girls aged 3-10 years. The label’s heart and soul is in knitwear and fun yet sophisticated use of colour, with designs including pop colours and playful stitches. All of the knits, which include jumpers, cardigans, jumper dresses and scarves, are made in the UK using 100 per cent natural fibres and no blends. In order to cement itself as the go-to brand for knitwear, Wonderers is jumping straight to a/w 18 for its second collection, which will also include lighter jersey everyday pieces. The first summer collection will be released for s/s 19. Wholesale prices £20-£52.

Rooted in family heritage and quality craftsmanship, Portuguese men’s footwear brand Wolf & Son was established in 2013, introducing a junior line for boys in 2015. Styles in the Junior line are identical to the men’s, produced with the same raw materials and construction techniques across Classic, Signature, Casual and Sport ranges. Available in sizes 28-39 EUR, there are approximately 10 different junior shoe models per collection, all available in a colour palette of up to six different tones. Key styles – all named after wolf breeds – include the Albus leather Oxford, Pallipes toecap ankle boot and Lycaon hi-top boots. Wholesale prices on request. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 - 17


TWENTY QUESTIONS WITH... Anna Swift, director of Cooshoo in Birmingham, and winner of the Best Footwear Store category in the CWB Independent Retail Awards 2016. —

What’s an average day in your job? We still feel pretty new to this business; we’re learning all the time and pushing forward to make it the best that it can be while meeting customers’ needs, so I wouldn’t say there is an average day. I could be fitting shoes, researching and crafting the next marketing campaign, analysing figures, reviewing new products or designing next season’s window display. Recently, I’ve been focused on rebranding Cooshoo, developing a new website and EPOS system and visiting schools to showcase our range of school shoes. How did you get into retailing? I’ve worked for myself previously in children’s health, but when I set out on my career path, I never thought I’d be in retail. I’ve trained in interior design, so I appreciate good quality and well designed products, and basically wanted to bring a better offer of children’s footwear to the West Midlands. What do you love most about your job? The children, who can be fascinating and hilarious even when they are grumpy. And the challenge of growing a business.

company. Setting up a new business in an area we’ve never worked in and where there has been no history of shopping for footwear anywhere other than Clarks, has been pretty difficult. It’s taken time to build a true customer base. There’s been so much to learn, but it is interesting how you can draw on previous experience, apply it to a new profession and see the results.

What makes a great customer? One that accepts there isn’t a standard sizing of shoes, makes decisions based on fit (not just how the shoes look), and those that buy four pairs of footwear and then come back the next quarter and do the same.

How did you decide on the shop name? It took us months to name our children and the shop was no different. We created a huge list and narrowed it down to Nushoo or Cooshoo. Nushoo would have used the first syllables of our eldest daughter’s name (Nuala) but we didn’t want our youngest (Doris) to feel left out. So we liked that Coo, as in you ‘coo’ over something, rhymes nicely with shoo.

And the worst? I don’t know – whatever advice you’re given, ultimately it’s up to you to take it.

Do you have a business mentor? Six months ago I applied for and was accepted to the Entrepreneurial Spark Programme, which supports new businesses to accelerate growth. As part of the programme, you have a dedicated coach who challenges your thinking about your business and capabilities. The programme has been invaluable in helping us reflect on Cooshoo’s model and as a result, we’ve clarified and driven forward a number of areas of the business. Which independents do you admire? Katie Fisher, owner of Honest Skin Care. She’s not only made her own brand but her own natural skincare products from scratch, she has a beautiful store and sells worldwide. We often meet up to discuss current challenges. Which are your favourite kids’ brands? Bobux and Dr. Martens. Whilst they are very different, they are both amazingly well designed with clear and distinct branding. If you launched a brand, what would it be? I’ve not thought that far ahead, yet…

And your least favourite? Doing the accounts. What motivates your work? Moving things forward to build our brand is what drives us. We see customer experience, good products, marketing and networking as the core elements of the business and there is always something new to learn and try in these areas. From the moment we decided to set up as an independent we really believed in what we were offering people and we’re continually striving to improve each element of the

What would your dream store include? There’s now clearly a real role for interactive games, both in-store and online – for all ages groups. We have ideas around that, which are in development, but as yet it’s pretty costly. What’s your strangest customer request? Not really a request, but we have one toddler and the only way we get him to test his shoes is to let him have the sweeping brush, which he pushes around the store quite happily.

Best footwear store Independent REtail Awards




in association with CWB Magazine. #wearthecrown

Best piece of business advice? You have to try it to know whether it works.

Anything you wish you’d known before opening? The brands that would work for our prospective customers and those that wouldn’t. What is your greatest career achievement? Being adaptable and staying positive. When I left university, a stable career for life was still the norm but it’s definitely not nowadays. I meet more people with several hats now, like Tom from Moozi Digital who is currently redeveloping our website. He lives round the corner from me and is one of our customers. He’s a stay at home dad most days, digital guru of an evening and the rest of the time a musician playing all over the world. My career’s not quite as glamorous, I started life as a youth worker – useful for toddler tantrums – then worked for the Department of Health and Regional Government on child health issues before training as an interior designer and starting Cooshoo. Where do you find inspiration? My husband, music, art, design – particularly architecture – and there’s just no shortage of inspiration around us from nature, from the back garden to trips abroad. Kings Heath, where we live, is pretty diverse so there’s always something going on to trigger the imagination. We’re really not that embedded in fashion, but we know good design, we have a keen radar for what our customers like, and on the whole, that’s working for us so far. Where do you see Cooshoo in five years’ time? With a thriving online presence and expanded to at least another two physical stores. What difference has being a CWB Independent Retail Award winner made? To be the winner of the Best Footwear category really strengthens our brand. We’re so proud of the award. SPONSORED BY:

Jewellery and Keepsakes

Come see us at International Jewellery London at Olympia 3rd - 5th Sept 2017 Stand E70

For trade enquiries contact t: 01376 532000 | e: | w:

10—12 September 2017 Olympia, London

CHILDREN’S ADVENTURES Explore the unique worlds of Top Drawer, expertly curated to inspire your buying. With over 1,500 design-led brands, it’s the only destination for creative retailers to source irresistible new products.




ATTENTION TO DETAIL CWB’s pick of kids’ accessories. — SASS & BELLE q Sass & Belle specialises in thoughtfully designed accessories and decorations for boys and girls. The aim of the brand is to bring bold and fun design to functional everyday items, all whilst keeping a stylish sophistication to complement the home. From wild animal bags through to a colourful selection of bookends and bento boxes, the focus is on detailed and intricately drawn illustrations on high-quality products.

STICKY LEMON p The Sticky Lemon collection includes backpacks, drawstring bags, duffle bags and small accessories, such as pencil cases, socks, temporary tattoos and embroidered pins. Quirky, colourful and bold, all with a nod to retro influences, Sticky Lemon combines colour blocking with patterns and illustrations, renewing its colour combinations seasonally.

