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CWB INDEPENDENT RETAIL AWARDS 2017 The winners revealed BRAND MACHINE GROUP The company’s latest news and plans for growth SA AWARDS Results of the first-ever Schoolwear Association Awards




12 14 29




05: Comment

16: Brand Machine Group The company’s latest news and plans for growth

45: News

06: News 08: NCWA 10: Legal advice For agents, non-payment may be no problem 12: Retail Therapy Store profiles and retail news 14: Brands to Watch Editor’s pick of brands 28: Style guide Storage solutions

20: Industry snapshot: UK baby & children’s market Key findings from consumer strategy consultancy Pragma’s recently published whitepaper

47: SA Awards The results from the first-ever Schoolwear Association Awards

24: The Herdy Company Insight into the gift, homeware and accessory brand’s new Herdy Baby range 26: Top Drawer S/S18 CWB’s pick of the children’s gifts on offer at the forthcoming edition of Top Drawer

29: Laura loves The coolest products for kids

27: Exhibition calendar Round-up of the season’s trade shows

54: Talking point Marine Lloris, founder of Manège en Sucre

31: CWB Independent Retail Awards 2017 The winners and finalists revealed

Front Cover image: Manège en Sucre NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 03

See things differently... #discoverbubble 28 & 29 January 2018, Business Design Centre Register for your ticket now at


COM MENT: It’s that time of year again – the much anticipated announcement of the CWB Independent Retail Awards winners. —

Thanks to the CWB Independent Retail Awards, November/December has become one of my favourite issues of the year. While our role has always been to support and champion independent childrenswear retailers, the Awards have provided us with an extra opportunity to celebrate the relentless hard work and innovation that goes into our sector. So, without further ado, I’d firstly like to say a huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners – which you will find over on page 31 – #wearthecrown with pride! Congratulations too to all of the finalists – the level of entries this year was outstanding. Last but not least, I’d like to extend our gratitude to this year’s judging panel – Emily Beardsworth, owner of May Creative Marketing; Gemma Whates, founder of All by Mama; Kate Hill, founder of Alegre Media; and Lindsay Hoyes, event director of Bubble London – who collectively had the job of adjudicating the fantastic retailers we had in this year’s running. In addition to the CWB Independent Retailer Awards results, we are also marking the first-ever Schoolwear Association (SA) Awards this issue. Winners of the inaugural SA Awards were revealed at a prestigious ceremony during the Association’s annual fundraising evening in October, commemorating both the achievements of the award winners and of the schoolwear sector as a whole. Head over to page 47 for a full run-down

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.

of the evening and the winners. Aside from award celebrations, we have lots of other exciting content for you this edition. On page 16, we bring insight on Brand Machine Group, the company responsible for delivering designer brands for kids to retailers across the globe, and the company’s plans for growth. Meanwhile, on page 24, we catch up with The Herdy Company which, as well as celebrating five own-brand stores and a decade in business this year, recently expanded its remit beyond gifts, homeware and accessories with the launch of the Herdy Baby collection. We’ll be back in 2018 with the January/February issue, bringing you everything you need to know about the a/w 18 season. In the meantime, we’ll have daily content available on as well as extra exclusives on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. As I sign off this last issue of CWB for 2017, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a healthy, successful 2018. 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.




VILD – HOUSE OF LITTLE JOINS LITTLE ICONS UK childrenswear agency Little Icons, which represents directional childrenswear labels from around the world, has added Vild – House of Little to its UK showroom. Catering for 0-5 years, Vild – House of Little focuses on luxury, design, form and function to deliver hard-working, minimalist basics. With the emphasis on perfected tailoring and honest materials, the brand’s bodysuits are made from high-quality bamboo yarn, which is hypoallergenic, thermo-regulating and soft. GOTS-certified organic cotton is also available in the collection.The brand’s colour palette, meanwhile, includes nudes and black. Other brands represented in the UK by Little Icons include Finger in the Nose, Kidscase, Donsje, Gosoaky, G.Nancy and Pacific Rainbow. —

Harcastle, the childrenswear designer, manufacturer and importer, has appointed Sharon Beardsworth as sales and marketing director. Beardsworth joins the company from babywear brand Emile et Rose, where she held the title of sales director since launching the brand in 2002. In her new role, Beardsworth will be responsible for building and developing Harcastle’s brands, primarily Coco and Little Darlings. “We are delighted to have Sharon on board with us – our plans for the future are very exciting and she will be a great asset in taking the brands to a whole new level,” says Harcastle’s managing director, Vincent Bloom. The Harcastle portfolio also includes childrenswear brands A & J, Abella, Lily Rio, Dr Kid and Mintini. —

MARIE-CHANTAL SILVER CROSS COLLECTION British nursery brand Silver Cross and childrenswear brand Marie-Chantal have collaborated on a luxury range of prams, nursery furniture and bedding, which is set to launch in spring 2018. The Silver Cross design team worked closely with Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, founder and designer of the Marie-Chantal brand, to create the collection that includes three prams – the coach-built Kensington, Sleepover travel system and lightweight Reflex – plus a cot bed, chest of drawers, baby bedding and blankets. “We’ve loved working with Princess Marie-Chantal,” says Silver Cross CEO, Nick Paxton. “Her passion for elegant, timeless design and heritage English colours has enabled us to create an exquisite and beautiful range that we are now delighted to unveil to the world.” —


NEW LUXURY CHILDREN’S TOILETRIES RANGE Dandydill Way is a new hair and skincare range for children aged three years plus. Created by celebrity make-up artist Tania Rodney, the luxurious range is a culmination of her experience, both as a make-up artist and as a mum, and comprises a bubble bath, shampoo, conditioner and hair detangler. Inspired by her own childhood in rural Yorkshire, Rodney drew inspiration from nature when developing the brand. A key ingredient in the range is the Hawthorn Berry, which grows wild in the hedgerows and countryside of the UK. The berries are hand-picked by a local expert forager around the Black Mountains of Hertfordshire on the Welsh borders in late summer before being dried and gently processed to make Dandydill Way’s exclusive extract. — 06 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

Kids’ trade show Bubble London will present a host of new brands for a/w 18, with the event’s POP area – a standout space for small, innovative labels – attracting a variety of homegrown talent. Highlights from this season’s line-up include flat-caps and scarves from Artimus London; a minimalist and gender-neutral offering from British designed clothing and lifestyle brand, Kidult & Co; children’s luxury hair and skincare by Dandydill Way; contemporary British clothing brand Another Fox, which focuses on abstract prints and fashion basics; and newly launched label Wildchild London, who offers genderless, urban and unconventional clothing for 3-9 year olds, which is also designed and manufactured in Britain. This season also marks the exciting return of Bubble Runway. Catwalk presentations are scheduled to run several times a day throughout the two-day show, and will feature special mini guest stars showcasing a/w 18 collections from some of Bubble’s favourite brands. Bubble London a/w 18 takes place on 28-29 January at the Business Design Centre, Islington. For further information and to get your ticket, visit —

START-RITE CHAMPIONS WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME Jo Westaway has been appointed as finance director and company secretary at Start-Rite Shoes, following completion of a course designed to develop aspiring female leaders. Formally head of people and financial controller at Start-Rite, Westaway recently undertook the East of England Women’s Leadership Programme. Run by Pure Resourcing and People & Performance, the programme is designed to enhance confidence, develop leadership skills and support organisations through the role of a sponsor in parallel with developing women in senior leadership roles in business. Westaway will work with the finance, ICT and HR functions, as well as with the wider business to further strengthen the management team at Start-Rite. —



FRUGI AW 18: LOST KINGDOM Frugi’s new a/w 18 collection, Lost Kingdom, is inspired by the Danish principles of Hygge. Back for its second season, the My First Frugi range, for tiny babies through to 12 months, includes a four-piece set; a gift-led, interlock bundle featuring two tops, leggings and mittens available in coordinating marl stripes and prints. For 0-4 years, a/w 18 offers new shapes and textures, plus a Scandi-inspired colour palette of brights, neutrals and marls. Unisex styles include new knitted leggings with a mountain scene. The Frugi Kids range for 2-10 years includes a Fair Isle jumper and a button dress, as well as an embroidered chambray dress with side button fastening and trim details. “Our fun Frugi colour palette has evolved to include a much softer tone to sit alongside our bold and bright flashes of colour,” says Frugi’s head of design, Jeni Bolton. “We can’t wait to captivate kids with our new mythical Frugi characters, like snow leopards, eagle owls, lynx, arctic hares, narwhals and huskies.” —