D FOR DIAMOND u The D for Diamond jewellery range from Gecko offers 100 designs for children, from birth to pre-teen. Pieces include earrings, bracelets, pendants, necklets, rings and watches, all manufactured in rhodium-plated sterling silver and/or yellow and rose gold vermeil. Many pieces include a small diamond, while others feature pearls or brightly coloured enamels. Motifs such as angel wings, hearts and emojis all feature, as well as pieces with a cartoon comic aesthetic to appeal to older children. Many designs include tags on which dates and initials can be engraved to meet the popular trend for personalisation. The collection is also backed by an attractive catalogue for use at the POS, while branded packaging makes it ideal for gifts to mark special occasions in a child’s life.



MIMI & LULA t Mimi & Lula is a new London-based kids’ accessories brand for 3-10 years offering bags, hair accessories, jewellery, dress-up and a soon-to-be stationery range. The styling of the range is “deliberately diverse” to reflect the varied tastes and style choices of young girls. Providing 120 options, expect to find everything from sequin-covered wings and pom-pom necklaces through to glittery dinosaur bags. Also key are everyday hair clips designed to stay in all day and a range of gift-led sterling silver and 14k gold-plated jewellery packaged in branded boxes.



BILLY LOVES AUDREY p Australian accessories brand Billy Loves Audrey is represented in the UK by childrenswear agency Solobi. Catering for boys and girls from six months to six years, it offers socks, tights, hats, scarfs, handbags, purses and hair accessories. Lovingly designed in Melbourne, reflecting a magical world of adventure and play, each collection sees Woodland Animals and characters come alive. Embellishments range from stick-up ears and pom-poms through to sequins, linen glitter and tulle sparkles, all combined with the theatre of play. /

The Pop Cutie brand of jewellery and gifts features Danish design inspired by the Harajuku style in Japan. The collection includes necklaces, rings, hairclips and headbands as well as stationery gift packs. Pop Cutie is represented in the UK by childrenswear agency, Vida Kids. /

ROCKAHULA KIDS t Founded and designed in the UK, kids’ boutique accessory brand Rockahula Kids offers quirky, high quality products designed with a childlike sense of fun and playfulness. Catering for both boys and girls, the collection includes hair accessories, jewellery, bags, sun glasses and sun hats incorporating everything from glittery unicorns and dinosaurs through to pom-poms and knits.



TITLEE u Titlee, which means butterfly in Indian, offers delicate and quirky jewellery for children and adults. Made entirely by hand in Paris, collections are brought to life by teams of expert welders, enamellers and gilders. The jewellery is gold plated, making it allergy safe and skin kind, with the kids’ collection including pins, bracelets and necklaces from age five years, and many of the designs also available in adult sizes. Trade customers can benefit from the brand’s plywood and paper-cut displays to help merchandise the collections in-store. /


LOOLA & GOO Friends Louise Harlen (Loola) and Julia Baker (Goo) are the creators of girls’ accessories brand Loola & Goo. The duo’s first wholesale collection is largely inspired by the theatricality of Roaring 20s flapper girls and includes crowns, flapper hairbands, motif hairbands and ostrich feather tippets in a colour palette of gold, teal, pink, ivory, plum, mint and peach.



The Little Lovely collection includes a series of lightboxes, unique word banners, garlands, neon lights, items for children’s rooms, seasonal home decorations and kids’ bags in a choice of enchanting designs. The Big Backpack features a number of pockets, including two side pockets, making it ideal for children’s daily needs. Made from a sturdy material, it is lined with nylon and has adjustable shoulder straps. The Mini Backpack also has adjustable shoulder straps as well as an extra front pocket for smaller items and a main pouch big enough to hold a school lunch and snacks or pyjamas and a toothbrush for a sleepover. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 - 23




BARN OF MONKEYS CWB learns more about the winner of this season’s Bubble London Rising Star award for the show’s best launch brand. Portugal-based Barn of Monkeys is a creative fashion brand for children and teenagers aged 2-16 years. It’s a company with solid social and cultural values, seeking to create outstanding, long-lasting garments using nothing but the best fabrics made with high-quality, GOTS-certified, organic raw materials. Part of what makes Barn of Monkeys so unique is its urge to make a statement and provide exclusive pieces with a meaning: clothing that lasts longer and shouts out for gender standardisation. Describing themselves as “out-of-the-box thinkers”, the brand’s founders are passionate creatives with 15 years of industry experience and the drive to create a kids’ brand that would speak the language of the new generation whilst also engaging parents. It is this combination of commercial awareness and artistic integrity that led the company to apply for Bubble London s/s 18. “When it came to presenting our brand and first collection to the world, we wanted to be as close as possible to the best of the kids’ fashion market,” says Cláudia Senra, who heads-up Barn of Monkey’s international expansion and business development. “Bubble London is attended by retailers from across the globe and it’s a great honour to have been one of the brands accepted to show at this season’s edition. London is one of the world’s fashion capitals and, we believe, the perfect place to debut Barn of Monkeys.” Titled Demand the Impossible, Barn of Monkey’s s/s 18 collection is inspired by the celebrated Jules Verne novel, Around the World in 80 Days, where character Phileas Fogg travels around the world in order to win a bet and prove that anything is possible, as long as you can imagine it. “We believe that inspiration is the best gift grown-ups have to offer future generations, encouraging them to explore the limits of their creative minds and do something extraordinary,” continues Senra. “More than a collection, we also want to present a new concept of sustainable fashion, using the best GOTS-certified organic cotton and appealing to the sense of social responsibility we all owe to the environment.” Sophisticated and minimalistic in design, the collection includes neutral styles to appeal to both boys and girls, as well as some pieces created specifically for each gender. Influenced by three primary stages of Phileas’ trip, the first look takes inspiration from travelling through the skies, the second from sailing the seven seas and the third from exploring earthy grounds. Abstract printed patterns help illustrate the stories, while a carefully considered colour palette reflects the earth, air and water themes, ranging from shades of blue through to rose and yellow tones. Going above and beyond to make a strong first impression for their Bubble debut, the multi-lingual Barn of Monkeys team were on hand to ensure that all buyers’ questions could be answered. The brand wants to be close to its customers, get to know them better and, ultimately, understand their needs to provide the best possible service. As well as the obvious draw of the collection, Barn of Monkey’s stand at Bubble also played a part in engaging visitors, attracting buyers with its artful decoration, eco-friendly furniture, tailored accessories and customised gifts. Commenting on the process of establishing the label, Senra concludes, “Launching a brand from scratch requires sleepless nights, a tireless team and, of course, years of experience in the fashion world helps. A fashion collection is a work of art, with many creators who think alike and aspire to inspire. “The most difficult part of the process is deciding what kind of message you want to convey through the clothes, and building all of the communications accordingly. Beyond that, trying to create garments suitable for such a wide age range and which will please both parents and youngsters in a world where new trends are created every day – that was a real challenge.” Barn of Monkeys will showcase its a/w 18 collection at next season’s Bubble London on 28-29 January 2018 at the Business Design Centre, Islington.



SHINING STARS CWB reveals the best-selling styles of Bubble’s footwear offer this season. —

BORN BESPOKE MOCCSTARS Moccstars enjoyed a successful debut at Bubble last month, and was awarded the accolade of being the winner of the Bubble Stand Out competition. The brand welcomed a lot of interest across its entire range of handmade leather moccasins, with its Mother of Pearl classic pumps, in particular, capturing the attention of spring buyers.

Born Bespoke showcased a range of handmade and customisable soft, leather baby shoes at this season’s Bubble, stealing the show with its fun, animal-inspired designs in particular. The Fox and Flamingo creations attracted attention from buyers across the board, as well as the cute Deer Fawn style (pictured).



Koh transcends the footwear and gift sectors with its range of perfectly-formed espadrilles, designed to be kept for ever as a memento of baby’s first shoes. Sunny Day was the style most in demand at Bubble, selected by buyers thanks to its premium white leather upper, sweet golden detailing and modern-day twist on the classic Mediterranean espadrille silhouette.

Cienta Kids made an impact on a number of levels, with its innovative range of berry-scented footwear. The brand’s Liberty of London print was a particular favourite, available in a classic T-Bar design, with all the eco-friendly and machine-washable attributes that are fast-becoming the brand’s signatures.



SCHOLL KIDS Scholl Kids needed little introduction when it debuted at Bubble last month. Buyers were already familiar with the brand’s anatomical footbed designs, arch support and signature natural cork finish. Its new spring designs were an inspiration, however, in particular the military-inspired Airbag Kid for boys, and the Doremy Kid for girls (pictured).

CHILDRENCHIC Childrenchic made an impression on its arrival at Bubble, unveiling shoes handmade in Spain in contemporary designs. The double Velcro sneakers in bright blue soft suede and red canvas were the brand’s bestseller, proving that on-trend chic doesn’t have to be at the expense of comfort.

TERM FOOTWEAR Term Footwear arrived at Bubble London with a range of school shoes and wellies designed for all-day wear. The brand’s durable leather styles clearly impressed at the show, although its hardwearing yet pretty patent style was a particular winner, thanks to its appealing design for children and parents alike.



With its vegetable-dyed, eco-leather upper, extremely soft construction, eye-catching metallic finish and organic gift packaging, the Blumoo bow crib shoes ticked all the boxes at this season’s Bubble. The style, which is available up to 18 months, helped put Easy Peasy firmly on the radar of buyers at the exhibition.

Habitat is a new addition to Bobux’s s/s 18 collection, and proved a popular choice with both existing and new customers. The style is part of the brand’s Street range, and is available in three colours across all three stages; Step Up, I-Walk and Kid+.








SHOW STOPPERS CWB’s product picks from Bubble London SS18


















MODA FOOTWEAR 6-8 August, NEC Birmingham Moda Footwear returns to the NEC with a range of inspiring styles for little feet. Head for dedicated platform Mini Moda for specialist children’s collections, and don’t miss the kids’ ranges within the wider offer of Moda Footwear.

BOBUX t Bobux is renowned worldwide for its super-soft styles for little feet, and this season sees the brand diversify beyond its core offer to include new collaborations and striking metallic finishes. The brand is a specialist when it comes to pre-walkers and toddler styles, but actually offers a wide range up to school age and beyond. Stand I58.


IPANEMA u Characterised by the spirit of its native Brazil, Ipanema is bold, bright and a must-see collection for kids this s/s 18. The brand only uses the most flexible of materials for growing feet, adapting all of its signature comfort properties for boys and girls in sizes infant 4 to 4. Stand H30.



Superfit is strongly committed to producing styles that aid the healthy development of children’s feet. With 70 years of experience, the Austrian label is well-versed in creating footwear that parents trust and children want to wear, and this season sees the brand return to Moda with a comprehensive collection for both school and weekend wear. Stand G40.


The family favourite is located within the main area of Moda Footwear, but there are plenty of reasons for childrenswear buyers to venture beyond Mini Moda to discover what the lifestyle label has to offer. The brand will show directly to consumers for the first time this season – having previously shown via a distributor – and will unveil a wide range of children’s styles on its signature moulded footbed. Stand F10.


FRODDO t Froddo is firmly established as favourite among children’s footwear buyers, thanks to its high quality materials, handmade production methods and 70 years of design heritage. The Croatian brand introduces new prints and colours this s/s 18, including striking lime green, baby pink, blue patent and tropical prints, along with a larger selection of sandals for summer. Stand H41.

PABLOSKY p Making its Mini Moda debut this season, Pablosky is a leading children’s label with a widely established global presence. The brand arrives at Mini Moda from Spain with a collection entirely made in its native country, with a strong focus on cutting-edge technology to keep each style ahead of its game. Stand H60.



New to Moda Footwear this season, Unisa arrives from Spain with a comprehensive collection for women and girls. In particular, the brand will unveil a range of Mum & Me styles, designed to appeal to a wide range of consumers, and offering a wealth of in-store merchandising potential. Stand G38.


XTI p Spanish favourite XTi is a regular at Moda Footwear, offering a comprehensive range of styles for the entire family. Expect to see a wide range of on-trend sneakers for boys and girls this season, in eye-catching metallic finishes and a light palette suited to the summer months. Stand I30.


Ren But is one of the leading Polish manufacturers of children’s footwear, producing textile shoes, leather shoes, rain boots and snow boots. Each design is marked with a Healthy Foot certificate and with OEKO-TEX ® Standard 100 – guaranteeing that they are free from harmful substances – and all offer anti-bacterial properties, breathable soles and shock-absorbing insoles. The brand’s debut at Mini Moda marks its arrival in the UK. Stand I42.