From Babies with Love, which donates 100 per cent of profits from its ethically sourced baby gifts to orphaned and abandoned children, has a new partnership with international charity, Street Child. The initial joint project will help support some of the 32,000 unaccompanied children impacted by devastating conflict in north-east Nigeria. From Babies with Love will fund Street Child to establish three child-friendly spaces (CFS), which are safe spaces set up in emergency settings to help support and protect children. Each CFS will have a trained child support coordinator to help youngsters progressively overcome traumatic events; a social worker to identify appropriate caregivers, including identifying and training foster parents; alongside learning materials and equipment to ensure children can continue with their education. —



Ju-Ju-Be, the American changing bag brand that combines fashion with smart technology, has appointed UK agent, Little Saints. Little Saints, a leading distributor of innovative products in the UK, was founded by Peter and Charlotte Holm when they first became parents. After travelling extensively throughout Europe and the US, the duo came across a number of products that couldn’t be found in the UK and decided to introduce these products via their agency. “Our key motivation and passion is first and foremost as parents,” says Little Saint’s Peter Holm. “We were instantly drawn to Ju-Ju-Be as it really is a great design-led changing bag range, which offers very strong points of difference to the UK market. Furthermore, its exciting collaborations with global brands such as tokidoki and Hello Kitty/Sanrio means that it always has something new planned on the horizon.” —

This Christmas, French-inspired kidswear brand Wex Baby is collaborating with The Fostering Network, a UK charity dedicated to ensuring all fostered children and young people experience a stable family life. The Fostering Network is close to the hearts of Wex Baby’s founders, sisters Ettie and Sally Wexsteen, who were themselves raised in foster care from the ages of seven and nine. To support the charity, Wex Baby is donating 20 per cent of profits from all items purchased from its Noel collection. “Even though we lost the opportunity to grow up with our biological parents, we have been able to live a very ‘normal’ life,” says Ettie. “Unfortunately, other children who find themselves taken into the care system are not as lucky, with a huge shortage of foster carers resulting in kids being moved frequently and split up from their siblings. The Fostering Network’s amazing dedication ensures best practice and it constantly advocates the best for both children and foster carers.” —


— Following a Kickstarter campaign, sustainable kids’ fashion label Jake + Maya has launched a new website, www. The site showcases the brand’s organic kidswear, which promotes ethical values and a “metamorphic” concept: garments that grow with the child, reducing waste and teaching important sustainability values.

BOBUX CELEBRATES A CHILD’S FIRST STEPS Bobux has launched a free keepsake bag with every purchase from its Step Up range to help celebrate a child’s first steps. Free with every pair of Step Ups – including the Xplorer shoes – bought in-store or online, Bobux’s gift set enables parents to record their child’s first steps and their first Bobux shoes. The set includes a bespoke Bobux pure cotton dust bag and hand-cut leather swing tags designed with space to record the child’s name and date they took their first steps. For the launch, Bobux also created a short film showcasing children taking their first steps. —

NEW DIRECTION FOR GRO COMPANY UK baby sleep brand the Gro Company has appointed Amy Walker as design manager. Walker brings with her over 10 years’ experience and joins the team from lifestyle brand Lazy Jacks, where she was the senior designer. Walker, whose experience lies in creating strong, commercial stories throughout a collection, begins her role designing for s/s 19, where she aims to build upon Gro’s strong brand identity with a new, modern twist. Designing and planning ranges for both UK and international markets, she will also create trend and colour forecasts for upcoming seasonal launches, and travel to suppliers and different countries around the word to find fresh and innovative fabrics. —

— Landsec has launched a new retail portfolio innovation via an online shopping portal trial for Bluewater. With over one million items from Bluewater’s retailers, the portal provides guests with the chance to research products or product categories, seek alternatives and ultimately purchase for delivery or collection at Bluewater. The portal also identifies the location of the store so guests can physically experience the brand as part of their purchase.

— The TotsUp bus is a new, 3D magnetic reward chart for 2-6 years created to help parents provide positive reinforcement and motivation for children. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the chart features 10 passengers waiting at a bus stop, who board the bus each time a goal is achieved. Developed in conjunction with an educational psychologist and early years educators, the chart has an accompanying interactive iOS app for use on the move. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 07


NCWA NEWS: The latest news from the National Childrenswear Association EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S COMMENT The clocks have gone back and the evenings are drawing in, so now is the time to book your stand at Bubble London or to register as a visitor. Sunday 28th and Monday 29th January will see the best of what the industry has to offer and you cannot afford not to be there. If you are a manufacturer/supplier, you need a stand to show your latest ranges to the best advantage, to meet your customers and to gain new ones. In addition, you can check on what your competitors are offering and catch up on the latest trends and news. Do not forget that if you are not at Bubble, your competitors will be and that they will have the chance to sell to your customers. If you are a retailer, you need to see as much merchandise as possible, both from your existing suppliers and from new ones. This is the best way to ensure you are meeting the needs of your customers, wherever you are in the country and whatever your pricepoints, and to ensure you know what will be on sale in your competitors’ shops. You also can catch up on trends and news, as well as attend some of the seminars on offer. The return of Bubble Runway will help you see a wide variety of garments, in combinations that might inspire your window dressing, in a most engaging series of catwalks. Bubble is so much more than just a trade show. The Autumn/Winter edition of Bubble will be held, as usual, at the Business Design Centre, London N1, close to Angel Tube Station and within very easy reach of mainline stations. As the showcase for all that is best in UK childrenswear, Bubble is a must exhibit/must visit destination. Those setting up in business too, both as retailers and manufacturers/suppliers, will learn what they need to do in preparation for their launch and will make many valuable contacts. Before visiting Bubble, do not forget the free videos on the NCWA website with hints on how to visit the exhibition, as well as how to exhibit. Every member has a free page on NCWA’s website, on which you can give details of your products, ranges or shop, together with up to ten images of them, which can be updated at any time. Why not become a member before the show? NCWA’s website always has increased traffic in the run up to Bubble, and this would enable your business to become better known. Details on all NCWA’s activities can be found on our website ( If you wish to contact us, please telephone 020 7843 9488 or email Michelle Payne will be happy to help you before the show and both she and I will be on the NCWA stand, or walking the aisles, throughout the two days of Bubble. 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


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

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Babywear, childrenswear and maternitywear brand The Essential One is expanding into nursery interiors for spring 2018. The new collection comprises five ranges in an array of colours, each encompassing a bumper, coverlet/quilt and a coordinating matching blanket. Three of the sets are woven, hand embroidered and traditional in colour and style. The two remaining sets are jersey-based and provide more contemporary designs. The blankets are each made from 100 per cent superfine knitted cotton and are designed to be used with prams, Moses baskets and cribs. Each item is sold individually and is safety tested and regulated. —

Childrenswear brand Zuma the Dog is set to collaborate with children’s entertainment app KidsCast. Through licensing, the brand has been working with the entertainment app since the beginning of 2017, with its books and activities appearing on the platform and a Zuma the Dog-inspired TV series in development with their in-house production team. Via discussions with the brand’s agency and newly appointed sales agent, Charles Seconde, it was agreed all elements of Zuma should be brought together, incorporating technology with fashion. Through an exclusively designed label on all Zuma the Dog clothing products, KidsCast app can be downloaded with free subscription for three months, where all Zuma the Dog entertainment products can be accessed. The new swing tickets will be available on all products across the board, from online to in store. —

ALIOLI KIDS DEVELOPS MIDSEASON COLLECTION AliOli Kids, the UK childrenswear agency specialising in Spanish labels, continues to build upon its eponymous own label, AliOli Kids, with a mid-season offering. Introduced due to customer demand, the AliOli Kids mid-season collection is available to order immediately, via both wholesale and retail websites. Catering for six months through to 10 years and available for both boys and girls, highlights include a red tartan collection and the Morris collection, which is inspired by the arts and crafts movement and incorporates a floral print in gold, green and pink hues. —