TOP DRAWER A/W17 Curated lifestyle show Top Drawer is set to present its A/W17 edit on 10-12 September at Olympia, London, which includes a showcase of children’s gifts ranging from toys and games through to clothes and accessories. Here’s CWB’s pick from the line-up. — u

TOO MANY PJS Too Many PJs is an innovative children’s brand residing in the Spotted sector of the show. Created for expectant and new parents with an eye for style, it offers ethically made playtime accessories for children, produced from environmentally friendly materials and of a quality and design level to match the rest of the home. The A/W17 collection is inspired by leading a slow lifestyle, with a colour palette based on natural elements. Spotted, Stand SP99 q

BLADE & ROSE Blade & Rose returns to Top Drawer this season showcasing its new A/W17 collection. Alongside its iconic leggings, tops and socks, the children’s fashion brand has more on offer than ever before, including new sock shoes and toddlers’ and babies’ wellies featuring tie-up laces to ensure a practical, comfortable and extra secure fit to boot. Gift, Stand U40


STITCH & STORY Top Drawer A/W17 will play host to the launch of an exclusive collaboration between premium craft gifts company Stitch & Story and global baby brand Sophie la Girafe. Sharing the same values – timeless, nostalgic and friendly – the new knitted collection includes booties, a giraffe hat and blankets, all bearing the Sophie la Girafe logo and presented in Stitch and Story’s bow kit bag. Gift, Stand N37




ADEN + ANAIS Joining the Top Drawer roster this September is muslin specialist aden + anais, which is set to present its new collection of signature muslins, swaddles and sleepbags. Breathability, softness, durability and versatility are just some of the benefits of the brand’s high-quality product range. Gift, Stand U35


WILDFIRE TEEPEES New to Top Drawer is Wildfire Teepees with its collection of toys and home accessories. In addition to the original teepees, mix and match play mats, bean bags and toy storage bags, a new season luxury jersey collection of children’s sleep essentials features. Using its trademark monochrome prints alongside the new Dash print and charcoal marl, the collection comprises 100 per cent cotton baby blankets, sleeping bags and fitted cot sheets. Gift, Stand U30


POCO NIDO Poco Nido returns to Top Drawer with its limited edition children’s clothing and footwear, all designed in its Sheffield studio. New prints for the brand’s mini shoes include a garden gnome, flying mallards, mice and autumnal leaves alongside plain colour options such as olive green, faded denim and shell pink. Made from 100 per cent cotton with a suede sole and hidden elastic for extra comfort, mini shoes are available in sizes EU 17-22 from 3-6 months. Gift, Stand S37


Style GUIDE:

JOULES Girls’ waterfall utility coat £27.50

RAIN CHECK: CWB’s pick of rainwear to brighten the cloudiest day.

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale

MINI A TURE Hummingbird print raincoat £16.40

GOSOAKY Unisex rain jacket Jackets from ¤25-¤33 34 - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017

FRUGI Explorer waterproof coat in recycled polyester £29.50

SQUIDKIDS Colour changing starfish raincoat Price on request










01: HIBOU HOME Organic cotton Portraits Cushion – Dog Price on request

02: CRIBSTAR Tumblers and mugs £3.50 each; sippy cups, plates, bowls and cutlery set £4 each

03: LIEWOOD Wooden friends Price on request

04: RICE Kids’ sequin bear mask £1.80

05: THE TINY UNIVERSE Ballerina swimsuit Price on request

06: MINENE Be A Voice Not An Echo snuggly blanket £4

Unless stated otherwise all prices are wholesale AUGUST/SEPTEMBER2017 - 35

Children’s shoes


NEC Birmingham Stand H41 Hall 17 6 - 8 August 2017

UK Distributor: Ltd E: M: +44 (0)7796 766669 T: +44 (0)1707 888388

With the market moving to a more modern tailored cut, make sure you don’t miss the trend. Switch to the David Luke senior range with stylish fitted eco-jackets and slim fit trousers - approved by both parents and fashion-conscious teens.

School approved senior styles.

New Ultra slim fit boys senior trouser Introducing the new ultra slim boys senior trousers (DL955) for back to school 2017. We’ve listened to the market and further slimmed down our Senior slim fit trousers, complementing and growing our trouser range.

The best styles and fit for today’s market.

• Available in black & grey • Sizes (even sizes only) – waist 26” to 36” regular length – waist 28” to 36” long length

• Limited stock available for back to school 2017 • Same great durable eco fabric as all our trousers

Order today for back to school delivery whilst stocks last at or to request a sample for 2018 delivery, call 0161 272 7474.

Durability in mind. Ethics at heart.


39: News

46: Laura Turner speaks to Emma Robertson, head of design at BMB.



Schoolwear NEWS:


The latest news from the schoolwear industry. THE MAGIC TOUCH TEAMS UP WITH REGATTA

UK outdoor clothing brand Regatta and the Regatta Professional team recently collaborated with image transfer experts The Magic Touch to research the best options to decorate Regatta’s growing range of jackets and garments. Whilst embroidery is, and remains, an option for outdoor products, there is growing demand for full colour logos, personalisation, lower order sizes and quicker turnaround. There is also the issue of selected garments no longer being 100 per cent waterproof when penetrated by embroidery needles. A key factor established during the research was the importance of avoiding any marking or scorching whilst applying transfers using the traditional heat press method. With many of the new polyester and performance fabrics being very sensitive to heat and pressure, this issue was resolved with application temperatures as low as 110-120°C. —


ROWLINSON EMPLOYEE SHORTLISTED FOR IIP AWARD Nicola Ryan, head of people services at Rowlinson Knitwear, has been shortlisted in The People’s Award for Manager of the year category in the Investors in People (IIP) Awards 2017. Nominated for being an “exemplary ambassador for Rowlinson”, Ryan is responsible for the metamorphosis of the company’s HR into an outstanding People Services function. Overseeing IIP Gold and Workplace Wellbeing Charter reaccreditations and a Rising Star EO award, her impact on results include employee satisfaction up from 34 per cent to 100 per cent; expected turnover £13m in 2017; profits up from £200,000 to over £1.5m and customer satisfaction at 98 per cent. Ryan is also the figurehead of the company’s apprentice scheme and in preparation for growth introduced Rowlinson’s first management programme in 2016. An awards event announcing the winner will take place in London in late November. —

UNIFORM ADDITIONS GENERATES FUNDS FOR SCHOOLS In light of cuts to school funding from the government, school hair accessories brand Uniform Additions has developed a concept to help parents fundraise for their children’s schools. When a school signs up with Uniform Additions, it is provided with a unique discount code to share with parents on Uniform Additions’ website. For every purchase made on using the unique code, the brand will donate 20 per cent back to the school. The Uniform Additions range includes hair clips, hair ties, head bands and basic hair accessories, all available in a choice of 15 school uniform colours. —

— King Edward VI School in Morpeth, Northumberland, is returning to a uniform of blazers and ties in September, a tradition previously held by the school. The change was approved following consultation with staff, parents and students. Head teacher Mark Simpson welcomes the decision, confident that it will set standards and promote equality.