London-based children’s fashion and footwear agency Breitenstein is set to further raise its brands’ profiles in the UK with an enhanced presence at this season’s Bubble London. From a large stand at the a/w 18 event, Breitenstein Agencies will showcase shoes, accessories and clothes for newborn through to teens from its five Danish brands; MarMar Copenhagen, Angulus (pictured), mp Denmark, FUB and Huttelihut. The stand will also provide a shop-like experience for potential clients and help provide a flavour of what the agency is all about. Breitenstein Agencies has seen steady growth since it was established in 2001 by Inger Breitenstein. It represents a hand-picked selection of high-end international brands, which all share a classic, yet current look with a strong Scandinavian feel. —

Result’s Youth and Junior ranges of multipurpose garments for leisure and schoolwear have seen a number of enhancements. A new black and navy colourway has been added to the shower and windproof padded jacket, while the kids’ headwear range now includes the Junior Boston Printers cap. The five-panel cap with a seamless and stiffened front panel has a pre-curved peak, six stitch lines and is recycled. Featuring stitched eyelets, a tear away label and a tear release adjuster, it is available in 10 colours. Another recent addition is the Junior Ocean Trapper hat. A windproof, deer stalker-style, it includes an adjustable stud fastener that secures the ear flaps under the chin, reflective details for extra visibility and decorative stitching on the ear flaps. —

Mini A Ture has chosen a ladybird print as the key focus for its new a/w 18 outerwear collection. With insects heralded as the future – the culinary industry, for instance, is focusing on insects as an alternative source of protein – the brand decided to also incorporate them into fashion design. The Mini A Ture design team focused the collection around a ladybird print in particular after researching English and French gardening books for ideas and discovering the ladybird was always a feature in these gardens. Elsewhere, a key design highlight from the new outerwear includes new striped cuffs on the jackets, adding a sporty element to the range. —


— Last month, British lifestyle brand Joules opened a new store at Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, creating 15 new jobs. The store carries the brand’s full collection, including men’s, women’s and children’s ranges. Joules operates 108 stores in the UK and ROI across a range of location types, has a significant online business, and a wellestablished wholesale business, with 1,500 stockists worldwide.

— Available for immediate delivery to trade, the award-winning skiwear collection by Muddy Puddles has been enhanced with yet more improved functionality for a/w 17/18. A highlight of the collection includes a collaboration jacket with unisex British brand Tootsa, featuring Tootsa’s iconic sunrise design on Muddy Puddles’ high-tech performance jacket.

— The Bank of England began issuing the new £10 note on 14 September 2017. NCWA reminds retailers and businesses that they can continue to accept the old paper £10 note until 1 March 2018. After this date, you will no longer be able to use the old paper £10 note, although you will still be able to exchange them at The Bank of England.



Open for Business Bringing you straight-talking legal advice.

Stephen Sidkin is a commercial law partner at Fox Williams LLP.

FOR AGENTS NON-PAYMENT MAY BE NO PROBLEM The rationale for any business to use an agent is that the relationship is results based – no sale equals no commission payable to the agent. To protect agents, the EU Agents Directive provides that the right of an agent to commission can be extinguished only if and to the extent that: 1. it is established that the contract between the customer and the principal will not be performed; and 2. that fact is due to a reason for which the principal is not to blame. Recently these words were considered in a European Court judgment. The agency agreement in question provided for the agent to receive commission for each contract performed. However, the agreement also stated that any non-payment by a customer would result in a forfeiture or proportional reduction of such commission. A number of customers failed to pay, claiming that the principal had treated them badly. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in the principal not paying commission to the agent. The agent claimed that it was entitled to the commission. It relied on the principal being to blame for the fact that the principal had not been paid by the customers. The European Court first had to consider whether the right to commission can be extinguished only where there is a complete non-performance of the principal (customer contract) or whether the same principle also applies where there has been a partial non-performance of the contract. The Court decided that the Directive’s intention was to ensure that as the performance of a contract progresses, commission becomes due to the agent. But what then of the provision in the Directive (and in the Commercial Agents Regulations) that commission received by the agent in a situation where the contract between the principal and the customer will not be performed shall be refunded to the principal? With reference to this, the Court decided that a contractual


obligation on the agent to reimburse the principal commission received by the agent where the principal has partially non-performed the contract between principal and customer is enforceable and could be relied on by the principal subject to: 1. the refund commission obligation on the agent is strictly proportionate to the extent to which the contract between principal and customer has not been performed; and 2. such non-performance of such contract is not due to a reason for which the principal is to blame. The last question before the Court concerned the very essence of the back commission protection given to the agent. The Court was asked to consider whether ‘a reason for which the principal is to blame’ concerns: 1. only the legal reasons that resulted directly in the non-performance of the contract between principal and customer; or 2. covers all legal and factual circumstances for which the principal is to blame and which results in the nonperformance of the contract with the customer. Given the need to avoid possible abuses by the principal, the Court concluded that all legal and factual circumstances relating to the principal must be taken into account. For agents, the situation is straight forward – there is a need for agents to keep records of situations where they have not been paid commission on orders that they have taken. Failure to do so can prove very costly indeed to the agent. For principals, the situation is also straight forward – given that their profitability is dependent upon the contracts being performed and payment being received from customers, principals should seek to avoid nonperformance situations. © 2017 Fox Williams LLP


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

JUNIOR EDITION 34 Kensington Gardens, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AL Georgia and Nathan Ashby launched their online children’s store, Junior Edition, back in July 2015, before two years later, in July of this year, adding a bricks and mortar arm to the business with a shop in Brighton’s Kensington Gardens. Prior to Junior Edition, Georgia had studied architecture at university, before taking a career in women’s fashion retail. She worked as a retail manager for Selfridges, and an area manager for Fenn Wright Mason and Austin Reed Group, before launching Junior Edition online in 2015. The store’s offer currently encompasses design-led kids’ and babies’ clothing, toys, books, decor and gifts for 0-7 years, although the age range is set to expand up to 9 years in January. Key labels include Bobo Choses, Mini Rodini, Huxbaby, Gray Label, Hugo Loves Tiki, Beau Loves, Mingo, Liewood, Design Letters, Meri Meri, Vilac and Plan Toys. In terms of the store itself, Junior Edition embraces a sustainable and modern Scandi vibe, enhanced with a touch of luxury. The Ashbys created their own modular peg board style shop fit from birch ply and copper bathroom fittings, plus their own mannequins and window displays from ply and copper. They also sourced co-ordinating copper finish children’s hangers to showcase the products. The finishing touch is a section of the store painted in Klein Blue to match Junior Edition’s logo and help to set off the copper fittings. Select in-store events are carried out throughout the year at Junior Edition – the most recent being Christmas crafts for kids with The Amazing Art Cart. Plans for Junior Edition are to continue growing the online business and expand the ranges, building on its strong childrenswear portfolio with a few new, choice brands for s/s 18. Longer term, the Ashbys have ambitions to expand the business into a true lifestyle concept, offering the best in design for 0-10 year olds, not only in clothing, but with additional homewares, toys, and gifts. 12 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017


FORTNUM & MASON 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER Iconic department store Fortnum & Mason has introduced a Bump & Baby department. Gifting is central, with luxurious products for newborns, baby showers, birthing and mums-to-be punctuated with the retailer’s iconic hampers. The department places focus on British labels and designer makers, with brands stocked – alongside Fortnum & Mason’s own collection – including Aurelia, Cradle & Tonic, Anne Claire Petit, Grin & Bear, Waddler, Elfie, Gardners, From Babies With Love, Wedgwood, Cam Cam, Garbo & Friends, Rainer & Bear, My Little Cozmo, Liewood and Olli Ella. The space also includes a breastfeeding room, a calming nook with a rocking chair and soft toys for children to play with.

JAKE AND JOY 4a Springfield Mill, Norman Road, Denby Dale, Huddersfield HD8 8TH Brand new to the retail scene is Jake and Joy, which opened its doors on 4 September offering clothing for babies and children from birth to 6 years. The store stocks brands which focus on quality, easy wear and care, organic fabric and bright modern designs, with current labels including Toby Tiger, Baby Acorn, Kite and Little Green Radicals. As well as shopping, the store – which is situated in Springfield Mill, Denby Dale – offers events for pre-school children and their parents. Hosted from a calm, quiet space above the shop, sessions include baby massage.


BODEN MAKES HIGH STREET DEBUT Boden has opened its first bricks and mortar store at London’s Duke of York Square, which is set to become a blueprint for further planned openings in 2018. Designed by Dalziel & Pow, the concept invites customers to shop ‘at home’ with Boden in a Georgian house setting. A feature staircase separates the two floors; Women’s, Accessories and Footwear on the ground, and Mini and Baby Boden on the lower ground.