Manchester schoolwear supplier David Luke has partnered with local children’s charity Wood Street Mission on its flagship SmartStart Back to School project, which supports children living below the poverty line. David Luke’s contribution to the project is providing 2,500 children with uniform and other school necessities in time for the new school year. The uniform will be distributed through a home delivery scheme and Back to School shop, which opens for two weeks in August. There will also be two pop-up shops held in community venues in Gorton and Eccles, both areas of high child poverty. In addition to providing the charity with logistical help to deliver the project, and volunteers to run the Back to School shop, David Luke has made a £1,000 donation to SmartStart to mark the start of the new partnership and is organising fundraising activities. —

TRUTEX CONTINUES ANTI-BULLYING CAMPAIGN As part of Trutex’s anti-bullying campaign #bTRU2u and its support of The Diana Award anti-bullying ambassadors’ programme, the company has commissioned research from 1,318 teachers, parents and pupils on their attitudes to school uniforms. Key findings from the study include nine out of ten teachers believing school uniforms play an active role in reducing bullying, with 95 per cent saying it helps students “fit in”. Two thirds of parents think wearing a school uniform puts students on a level playing field and makes their lives easier. And, while six out of 10 children aged 6-15 years preferred to wear their own clothes, nearly half admit a uniform does reduce bullying. Children in the first year of secondary school, meanwhile, prefer wearing uniform so they don’t stand out. —

— New school footwear brand Term Footwear has launched a filmed advert to promote its Back to School collection. Highlights from its range of Chromium free shoes, which are available in a choice of designs and fastenings, include an extensive size range, double-dyed leather to maintain appearance and insoles designed for all-day wear. A range of warm, high quality wellies with a roll-top, removable sock are also available.

— As part of a new ‘positive behaviour’ policy, Merchants’ Academy in Bristol is making pupils wear signs around their necks stating “I have 24 hours to sort out my uniform” if what they are wearing does not meet regulations. Examples of breached uniform policy have included wearing brightly coloured headbands and shoes that appear too shiny.




Jerzees Schoolgear offers outstanding quality, choice, lifetime value, availability and standards of ethical production. Smart, durable, comfortable and designed for decoration – that’s why Jerzees Schoolgear by Russell Europe is A CLASS ABOVE. COME AND VISIT US on the PenCarrie stand at the Schoolwear Show and collect your limited edition School bag packed with Russell Schoolgear information and samples.





‘Made for the adventure of learning’. Charles Kirk both manufactures and supplies premium stock and specialised knitwear, sweatshirts and accessories that can be embroidered or printed in-house or at source. Tel: 01903 244863 Email:

David Luke are a leading supplier of School Uniform and Sportswear to retailers throughout the UK. With a focus on products with Eco credentials that make a difference environmentally through the supply chain, we have Durability in mind. Ethics at heart. Tel: 0161 272 7474 Email:



Brand quality school sportswear, without any branding! Selling to the schoolwear reseller only, all available from UK stock with no minimum order. Our core iGen PE kit is available in 10 stock colour combinations. Tel: 01619272565 Email:




BMB is launching an innovative suiting collection, a new contemporary outerwear jacket, and exciting new additions to the APTUS performance sportswear range. In addition to its extensive high quality stock supported ranges, BMB offers a comprehensive bespoke service. Tel: 0333 7000 888 Email:



Amaya Sales UK will be showing their latest range of Melco embroidery machines together with the new OKI white toner printer and Forever Transfer paper. Excellent additions for your engraving business. Tel: 02392 590281 Email:

1880 CLUB q


‘Made for the long term’ 1880 CLUB is one of the UK & Ireland’s leading schoolwear manufacturers offering a comprehensive range that is designed and built for the classroom yet durable enough for the rigours of the playground. Tel: +44 (0) 28 9332 7777 Email:


1880 CLUB

Over 20 years of experience in manufacturing high quality, durable fabrics and garments. Specialists in the fleece and schoolwear market. Tel: 0116 2510121 Email:

Eskimo EPOS is one of the leading suppliers to Schoolwear Retailers across the UK providing them with effortless stock control in store and online. Tel: 01202 477111 Email:

We do a wide range of back to school sportswear and clothing. If you can’t find what you are looking for in our catalogue or web page please contact us. Tel: 0116 278 0562 Email: Email:




Falcon Sportswear Ltd supply both stock and bespoke Sportswear aimed at the Primary and Secondary School markets. Visit our stand to see what’s new for 2018. Tel: 01274 306440 Email:

Gardiners distribute leading lifestyle brands of schoolwear and accessories to the retail trade, worldwide. Tel: 01452 727 300 Email:

GFORCE Essentials allows schools to create their own unique sports kits and stand out from the crowd. With costeffective pricing across the Essentials range, you can bring your school team’s identity to life. Tel: 0116 255 6326 Email:




Nearly 100 years of manufacturing the latest materials & new designs to produce a fantastic range of sportswear for a wide variety of sports. On-site embroidery & print for all corporate & team wear. Tel: 01204 696476 Email:

With 50 years of schoolwear wholesaling behind us we are proud to continue supplying top quality school uniform with excellent stock availability and competitive prices to boot! Tel: 020 8887 8778 Email:

Jerzees Schoolgear is the perfect choice for schoolwear offering outstanding quality, choice and lifetime value. Smart, durable, comfortable and designed for decoration – that’s why Jerzees Schoolgear by Russell Europe is A CLASS ABOVE. Tel: 0800 252248 Email:













KT Labels Ltd, providing all your labelling needs for schoolwear, footwear, trophies and garments. Easy to use printers and optional keyboard for use without a computer. Come and see us this year at The Schoolwear Show 2017. Contact: John Baines Tel: 0121 689 2211 Email:

Labfax is the official UK distributor for Cab GmbH supplying Cab label printers and Cab label print & apply systems to a wide range of industries. We supply the Epson ColorWorks range alongside Cab textile printers and an array of consumables to suit. Tel: 0845 519 2410 Email:

Lollipop and our popular Primrose bow hair accessories for school enable stockists to gain valuable additional sales. With over 35 styles in 10 colours we have everything covered! Stands available. Tel: 01494 447000 Email:




UK manufacturers of quality school socks and tights. The complete one-stop schoolwear and sock knitwear supplier. Tel: 0116 277 3857 Email:

Helix has been synonymous with quality educational products for 130 years and now offer a choice of 3 of the world’s most recognised education brands; Helix, Oxford and Maped, along with a wide range of fun licensed school stationery. Tel: 01384 286860 Email:

British Weavers of Quality fabric. Offering a diverse range of stock supported and bespoke textiles in a variety of compositions and designs. Tel: 01132 843 364 Email:




UK Manufacturer of woven nametapes and printed labels for easy identification of school uniform. Quality products, sensible pricing, easy ordering and fast delivery even in peak times. Tel: 01834 861 446 Email:

Schoolwear badges delivered in 7-10 days* at unbeatable prices. We offer free quotes and free layout changes. Call us now on 08003687414 and get your first order at 15% off. Tel: 0800 368 7414 Email:

Optimum Design UK Ltd, incorporated since 1996 are manufacturing specialists in Sports Protection, Teamwear, Footwear and Sports Accessories, supplying all of your school wear and apparel requirements with an unparalleled level of service, supply & delivery. Tel: 01942 497707 Email:















New for BTS 2018 is the girls Marley double strap sandal (size 32-42) as well as up-dated styles in the ever popular boys/mens County range from 32 to 52. Quality you can trust. Tel: 01234 240 440 Email:

Shower and windproof, this new super soft, lightweight and warm ready-to-brand R233J&Y jacket is ideal for wet and windy days. Features include a hinged inner neck panel for self-branding, reflective hip detail and integral hood. Tel: 01206 865605 Email:

Performa 50– Brilliant Performance and Exceptional Comfort Rowlinson is proudly showcasing Performa 50, our premium knitwear brand offering a 4-5 week delivery on special orders, supported by the fastest embroidery service in the schoolwear market. Tel: 0161 477 7791 Email:




The Schoolwear Association represents the interests of all those involved in the manufacture and supply of school specific uniform. Established in 2006, the Association is run on a voluntary basis by some of the sector’s most experienced professionals. Tel: 0121 474 4200 (Trudy Bryan) Email:

STABILO International GmbH is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of writing instruments, and is part of the SchwanSTABILO Group. STABILO manufactures ranges for writing, colouring and highlighting perfect for going back to school. Tel: 01753 605 679 Email:

The world’s original image transfer company offer affordable solutions for all aspects of garment and associated product decoration. These include toner and sublimation products together with a vast range of flex and flock products. Tel: 01582 671444 Email:






A British company that has been running its own schoolwear garment factory in mainland China for 12 years. Contact: Lorna Lowe Tel: 07957 101607 Email:


Established in 1935, Pex has the UK’s most comprehensive collection of Back to School socks and tights. Tel: 0116 2861616 Email:


Distributor of schoolwear from top brands AWDis Academy, Beechfield, BagBase and Quadra. Visit our stand to receive a free Junior Reflective Bobble Beanie. Tel: 0800 252248 Email:










Our specialist system has been delivering EPOS and stock management solutions to the schoolwear sector for over 25 years. Come and try out our new product! Tel: 020 3376 5888 Email:

Visit Trutex to discover our latest product developments, enhancements to service and marketing initiatives to help support your business through 2018. Tel: 01200 4212000 Email:

Tie & Scarf Company supply most of the prestigious independent schoolwear/ sports retail shops, plus embroidery companies within the U.K with school ties scarves and badges. Tel: 0161 761 5151 Email:




See our range of stock and bespoke tartan at the Schoolwear Show 2017. 15th – 17th October. Tel: 01254 390700 Email:



Opening Times: Sunday 15th October 2017: 9:30am - 5:00pm Monday 16th October 2017: 9:30am - 5:00pm Tuesday 17th October 2017: 9:30am - 4:00pm

For over 40 years Zeco has provided quality school uniform at competitive prices with a personal customer service. Our complete range is stocked and available with next day delivery. Tel: 01708 739 390 Email:





For more information on the show or to register visit


Yes Ltd is the UK supplier of industrial embroidery machines from the world’s leading manufacturer ‘SWF’, the industry leader in direct to garment printer solutions ‘DTG Digital‘ and the show stopper bling machine ‘SpangleElite’. Tel: 01632 863343 Email:


Family-led business, William Turner returns with an impressive stock range and nearly 50 years in UK manufacturing. Look out for some new exciting products and preview their 2018 brochure. Tel: 0161 480 8582 Email:



Laura Turner meets the design talent behind the UK’s largest supplier of schoolwear. — BETTER BY DESIGN Laura Turner: Emma, you joined SWI Schoolwear as a designer in 2014 and now hold the title of head of design. What experience do you bring to the role? Emma Robertson: I studied for my degree at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), completing a four-year course in fashion design with first-class honours. During my third year, I interned in the couture department at Alexander McQueen and improved my tailoring skills at the Savile Row tailor English Cut. I also spent seven months working on school, sports and leisurewear design with the SWI team. During my degree I was fully trained in pattern cutting, garment manufacture, design, illustration and CAD, and in my final year I chose to specialise in menswear with sportswear. Fortunately, my role as head of design allows me to get involved with every aspect of the development process and the experience I’ve gained from working in various areas of the fashion and garment industry have helped me become a much more rounded designer. LT: Who makes up your design team? ER: We have an extremely talented, young and 46 - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017

vibrant team on board here in the Runcorn office. Our designer, Chloe, graduated from Northumbria University specialising in sportswear design; she was also shortlisted by the university for the Fashion Innovation Award at Graduate Fashion Week. I am delighted to say that my sister will also be joining our expanding team, having just graduated from UCLan herself. In addition, she has been selected as the winner of the Lancashire Arts Festival Award for Fashion Design, as a finalist in the Sainsbury’s TU Label competition and was also nominated for the Gala Show at London Graduate Fashion week. Since graduating from UCLan myself, we have worked hard to create a strong relationship with the university, developing an internship programme to support students during their third year of study by providing them with vital industry experience. LT: Where do you source inspiration? ER: When planning our concepts for new ranges, we’re inspired by a variety of platforms. The high street has major influence over the garments we design, as it’s important the clothing has details that are relatable to current fashion trends. We are also influenced by social changes, articles and forecasted trend information. Another method we use to

gather insight is holding focus groups with schools and students. This is the best way to collect primary direction for our concepts, allowing us to be confident with the design decisions that we’re making. Ultimately, it’s important that our products are aspirational, comfortable and perform well.

A NEW CLASS IN SCHOOLWEAR LT: BMB acquired SWI Schoolwear last July; what changes and developments have occurred over the last year? ER: Essentially, the efficient and successful integration of the two businesses. Despite its size and reputation as a schoolwear provider, BMB has always lacked the facility to innovate in terms of design. One of the most exciting developments for BMB, as a result of the SWI acquisition, is that we are now able to offer a cutting edge design service. This will enable us as a group to genuinely lead the market in schoolwear and sportswear, not only through our sheer size, but with our passion for product innovation. LT: What would you say are BMB’s Schoolwear’s core capabilities? ER: BMB is now the largest supplier of


schoolwear in the UK. It has achieved this position across the entire supply chain – through size and subsequent buying power, access to competitively priced quality fabrics, great relationships with factories that deliver on quality and on time and, top of the priority list, a genuine and dedicated commitment to customer service. What was missing from the equation prior to the SWI acquisition was a stock supported performance sportswear range, in-house design, product development and marketing. We are now able to boast a dedicated design team who concentrate solely on developing and producing market leading ranges. LT: What does BMB Schoolwear encompass? ER: It covers the entire spectrum for all types of schools; primary, senior, academies and independents. We offer everything from school uniform to performance sportswear, available from stock all year round, in a wide range of sizes and colourways and with the depth of range to dress a student from head to toe. Garment personalisation and a comprehensive in-house bespoke service is also available for schools requiring a unique individual look. LT: What can we expect from BMB Schoolwear for Back to School 2018? ER: We’ll be launching a selection of new garments bearing the traits of our original approach to design at the Schoolwear Show in October. Some of these new styles offer additional support to our existing offer and others form new ranges. We want to encourage buyers to come to the Schoolwear Show and see the product for themselves, so that they can feel the new fabrics and experience the quality first hand. However, without giving too much away, I can provide some insight. On the school uniform side, our newest development is the new Signature Suiting Collection. For boys, this comprises a jacket and trousers and for girls, a jacket that can be paired with either a trouser or a choice of two