SHOPETINO Launched on 1 November by mother and marketing manager Diane Bartholomew, Shopetino is a lifestyle store focused on kids’ clothing, accessories, jewellery and interiors. Targeting parents and gifters alike, it offers carefully curated products for baby up to 8 years from brands such as Carlie Grace, XOKiddo, Mama & Belle and Sophie Home. “As a new mother, I realised while there was a lot of great, independently produced children’s products on the market, none of it was reaching me,” says Bartholomew. “I’m extremely passionate about ecommerce and supporting other small businesses, so with Shopetino, I hope to marry the two.”

KIDS AROUND LAUNCHES IN ST DAVID’S St David’s in Cardiff marks the first store in Wales for childrenswear retailer Kids Around, which has opened a new 2,185 sq ft shop located on the Lower Ground floor. Stocking a range of premium and designer childrenswear brands, the new shop includes labels such as Hugo Boss, DKNY, Karl Lagerfeld Kids, Little Marc Jacobs, Timberland, Billieblush, Billybandit and Carrément Beau.




Heritage footwear brand Birkenstock has opened its first company-owned UK store. Located at 48 Neal Street in London’s Covent Garden district, the store encompasses 60 sq m of retail space on the ground floor. The selection of over 250 footwear styles is the largest in the UK and encompasses sandals and closed shoes for women, men and kids, as well as Birkenstock bags, legwear and accessories.

New research from Colliers International reveals that, by 2021, the rate of growth in e-commerce sales is expected to decline from the current level of around 11 per cent to 7 per cent. In anticipation of this, online retailers are increasingly using physical stores to bolster their sales and brands. This new trend, labelled ‘showrooming’, is not necessarily to generate sales through the tills, but to reinforce customer loyalty - and spending - online.

Data released recently by the Local Data Company (LDC) and British Independent Retailers Association (bira) shows independents opened significantly more shops than in the same period last year, while the national chains continued to see a fall. Independent shops saw an increase of +762 shops in the first half of 2017, a significant increase from the net increase of +4 shops in the first half or 2016.



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




New for 2017, Another Fox is a modern British clothing brand focused on all-over prints and fashion basics, using chemical-free inks and high-quality fabrics. The baby collection for 0-1 years includes bodysuits, rompers and leggings, while the kids’ collection for 1-6 years sees T-shirts, sweatshirts, rompers, hoodies, leggings and dresses. With the exception of two dresses, the majority of styles are gender neutral. Each collection follows a trend – a/w 17 is a nod to the space age, with silver metallic, alien embroideries and a space monkey print. Abstract and monochromatic prints, which are updated each season, form the basis of the brand. Wholesale prices £5-£10.

UK children’s fashion label Hunter + Rose launched in 2015, but only began wholesaling this year. Catering for 0-6 years, it offers collection of around 20-25 pieces, available in a variety of prints, across dresses, leggings, T-shirts, jumpers, accessories and rompers. The rompers are a bestseller for the brand, with their oversized look and soft cotton making them an easy essential for any child’s wardrobe. Stylewise, expect bold and modern designs and a monochrome colour palette, which the brand updates seasonally with key colours. Wholesale prices £7-£16.


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Chic, minimal and monochrome in style, childrenswear brand Wex Baby launched last year, representing a fusion of cultures. Designed in Paris and made in England, the label aims to encourage children and adults alike to take an interest in different languages. Fifteen high-quality, hand-drawn designs make up the collection, featured on T-shirts and sweatshirts. Key pieces include the brand’s classic ‘Oui Oui’ quote T-shirt and its newest design, ‘La Lune’. Wholesale prices £7-10.

Designed and manufactured in Britain, Wildchild London is a brand new label of stylish, gender-neutral clothes for kids. In February, the debut 15-piece s/s 18 collection will launch online and to trade offering casualwear for ages 2-9 years, including long and short sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirts, harem pants and leggings. Full of considered designs, highlights include splattered ink emojis, nature-inspired prints and subtle colours. All Wildchild London garments are ethically produced and feature toddler-safe ink and Oeko-Tex certified fabrics.

Childrenswear brand Olivia Grae Kids was established last year by Olivia Monteith; wife, mother of one, and lover of alternative fashion. Available for newborn through to six years, the UK label focuses on hand-dyed garments designed in-house and cheeky, tongue-in-cheek slogan T-shirts. Alongside the T-shirts, the 15-piece collection also features rompers, harems, leggings, sweaters, baby swaddles, hats and bandanas. Wholesale prices on request.



BRAND MACHINE GROUP CWB learns more about the ambitious plans in place for Brand Machine Group, the company responsible for delivering designer brands for kids to retailers across the globe. — Anyone who has worked in childrenswear for over 20 years would be forgiven for being more familiar with the name Flyers Group than Brand Machine Group. Founded in 1990 from the humble beginnings of a childrenswear market stall in East London, Flyers is a name that has been in the industry for decades. Since those early days, the business has grown to become a multi-million childrenswear empire, which rebranded late last year to Brand Machine Group. The thinking behind the rebrand was to create a well-defined brand identity across all of the company’s markets – a clear message about who the business is and what it does, 16 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

pulled together under the Brand Machine Group umbrella. Buoyed by its new identity, the company is now paving the way for growth; forging ahead into new markets, approaching potential new partners and building relationships with retailers and press. Part of Brand Machine Group’s business model includes showrooms readily available for retailers in all of its key markets; currently Hertford, Manchester, Frankfurt, Milan and Stockholm. However, the Group’s new direction is being supported by the addition of a recently opened London showroom. Located in the heart of King’s Cross, the

London base has added purpose; acting as a “hub” for retailers, partners and press in an easily accessible location, central to the company’s vital relationships. One of the main building blocks in the company’s plans for growth, the London showroom is already confirming its worth. Since its opening in September, it has helped elevate the business’s profile considerably, enabling it to share its latest collections more frequently and gain invaluable feedback and insight from integral people within the industry. In terms of the Group’s brand portfolio, it boasts an impressive line-up of leading,


“New brands aren’t the only thing shaking up the Group’s offering for a/w 18. It is also set to launch NuOrder, a new B2B platform that allows retailers to place orders, source information and access marketing material for each brand.” global names, including Farah, Converse, U.S. Polo Assn, Lyle & Scott, Ben Sherman, Franklin & Marshall and Original Penguin. Utilising 25 years’ experience in licensing and sourcing for leading labels, a dedicated team of buyers, designers, merchandisers and garment technologists take these brands’ identities and develops them into leading childrenswear lines. As well as having its own large design team, the Group works closely with the brands themselves when creating the childrenswear collections, coordinating with their designers and establishing what they are working on in womenswear and menswear, before putting its “adopt, adapt and create” strategy into action. This method helps ensure brand consistency, while also allowing for the creation of specific pieces exclusively for children. The result; childrenswear collections that strike a harmonious balance of trend-driven design and seasonal colours, fabrications and shapes, incorporating the core DNA of each

brand, while bringing themes for the upcoming season to life. As well as key focuses on design and innovation, the Group ensures that quality and safety are at the forefront of everything it does, applying best practice in terms of ethical and safety standards. With regard to the marketing of the brands, the same approach is taken as with the design. The company works with the brands’ creative and marketing teams to ensure a seamless alignment online and at retail level, encompassing everything from photo shoots and digital marketing content through to POS and shop-in-shops. This alignment continues into distribution, where Brand Machine Group safeguards consistency of positioning in all markets, ensuring where its places collections is in line with the brands’ strategies. Before the dust has even settled following the London showroom opening, Brand Machine Group is keeping up the pace with

more exciting developments for a/w 18. Firstly, in its dedication to continuously expanding, diversifying and amplifying its offer, the Group has two major signings joining its portfolio; Henri Lloyd and Money. New brands aren’t the only thing shaking up the Group’s offering for a/w 18. It is also set to launch NuOrder, a new B2B platform that allows retailers to place orders, source information and access marketing material for each brand. Integrating NuOrder into the Brand Machine Group essentially enables the company to provide a selling support tool. Available to both sales and buying teams within one platform, it allows users to browse products and catalogues and utilise marketing materials. It also offers the added convenience of allowing orders to be place online, 24/7, 365 days of the year. This essential tool is the latest component supporting this growing business, determinedly set on becoming the first choice children’s company in a rapidly paced industry. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 17