skirts – straight or pleated. This durable collection caters to those looking for a stylish cut, with fabric that performs. We’ve taken the trusted Ziggy’s fabric, which is already part of the BMB collection, and combined it with a modern suit jacket style. The jackets offer a contemporary feel, with features including slimmed down lapels, pocket flaps, with a single button front opening for girls and two buttons for boys. Both the girls’ and boys’ trouser options offer a choice of a classic cut or a contemporary, slimmer fit and they all have adjustable waists to ensure a perfect fit. Elsewhere, we’ve added four new items to the APTUS Performance Sportswear range. The Swacket is a side-line garment that is essential for outdoor training; a new everyday football short features moisture-wicking fabric that moves with the wearer; while our new rugby shirt and short are both created using embossed fabric and reinforced seams. We are also introducing a new outerwear jacket, a replacement for the Mistral, which is a contemporary, water-resistant hooded jacket with soft fleece lining and silver reflective details.

SETTING A NEW STANDARD IN SPORTSWEAR LT: Moving onto the sportswear side of the business, how does BMB maintain a competitive edge in this fast-moving market? ER: We listen to our customers and act on what they say. We held several focus groups across schools that encouraged under-16s to speak openly about sports kit and how they could be improved. What we found was that there were a huge amount of students who were conscious about the way they look and didn’t feel that the school sportswear on offer motivated them to participate in sports. This precipitated the thinking behind APTUS Performance, a collection that fuses fashion with functionality, designed specifically to empower rather than inhibit students on the sports field.

LT: What are the most in-demand fabrics coming through in school sportswear? ER: Quality fabrics with functional elements. Polyester is an ideal fabric for sportswear, and the main material used within the APTUS Performance range. It boasts a huge amount of benefits, being durable, lightweight and anti-wrinkle, as well as cost competitive. It has effective wicking properties, meaning the perspiration from the body is wicked to the outer side of the fabric and is then air-dried. It is also offers a stable base for decoration, which is really important for school personalisation applications. LT: What are the latest trends in sportswear for the educational market? ER: During our focus groups, we discovered that what students were choosing to train in during sport outside of school, was very different to what they had to wear during curriculum sport. Consequently, the APTUS Performance collection responded to this with a school sportswear collection that offers girls’ leggings – as opposed to training pants – and also adjustable length tops. For boys, we designed loose fitting shorts and slim fit track pants, which is what they preferred. We want students to take a real pride in their school sportswear and we are confident they will with APTUS. LT: Are there any areas of the school sportswear market you feel are lacking? ER: I think the female sportswear area within schools has often been overlooked in the past. Female specific sportswear had always been a bit of an afterthought, though this is definitely beginning to change. The variety of sports offered through physical education has evolved significantly and the sportswear garments on offer need to keep up with the pace. The launch of the Sport England This Girl Can campaign coincided with our design development and gave us a real sense that we were on the right track with our vision for our APTUS Performance range. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 - 47



Big responsibility for your feet. Kids can only have fun in sturdy shoes that can keep up with all of their adventures. That’s why, as one of the most successful manufacturers of children’s shoes, Superfit pays so much attention to perfect workmanship and the highest quality materials. We take quality very seriously. Because after all, we take big responsibility for your feet.

MODA Stand G40 6th to 8th August 2017 Terry McIntosh +44 (0) 7957 834 348 * The result is based on the analysis of 342 returned evaluation forms with the stipulated rating scale: good, average and bad.

A Aden + Anais 020 3735 7576 • Anchor & Fox 0061 4184 55955 B Barn of Monkeys 00351 2520 20430 • Bebe Bombom 07800 909422 • Bibi 07712 647298 • Billy Loves Audrey 07711 746276 • Bimble Shoes 07866 493173 • Birkenstock 07899 904765 • Blade & Rose 01539 730880 • BMB 0333 7000888 • Bobux 07808 730176 • Born Bespoke 07968 199284 • Bunks 0800 0433112 C Childrenchic 001 917 680 2099 • Cienta Kids 07786 541810 • Cooee Kids www.cooee-kids. com • Cradle & Tonic 07989 972901 • Cribstar 07841 356385 D Darlo 07968 393984 • David Luke 0161 272 7474 • D for Diamond 01376 532000 • Donsje Amsterdam 07970 383188 • Doodle Do 01923 820411 • Dotty Dungarees 07769 973579 E Easy Peasy 07929 415784 • Eva & Indie 07950 677441 F Frugi 01326 558462 • Froddo 07796 766669 G G. Nancy 07970 383188 • Gosoaky 07970 383188 • Gro Company 07970 383188 • Great & Small Clothing 07887 768265 H Hibou Home 01580 243188 I Ipanema 020 7377 2570 J Joules K Knoknoknok 0034 6509 06141 • Koh 0052 4777 166521 • Kokacharm 0082 1041 761085 L La Basketry • Liewood 020 3137 3503 • Little Jack Baby Clothing 00351 9376 25019 • Little Zi 001 908 232 3876 • Loola & Goo M Mimi & Lula 07974 453960 • Minene 020 845 87764 • Mini A Ture 07711 746276 • Moccstars 020 7736 4022 • Mori 028 2502 2149 P Pablosky 0034 9257 84377 • Pinokio 0048 6683 39463 • Poco Nido • Pop Cutie 020 3137 3503 R Red Urchin 07810 565999 • Ren But 0048 7687 878 11117 • Rice • Rockahula Kids 01462 429744 • Rowlinson Knitwear 0161 477 7791 • Ruby and Freddies 07904 106883 S Sass & Belle 020 7346 0100 • Scholl 01604 876800 • Smalls 020 7002 7799 • Sonny Angel 0034 6509 06141 • SquidKids 07903 442526 • Sticky Lemon 0031 5983 95948 • Stitch & Story • Superfit 07775 995547 T Tane Organics 001 646 573 8764 • Term Footwear 01202 578900 • That’s Mine 0045 3161 9160 • The Essential One 01204 300768 • The Magic Touch 01582 671444 • The Tiny Universe 020 3137 3503 • Titlee 07925 828008 • Too Many PJs • Trutex 01200 421 2000 U Uniform Additions 01442 873280 • Unisa 07872 534343 W Wex Baby 07515 032224 • Wildfire Teepees • Wolf & Son • Wonderers 07900 664629 X XTi 0034 9687 18313 Y Young Soles 020 7749 0903 Z Zinc 00359 8986 62173

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New organic label with a unique concept are looking for a distributor in the UK.



Hand tied, classic hair bows for school, parties & everyday. Pettiskirts, dresses, baby onesies, tutus, wings & wands & t-shirts.

01484 848337

The Telegraph(UK) March 2015 “I am impressed by this organic babywear brand”.


Tel: +31(0)30 7514025 Email:



ORCHARD AGENCY Chris, Carol, Lisa & Ray are the team behind Orchard, a leading second generation childrens clothing agency in the UK, with expertise in London and the South East. Orchard Agency, 28 Fourth Avenue, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9DX Tel: 01255 674301 Email: carol&




The specialist in

SCHOOL TIES plus badges

Established for over 25 years, two generations, covering all areas of the UK. Representing leading brands from Europe, Canada and Russia. Catering for boys and girls 0 to 16 years. Styling from contemporary to traditional. FUN & FUN, LE CHIC, DEUX PAR DEUX, FOQUE, SARDON, LARANJINHA, JEYCAT, GULLIVER Weldon Agencies, Southport, Merseyside Tel: 01704 576033 Email:,




Warth Industrial Park, Warth Road, Bury BL9 9NB Tel: 0161 761 5151 Fax: 0161 762 0202 Email: Web:

Van Huizen Agencies is a young, fresh and vibrant agency, for the more discerning retailer requiring beautiful and unique collections. OILILY KIDS, ROOM SEVEN KIDS, RAP KIDS SHOES Unit 12, Derwent Business center, Clarke Street, DERBY DE1 2BU Tel: 07967 560633 Email:



GRACE TINDALL Founder of Scandibørn Grace Tindall on her new online lifestyle boutique, Scandibørn, which brings Scandinavian-inspired children’s design to the UK. —

Scandinavian living and interiors, it places value on buying products that will last years and fulfil different needs as our lives change. We’d spent a long time getting our home just perfect and having children seemed to open the door into a whole range of eyesores we didn’t want lying round our living room. We felt there was a gap in the market for people like us who wanted to be able to create playful and stylish spaces for their children, which fitted with their homes. LT: What does Scandibørn offer? GT: We sell over 50 brands online, many of them exclusive, catering for the whole journey from pregnancy into parenthood. Our full collection spans furniture, soft furnishings, textiles, wall decor, high chairs, robes and towels, homewares, play mats, tableware, toys, teepees, slides, nursery accessories, baby toiletries, changing bags, gifts for mums and dads plus much more. Laura Turner: What’s the story behind Scandibørn? Grace Tindall: My husband James and I launched Scandibørn in August 2016 when a combination of factors came together at the right time. Maternity leave gave me some much needed headspace to think about my career – the life we wanted to build post-kids – and it also allowed me to formulate a business plan. Simultaneously, James was made redundant and we decided to invest the very small payout, take a leap of faith, and go for it. LT: Are either of you from retail backgrounds? GT: I was previously a management consultant for a big US-based IT firm, obviously a totally unrelated industry, so it took me a bit longer to work out the dos and don’ts of retail. In the same vein, it gave us advantages, too; I had to go with my instinct and use the skills I’d already gained – project management, contract management, delivery to tight timelines and never accepting ‘no’ as the final answer. James’s previous experience is in PR and marketing, so our combined skill set has worked well. LT: Where does your love of Scandinavian design come from? GT: We have a few close friends that live in and around Copenhagen, so it’s been our go-to summer destination for about six years. Regular travels to Scandinavia and searching for pieces for our son highlighted the lack of Scandi-inspired design available in the UK. We love the whole ethos that surrounds 50 - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017

LT: What are your current bestsellers? GT: One of our bestsellers is the bbhugme pregnancy pillow, which was developed by chiropractors and can be used in pregnancy, nursing and beyond – it’s top of our list for expectant mums. The Sleepyhead of Sweden Pods are new to us and are literally flying off the shelves. The contemporary ball pits are available in more colours and are proving popular. Liewood’s stylised animal range of hooded towels, dressing gowns, music mobiles and bed linen are definitely up there; plus our You’ve got this Mama charity mug, which is a perfect new mum gift and supports the Coppafeel! charity. LT: What do you look for in the brands that you stock? GT: The first thing I wrote in my notebook when I started to build the idea of Scandibørn was, ‘Who are we?’ I often go back to that page when I’m undecided about a product or brand. Everything we sell has to knit together with the clean, Scandi aesthetic. We’ve had a clear focus and ethos from the beginning and always ask two questions about a brand: Would we buy it? and Does it fit the Scandi brief? If either answer is ‘no’, it’s not coming in. We want people to feel inspired when shopping with us and that starts with knowing who we are and staying true to it. LT: What’s driving growth for Scandinavian design? GT: Unlike other trends, the heart of Scandinavian design is the creation of long lasting classics that don’t go out of fashion.

It’s definitely changing the way we think about furnishing and decorating our homes in a less disposable way and that’s the main reason it won’t just be a flash in the pan. LT: Last month, you took part in a business seminar at Bubble London discussing how to grow an interiors business. Can you reiterate some of the advice? GT: If you’re a retailer, be true to the values of your brand. At Scandibørn, we will only sell pieces that blend together and adhere to the Scandi aesthetic. We often come across products I know will sell instantly, but don’t fit into our brand values. Choose big ticket furniture items that have longevity and supplement these with smaller soft furnishings and textiles when customers want to update their children’s spaces. Finally, don’t be afraid to introduce colour: Scandinavian design doesn’t have to mean solely muted and monochrome. LT: Can you tell me more about Scandibørn’s recent US launch? GT We found many of our sales were coming from the US, so we launched specifically for this market allowing customers to shop directly with us in US dollars. Standard delivery to the US is within 3-5 days, which we believe is unbeatable service. LT: Would you ever move into bricks and mortar? GT: It’s a challenge to stand out online and it’s only getting more competitive. Sometimes, I’d adore to have a storefront; the creative in me would love to have the chance to style a physical store. However, what I love about online is that there are no limitations. I’ve been able to create a perfect aesthetic, ensuring our site reflects our brand to a T and shows off our products in the best possible way. LT: What are your plans for Scandibørn? GT: The a/w 17 range and US launch are our immediate focus, but we do have some other exciting developments we’re working on. We’re also planning to open more localised versions of the webshop in other territories. LT: What would be your advice for a kidswear retailer wanting to introduce lifestyle product? GT: Do it slowly by introducing smaller items to test the water. Everyone needs a baby blanket or a dual purpose play mat, either for expectant, new mums or gifting purposes. Start with the lower value items and take it from there.


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