11 - 12 February 2018

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INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT: UK BABY & CHILDREN’S MARKET Key findings from consumer strategy consultancy Pragma’s recently published whitepaper on the UK baby and children’s market, which includes insights into market opportunities and challenges, brand opinion and an overview of industry trends. — PRAGMA VIEW: RALPH FERNANDO, SENIOR MANAGING DIRECTOR, STRATEGY, DIGITAL & OPERATIONS AT PRAGMA CONSULTING


“It is no secret that the market for children’s clothing and equipment is a darling of the investment community, beloved for its scale and apparent resistance to recessionary pressures. “The disregard for traditional notions of value for money, particularly on the part of new parents, has served only to make an already sweet treat even more irresistible. “In every corner of the consumer sector, our clients ask us what impact we expect from Brexit. It seems uncontroversial to anticipate a slowdown in spending in certain areas: there are undoubtedly clouds on the horizon. With inflation running at 2.7 per cent and wage growth failing to keep up, it is no wonder that consumer spending looks weak and wobbly. The question we ask is whether we can expect the nation’s spending on children to maintain its past form and profit from cutbacks made in more discretionary areas of spending? Industry forecasts suggest the answer is an emphatic ‘yes’. 20 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

“This represents a doubling of the growth rate witnessed between 2007 and 2016 for each category. The caveat to this is that no market forecasts anticipated what we saw in 2008. “We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but the one thing we can be relatively sure of is demand. The UK has produced an average of c.670k new babies every year since the year 2000, and this figure rises to more than 700k if we just look at the last decade. These babies need food and clothing, and that’s just the tip of an iceberg that includes everything from luxury pushchairs to baby yoga classes. “While the drivers behind volume appear robust, the evolution of market value is less clear. On the one hand, there is little evidence to suggest that the new crop of millennial parents are any less inclined to prioritise spending on their children. Indeed, one of the trends we are witnessing is the creation of the ‘mini-me’ – the child dressed in the style of a parent – a trend that lends itself to the social media habits of the Instagram generation, and which promises a new source of growth to those retailers that can identify the most relevant lines to re-imagine for this younger audience. Mamas & Papas understands this customer group very well and has introduced a very successful personal shopping service, as

well as Loved for Life, which refurbishes pushchairs, appealing to those who value recycling. “On the other hand, ‘value’ has penetrated this market, which was for so long considered a sacred cow in a way that few foresaw. Aldi has the second largest nappy brand in the country and the supermarket seems unwilling to stop there, having also introduced its own organic baby food and milk formula. And it is little surprise, given the runaway success of fast fashion retailers in the wider apparel market, to see early signs point to these same players taking increasing share in the children’s sector: H&M increased its market share from 0.7 per cent to 1.2 per cent between 2015 and 2016. “Whatever your views, new brands have been undeterred by the stiff, competitive environment created by established players. In this paper, we include interviews with two such brands: on the apparel side, industry veteran Kate Bostock discusses fulfilling her long-held ambition to build her childrenswear brand, Angel & Rocket. Elsewhere, we explore the growth of the Belle & Boo brand with co-founder Kate Shafe, considering the perennial parenting challenge of finding alternative gift options to the ubiquitous Disney franchises.”






What’s the story behind Angel & Rocket? My husband and I have strong backgrounds in retail, he in sourcing while I have been head of all clothing and general merchandise at Marks & Spencer, head of clothing at George and clothing director for Next and ASOS. When I decided to leave M&S, we started our lifelong ambition to launch our own brand, Angel & Rocket. My family is all involved: my youngest son is a designer and my eldest son is managing director, running the trading business as we call it. My husband’s manufacturing and sourcing business, Scantex, helps with the day-to-day running of the brand, particularly on logistics and shipping. We launched the brand for ages 3-10 years and we introduced a babywear range last winter. Why did you choose to go into childrenswear? You can have so much fun with childrenswear and that is one of the reasons why we chose it over womenswear. I am very involved with the design direction and brand personality, and I have a great design team who get it. They add their talents, always surprising me with their unique designs. I love what we do – our teamwork is special. What is the essence of the Angel & Rocket brand? Our brand is for kids who go places and do things, like going to restaurants with their families and, at some stage, with their friends. They travel, they go to the theatre. And therefore, there is an appropriateness about how they want to dress. They are definitely quite confident children, in that they want to be noticed. Where did the name come from? We deliberated for a number of weeks as to what to call this brand. We wanted something a little bit different and quirky. It

was actually my eldest son who came up with the two names. He was going to meet a friend in Islington one evening and he went past two pubs, one called The Angel and one called The Rocket. We get great feedback on the name – people love it. What were the first couple of years like? Quite challenging: buying stock, managing stock levels and making sure it was good enough. We called in a lot of favours from people we know, for which we are very, very grateful. I struggle to understand how people can do it without these previous relationships. We work with manufacturers we have known throughout our careers, because we trust them and we know that they are all extremely compliant with children’s standards and legislation. In the third year, it was still difficult as we were still investing and not really making any money, so we had to ask ourselves a few tough questions. Today, we can see we are doing the right thing and there is a real appetite for the brand, and we are now enjoying some profit.

Have you any interesting developments? We opened a pop-up shop in Marlow in June. We have lots of other things up our sleeves that will be very interesting for us as we move forward. I feel that we are on a big platform now in terms of getting ourselves out there. We are in around 30 stores in the Middle East and we are also talking to a major fashion retailer about going into label and onto their website. We are also in three Morleys stores, four John Lewis stores and its website, and we are in discussions with a number of international retailers. We have been careful to expand steadily. This is very important when you are establishing a brand and that you find partners who are the right fit. What about your own website? Our own website is trading very well right now. We have an industry champion working on its development. It’s great there is so much interest in your brand. The brand has unique handwriting, which is > NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 21


what people are looking for. Increasingly, kids want to be different and they want to have their own style and their own individual personality. And that is what we find works really well for Angel & Rocket. We are very careful to not be too expensive and to really keep our prices as low as we can. Value for money is absolutely key.

EXPERT VIEW: KATE SHAFE, OWNER, BELLE & BOO have it in the bathroom, to have the tea towel in the kitchen. I think the other key difference is that it has relevance with every corner of the globe. Although our brand feels British, people buy from as far afield as Japan, Australia, New Zealand, as well as close to home as Germany and France. Forty per cent of our sales come from overseas.

When you look at pricing, are there specific brands that are your reference points? Jigsaw Junior, Ted Baker’s kids’ brand and Joules, as well as Next, the supermarkets and Mothercare, although we have a very, very different product. We focus on detail and put an awful lot of work into fit and construction. All of our prints are 100 per cent unique because we design them ourselves. It sounds like you are inspired by the trends and not so much a slave to them? In terms of the “mini-me” trend, that’s not what we do. We use lace fabrics from womenswear trends and from some of the leading designers who have re-launched lace patterns. We have been first to market with a number of things; we launched the scuba fabric, which was fantastic for womenswear about three years ago, and we put that into a little girl’s dress. It was a beautiful print and it was the best seller in John Lewis instantly. We have talked about the kind of child that wears your clothing. What about the parents – who is your customer? They tend to shop brands like Whistles, Ted and White Company. We have also clearly got John Lewis’ customers. We are high street because we actually want to grow this brand and create volume. We want it to be quite a big business and, if we can offer something a bit different and a bit unique, I think there is definitely a gap. Have you seen any real changes in purchasing behaviour from parents? Yes, the internet has made things very, very different in terms of how people think about shopping, where they want to shop, how they want to shop and what they expect. It just keeps getting more and more exciting. The biggest challenge is getting your brand known. What is your ambition for Angel & Rocket? To become big and successful. I am very proud of my career to date and everything I have done, and I have enjoyed it all, which has been quite amazing. But I think to have something that is entirely yours, which you built together as a family, is so special, and that is our ambition. —


How do you get feedback from your customers? We’re socially active. We have 30,000 Instagram followers and 28,000 Facebook followers, and people talk to us via those channels. We do surveys as well, but people also get in touch with us directly.

Where did the idea for Belle & Boo come from? The business is currently owned by myself, Mandy Sutcliffe, who is the illustrator behind Belle & Boo, and my husband, Patrick. My background is in design, and I was also the marketing director for a London design agency. Its key clients were Disney and Warner Brothers, so I had quite a bit of experience working with characters. There was no huge start-up investment. The business grew by word of mouth and we managed the operational side of the business from home. Eventually, we needed a bigger space, so we moved to Bristol, which is where we’re now based. Today, the brand can be found across collections of homewares, stationery, children’s books, framed prints and wall stickers. We’re predominantly aimed at little girls between the ages of 2-7 years. The brand does appeal to boys too, but under the age of 3 years. What is the focus of your brand? The present focus is around cute characters. Belle, a little girl, and her bunny companion, Boo. Currently we have five picture books, two craft books and five activity books. We have built the world of Belle & Boo with licensing partners that are experts in their fields of china, melamine and clothing. At one point, we worked with 16 licensing partners, which in itself brings challenges, but today we work with five. To be successful at licensing, you need to have mass appeal. The children’s market is fiercely competitive. How do you differentiate yourselves? There are thousands of children’s brands, but very few become household names like Beatrix Potter or Christopher Robin. I think Belle & Boo has the opportunity to become a memorable part of childhood. Belle & Boo offers a nostalgic counterpoint. Parents are proud to put Belle & Boo up in the bedroom, to

What’s the profile of your core customer? They’re all ABC1s, but I would characterise them as customers who wish to break free of mass market brands and are looking for nostalgia. We classify our customers into three segments, which we call Charlotte, Kirsty and Rosemary. Charlotte is the high net worth individual who’s very time pressured, but wants an authentic, premium product with minimal effort. Then there’s Kirsty, who works around school hours with the time to buy the Belle & Boo craft book and will create a beautiful Belle & Boo tent in the garden. And then we have a lot of grandparents (Rosemary) who buy from us because Mandy’s artwork reminds them of the illustrations from their childhood. Where do you see Belle & Boo going in the next few years? We have ambition of growing our turnover to £3m. We feel we need to have more of a physical presence, which we’re discussing at the moment. We also have the vision to grow more properties under the world of Belle & Boo. Mandy is currently working on a new property called the Little Dancers, which is going to begin life as a book and is about five children united by their love of ballet. Interestingly, we are launching that with a book deal with Pan McMillan in the US. Are there any other brands or retailers you admire? Yes, most of them are quite small, except for Happy Jackson – I admire how it’s taken a concept that appeals across the board. Then there’s a brand called Lucky Boy Sunday, a really beautiful, luxury knitted art toys and soft furnishings brand with very quirky characters. There’s also an online retailer called Wicked Uncle, which has totally found a gap in the market. It’s aimed at the kind of man who suddenly realises that it’s little Johnny’s birthday and needs a last-minute gift. Have you seen much change in the market over the time that you’ve been operating? We’ve changed as our customer has changed and in marketing, we certainly have to work harder.




Retailers like Primark are now offering product range, quality, price and artwork in our space. And I think today, children spend less and less time at home, off doing clubs left, right and centre, so you have to remind parents more about the importance of low-tech family-oriented playtime. We’ve brought out products such as paper kit and we now have a Belle’s dolls house kit, a pirate kit and dress up dolls – all products that you have to use with your child. Do you think there are things you can do to try to encourage high levels of loyalty? We’re working on a Belle & Boo kids’ club. You’ll sign in your child and, throughout the year, they’ll receive gifts and parents will be rewarded when they buy from us. Have you ever considered the bigger retailers as a route to market for your brand? The problem we find with bigger retailers is there doesn’t seem to be a connection with the buying department. If you take just a duvet and put it on a shelf with loads of other children’s character brands, people don’t know it well enough. That’s why we’ve been more successful in smaller independents, where we can create a Belle & Boo backdrop. How many independents do you sell into at the moment? Over 300. We’re also in over 20 countries. Overseas retailers often approach us because their customers keep asking them whether they’re going to stock our range. How do you attract new customers? We’ve just engaged with an agency to try to help us with social media and we’re really drilling down into what customers are coming to Belle & Boo for. We’re also looking at a programme with schools and nurseries, where we can send them our books and gift bags. What are the biggest questions facing your business? Do we become a high-street business or do we need to look at our product range? Also, we’re looking at our product mix and marketing, all the challenges that every business like us has. The one thing we have that other businesses might not is a beautiful brand that is much loved by anybody who finds it.

ECO-FRIENDLINESS Developments in eco-friendly and biodegradable nappies are spurring growth in the market, as eco-conscious millennials drive parenting ideals. There are a number of options on the market, from biodegradable, disposable nappies to reusable nappies and hybrids in between. The driver behind innovation in this product category is primarily eco-consciousness. Biodegradable nappies will now disappear in six years, as opposed to 500 years for standard nappies. For reusable nappies, the argument is often around reducing landfill, although there is a debate about the amount of carbon emissions and water usage from the many washing cycles. Interestingly, there is even a service market that has grown up around the trend. In New York, where washers and dryers are not a staple of every home, there are several delivery services, such as Diaper Kind and Nature’s Premiere, that pick up dirty, reusable nappies on a weekly basis for laundering. Another driver behind eco-friendly nappies is the concern about exposing babies to unnecessary chemicals, which is often why companies in this space, such as Jessica Alba’s Honest Company and Emma Bunton’s Kit and Kin, have expanded into sensitive and organic skincare products. The absorbent polymers that take so long to biodegrade are also petroleum based, which many feel is too harsh to be so close to a baby’s skin. While no evidence suggests that these polymers are harmful, there is a desire for entirely natural toiletries to protect sensitive skin. Finally, and more frivolously, cloth nappies look quite cool. They are easy to coordinate with outfits and mark an open-minded kind of parent, injecting a little bit of fun into what can be the less glamourous side of parenting. CUSTOMISATION – PYO (PICK YOUR OWN) Another growing trend in the children’s market is personalisation; from furniture and pushchair design, to services offered. As with clothing, millennial parents are pushing the boundaries of what is expected from categories previously related to ‘comfort’ and design. While safety and security remain top priorities for millennial parents, when it comes to furniture and pushchair purchase decisions, they are taking an increasing interest in the design and look. Pushchairs have become a fashion statement and a number of new companies have entered the market with safety, quality and design at the heart of their offering. Some companies, such as Joolz Day 2, Quinny Zap and German-engineered Teutonia, have pushed the envelope further by putting the design process in the hands of the parents, allowing them to customise different aspects such as colour, chassis and wheel type, sun canopy, seat cover and pushchair handles. Brands are delivering this through enhanced service propositions, either in person, through personal shopping services in stores, or online via flexible web tools. FROM SUPERHEROES TO FASHION HEROES Childrenswear has evolved from comfort dressing to a more fashion-led proposition. Retailers across the value spectrum have invested in the “mini-me” trend. Millennial parents with increased disposable incomes, opting for smaller family sizes and heavily influenced by celebrity trends, provide the greatest fuel for “fashionising” childrenswear. Parents, more than ever before, want their children dressed in a manner that emulates their own style. This, coupled with the fact that children are growing up faster than before and beginning to develop their own sense of identity at an earlier age, has led to a rejection of clothing lines featuring much-loved TV, cartoon and gaming characters. So, it hardly comes as a surprise that the competition in children’s clothing is heating up. The segment that has seen a lot of activity recently is online premium wear. In 2016, Babyshop acquired AlexandAlexa to form the Luxury Kids Group, a premium children’s retailer whose estimated turnover was EUR 40 million in FY16. Farfetch launched its childrenswear division in March 2016, and has grown from nine brands to over 70, while leading designer childrenswear retailer boasts over 280 luxury designer brands online. EMPOWERED PLAYTIME Crowdfunding and social media usage have been the driving forces behind a new trend in children’s toys that seeks to challenge large toy manufacturers’ lack of inclusive toys and positive role models, particularly for girls. While large toy manufacturers are taking some steps to update their approach – i.e. ‘normal’ proportioned Barbie – many feel steps are too slow or miss the mark and have decided to take their own action. Kickstarter has nurtured many notable independent toy makers, connecting them directly with consumer demand. Goldieblox began on Kickstarter with its idea for construction sets for girls. Having far surpassed its funding goal, it has successfully grown a wide portfolio of toys and digital media based on the integration of storytelling and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) principles. Similarly, Lammily Doll, also started on Kickstarter, designing fashion dolls with “normal” human body proportions for both boys and girls, aiming to provide a positive, relatable body image. Ikuzi Dolls, also a Kickstarter baby, challenge another well-established bias in the toy industry, designing dolls to resemble all kinds of girls; ranging from dark to light brown complexion. Other toys disrupting the “pink aisle” are NOOKS, gender-neutral doll’s houses designed in Finland. Made from wood, they are built as sets of interconnected modules to encourage imaginative play. Pragma: / +44 (0)20 7902 6888 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 23




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THE HERDY COMPANY Celebrating a decade in business this year, Herdy recently expanded its remit beyond gifts, homeware and accessories with the launch of Herdy Baby. CWB speaks to Spencer Hannah, the brand’s co-founder and creator, to learn more about the company inspired by the Lake District’s Herdwick sheep. — Laura Turner: What’s the story behind The Herdy Company? Spencer Hannah: Myself and Diane, my wife and business partner, created Herdy back in 2007, so it’s our tenth anniversary this year. As designers relocating our commercial design practice to the Lakes, we wanted to complement the cultural and heritage offerings with something new, fresh and contemporary. A brand that represents its birthplace and thinks progressively about how business from this background should recognise responsibility, as well as commercial enterprise. LT: Your branding featuring a Herdwick sheep is very distinct. Where did the concept come from? SH: The Lake District’s iconic Herdwick sheep is the inspiration behind the brand. Herdy has become an icon for our region and was recently licensed to support the World Heritage Status Campaign. After a trip to Helsinki back in 2006 (myself and my wife both love Scandi design), Diane and I returned home, went for a fell walk, met a Herdwick staring intently at us, took its picture and realised this was the face of the Lakes. LT: What does The Herdy Company offer in terms of products? SH: Originally, we offered a core range of giftware, homeware and accessories. As the brand has evolved, so has the offering. Herdy Baby offers clothing and accessories for babies and young children. Herdy Country offers bags and accessories made from natural materials, handmade in Britain. Herdy Sleep, meanwhile, offers a pocket-sprung mattress made with Herdwick wool supporting the Lake Districts Upland Fell Farming Shepherds, and again, handmade in Britain. LT: Baby is the newest addition to the Herdy family – what led you to expand into this sector? SH: Interaction with our fans, followers and consumers. It’s so important to listen and act on behalf of your audiences. On social media, parents and families have played about with Herdy for a long time. Parties, cakes – even weddings. Herdy is cute, so it was the perfect fit for babies. LT: What does the Herdy Baby collection comprise? SH: We have a single, unisex style – great for gifting – across two-way top and pant sets, hoodies, sleeping bags, a cuddle robe, beanie, bib and soft toys. Booties and a baby-changing bag will shortly be available too. LT: How do you see the Herdy Baby collection evolving? SH: We aim for it to extend and develop into a broader range that can become its own concession. This will help our retail partners as well as us.

LT: Who are you targeting for stockists of Herdy Baby? SH: For now, quality conscious SME indie retailers looking for something unique to complement their other ranges and who are looking for a long-term relationship with Herdy. They can help us to nurture Herdy Baby. LT: As a business, what is your stance on social responsibility and environmental awareness? SH: The day we set up The Herdy Company, we launched The Herdy Fund. Created to give back to the birthplace of Herdy, we support upland fell farmers, rural communities and help protect the Herdwick breed. For Herdy, it’s always been about creating practical support for the area and people who are intrinsic to the brand. For instance, our Herdy Sleep mattresses use a whole Herdwick fleece – we pay the farmers double market value for the wool, which would otherwise be a waste product for them. In 2010, we won the BITC (Business in the Community) Small Company of the Year for responsible business practice. Receiving our award from HRH The Prince of Wales was a proud moment for us all. LT: A number of your products are manufactured in the UK – what’s the percentage and are there plans to increase this figure? SH: Presently it’s around 40 per cent, but that will always fluctuate. It’s our company policy to make Made in the UK work – when we can. Unfortunately, we have no influence over political, financial and foreign exchange fluctuations. This can be a disruptor for a business like ours, which sources many raw materials for a wide range of applications. LT: As well as wholesale and an ecommerce website, you also operate own-brand stores – where are they located? SH: We have five shops in total - Kendal (our latest), Keswick, Grasmere and Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District National Park and one in Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales. LT: How many stockists does The Herdy Company currently have? SH: In total, we have around 230 retailers across the UK. We also trade internationally with a handful of retailers in the US, mainland Europe and Japan. LT: What are your plans for the business? SH: In the short-term, to continue establishing our UK footprint. Long-term, to become the most lovable brand personality in the world.



TOP DRAWER S/S18 Showcasing hand-picked products across Home, Gift, Fashion and Craft is design-led trade event Top Drawer, which returns to Olympia London for Spring/Summer 18 on 14-16 January. Here is a pick of the children’s gifts on offer. — K-PLAY INTERNATIONAL DOCK & BAY

GIFT | Stand: S48 With over 50 years’ experience, K-Play’s extensive range of toys features over 2,300 lines, including wooden baby toys, retro cars and handmade animals. Brands exclusively available through K-Play are Goki, Heimess and Holztiger.

GIFT | Stand: M40 Dock & Bay has set out to reinvent the traditional towel with a line of soft microfibre towels that are compact, sand free, lightweight, quick dry and affordable, reflecting the brand founders’ addiction to travel and love of experiencing new things. Unique packaging adds to Dock & Bay’s gift appeal, including the new kids’ poncho range, complete with carry bag.



GIFT | Stand: Q40 Bob & Blossom designs clothes for babies, toddlers and small children. The range includes cheeky slogan T-shirts and sweatshirts, tutus and party skirts, all-in-ones with matching hats, bloomers and leggings. Blankets, tights, balloons, cards and gift boxes also feature.


WILDFIRE TEEPEES GIFT | Stand: R33 Wildfire Teepees is a brand of monochrome teepees and mix-and-match home accessories. Products are available in three prints – bold stripe, swiss cross and geometric grid – with brightly coloured, black or white trims available on the teepees. Also key are circular play mats that fit neatly inside the teepees, pyramid bean bags and toy storage bags. A new, jersey sleep collection arriving for Christmas 17 features the brand’s signature monochrome prints, with the addition of a dash print and a charcoal marl. New for babies includes sleeping bags, blankets and cot sheets. 26 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

GIFT | Stand: Q33 From Babies with Love offers ethically sourced baby gifts, from which it donates 100 per cent of the profits to support orphaned and abandoned children. Products include blankets, babygros, tops, bottoms, dresses, hats, bibs, muslins, wooden and soft toys, art prints and door hangers, together with a variety of gift sets. All of the brand’s garments are made with certified organic cotton yarn.


EXHIBITION CALENDAR CWB’s guide to the upcoming trade shows. — PITTI BIMBO 18-20 JANUARY 2018 Fortezza da Basso, Florence Returning to Florence’s Fortezza da Basso for a/w 18, the 86th edition of Pitti Bimbo will present a full overview of children’s fashion and lifestyle. Covering 47,000 sq m, the fair will play host to 498 brands across nine areas. Key returns and new signings this season include Ubang, Kaiko Clothing, Ikks Junior, Banwood, Miss Blumarine, Gosoaky, Tobias and the Bear, Choupette, Foque and Timberland. Pitti Bimbo’s comprehensive offering also includes catwalk shows, presentations and special events.

BUBBLE LONDON 28-29 JANUARY 2018 Business Design Centre, London The UK’s largest children’s trade show, Bubble London, will present over 200 a/w 18 collections from an edited selection of fashion, lifestyle, nursery and accessories brands. This season’s highlights includes the return of the Bubble Runway show, providing opportunity to see the new season’s key collections brought to life, showcased by some special mini celebrity guests. Other features include new panel discussions, seminars, collaborations and exciting launches and exclusives. CURIOUS ORANJ INDX KIDSWEAR, 11-12 FEBRUARY 2018

Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre, Solihull INDX Kidswear will host over 150 UK and international brands for a/w 18. Amid its offer, buyers can see new ranges in christening and occasionwear from Pretty Originals, Abella, Next Generation, Premier Designs and Sevva, and gifts from Best Years and Zippy. Extended exhibition space has allowed for over 20 new labels this season, including EMC, Paz Rodriguez, Huggee, Bogoleta Couture, Artesania Chari and Baby GI. Free lunch, refreshments and parking are included.

MODA FOOTWEAR 18-20 FEBRUARY 2018 NEC, Birmingham Moda Footwear returns to the NEC for a/w 18 with an unrivalled selection of brands from across the full spectrum of the shoe industry. As well as the wider labels which offer a children’s range – such as Xti and Ecco – the show will also present dedicated children’s collections within its Mini Moda area. Brands already confirmed for a/w 18 include Lelli Kelly, Bobux, Froddo, Ren But, Richter, Primigi and Pepino, with the school shoe sector also well covered.

CHILDREN’S CLUB 7-9 January 2018 Jacob Javits Center, New York TOP DRAWER S/S18 14-16 January 2018 Olympia, London FIMI 19-21 January 2018 Cristal Pavilion, Casa de Campo, Madrid PLAYTIME BERLIN 23-24 January 2018 Palazzo Italia, Berlin PLAYTIME PARIS 27-29 January 2018 Parc Floral de Paris, Paris CIFF KIDS 31 January – 2 February 2018 Forum, Copenhagen PLAYTIME NEW YORK 11-13 February 2018 Metropolitan Pavilion & Altman Building, New York PLAYTIME TOKYO 20-22 February 2018 Belle Salle Shibuya Garden, Tokyo HARROGATE INTERNATIONAL NURSERY FAIR 25-27 March 2018 Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate



Style GUIDE:

WILDFIRE TEEPEES Storage bag From £20

STORAGE SOLUTIONS: Stylish storage for children’s toys and belongings.

Unless stated otherwise, all prices are wholesale

MINENE Storage baskets and boxes Prices on request

RICE Woven storage animal – Kangaroo £22.20 28 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017

LA BASKETRY Medium Etoile basket £22.60

3 SPROUTS Elephant and crocodile toy storage chest £13.64 each










01: A.ANDREASSEN Girl’s leather slippers in white/pearl £23.00

02: MOLLY & MOO Bamboo tableware set £12.40

04: OSKAR & ELLEN Mermaid shell house bag £14.30

05: ORGANIC ZOO Sweatshirt £10

03: CRADLE & TONIC Natural aromatherapy candles for mums-tobe, mum and baby Prices on request 06: ROCKAHULA KIDS Glitter band earmuffs £4.17

Unless stated otherwise, all prices are wholesale NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 29




Independe REtail Awards

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THE RESULTS THE JUDGES GEMMA WHATES In 2014, after years working in retail marketing agencies as an account director for companies such as Disney, Gemma Whates launched All by Mama, an online marketplace for parent-run businesses. Since launch, All by Mama – a champion of flexible working – has raised investment of almost £100,000 and boasts a community of over 300 parents in business. KATE HILL Kate Hill is founder of Alegre Media, a fast-paced PR and media agency based between London and Marbella, specialising in fashion and lifestyle. Kate has always been involved in PR, working with both start-up and established companies. EMILY BEARDSWORTH Emily Beardsworth is the owner of May Creative Marketing, which specialises in the marketing needs of babywear and kidswear manufacturers and retailers. Emily takes a holistic approach, creating beautiful images and using them both online and offline to boost sales and elevate the profile of a brand. LINDSAY HOYES Lindsay Hoyes is event director of the UK’s leading kids’ trade show, Bubble London. An expert in children’s fashion and the wider industry, Lindsay has been overseeing Bubble – and curating its unique brand edit – for over 10 years. LAURA TURNER Laura Turner is editor of CWB magazine, the UK’s only trade title dedicated exclusively to the childrenswear sector. Working in the industry for over 13 years, she’s a trusted authority on retailers and brands.





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WINNER: PIXIE CHILDRENSWEAR Unit 3, Century House, Ashley Road, Hale, Cheshire WA15 9SF Established: 2010

Pixie Childrenswear pays great attention to its customers’ needs and tastes, demonstrating in-depth knowledge of its target customer. A buying strategy split between seasonal and in-season keeps the stock offer fresh and nimble to customer demand, while attendance at trade shows maintains the business’s industry and product knowledge. Staff are very much involved in all elements of the business and their opinions valued. Pixie Childrenswear invests heavily in marketing, customer service and in-store events, and boasts a clear and considered strategy for continued growth and success.




27 High Street, Leicester, Leicestershire LE1 4FP Established: 1998

Jellyrolls has a clear range and target market, and has merchandised well to represent its customers over the last 19 years. Staff are knowledgable on the brands, with special touches such as making notes on what customers like helping enhance the service. Other personal touches include out-ofhours shopping, gift-wrapped boxes free of charge, professional shoe fitting and customer loyalty rewards. Jellyrolls is committed to attending key UK and international trade shows, ensuring the business stays ‘in the know’ in terms of market knowledge and the latest trends. It also has plans for a bigger and better web presence.

FINALIST: NOT SO BIG Not So Big feels like a treasure trove of discovery. It offers a great mix of product and interesting, independent labels across clothing, shoes, toys and gifts, all within a stylish and visually stimulating, environment. Great attention is paid to the merchandising and displaying of stock, with new items showcased on a central station, clothing displayed on the walls and shelves and toys and gifts in their own exclusive area. Not So Big makes good use of social media for marketing purposes, especially Instagram, with encouraging plans to appoint a PR company to support continued growth.

31a Highgate High Street, Highgate, London N6 5JT Established: 2003





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WINNER: TRAPEZE KIDS 308 Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S11 8ZL Established: 2016

An expertly designed store, celebrating some great brands, coupled with some lovely customer touches. Brands and products are predominately unisex, enabling customers to mix-and-match irrespective of gender. There’s a focus on responsible production – local manufacture, use of organic/ sustainable materials, multifunctionality and heirloom items – with everything displayed minimally for a boutique aesthetic and a clear shopping experience. Kids are catered for with a vintage desk for colouring in and reading, and they can also play with the toys on display. Trapeze Kids boasts an effective, omni-channel set up; customers can, for instance, see a product on the store’s email newsletter, enquire about it via Instagram, shop for it online and pick it up, gift-wrapped, from the shop. 34 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017



14 Lonsdale Road, Harborne, Birmingham, West Midlands B17 9RA Established: 2017

MiniMini has a strong and cohesive vision of what it wants to offer. From the brands – new and unknown in the UK and often exclusive to the store – through to the location and visual identity; logo, graphics, website, interior design and visual merchandising. Gestures to enhance customer service include customised posters with a child’s name designed especially for each client, a free MiniMini monster cookie with each purchase, a colouring corner in the shop for kids, while in-store events have included face painting, free children’s yoga and tai-chi classes. MiniMini also displays a strong social media presence.

FINALIST: FIFIBELLE Fifibelle takes pride in creating a welcoming, beautiful environment for its customers that is also pram-friendly and practical. Window displays are changed weekly to showcase the latest deliveries, while on social media, the store posts an ‘outfit of the day’, which generates both engagement and purchases. Fifibelle is very much part of the community, regularly working with and promoting other local businesses and events. Most recently was a photo shoot with a local baby photographer for marketing images, which Fifibelle negotiated for free in exchange for selling gift vouchers for the photographer’s shoots in-store. Fifibelle has a very clear vision for its future, with well-laid short, medium and long-term plans in place.

3 Station Road, Parbold, Wigan, Lancashire WN8 7NU Established: 2017




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WINNER: MONKEY MCCOY Established: 2006

Monkey McCoy fully rebranded last year for its 10th anniversary, unveiling a clean, modern, user-friendly and fully responsive website. As well as putting the retailer at the top of its game, the investment serves to reaffirm Monkey McCoy’s commitment to evolving and meeting customer demand – a point proven by a 100 per cent increase in its customer base since relaunching. The retailer regularly travels to both showrooms and trade shows to discover new and exciting stock, and has a huge range of inspiring labels on offer – a real pull for repeat custom. A variety of special touches, including gift wrapping with seasonal sweet treats, personal notes for gifts, combined orders and free returns in the UK completes a truly impressive ecommerce package. 36 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017



ShortStich offers an innovative concept in the form of a bespoke shopping service for busy parents of children aged 3-10 years. Based on the customer’s tastes and lifestyle, it curates a full box of shoes, clothing and accessories, which is delivered directly to the customer’s door. The service is enhanced by an easy-to-use, well-designed website, stylish packaging, a personalised letter to the child recipient and free delivery and returns. Branding is clean and fresh, while the retailer’s work with influencers, bloggers and online advertising campaigns help develop new creative means to increase brand awareness and grow the company.

FINALIST: DAPPER BABY Dapper Baby places huge importance on customer service, going above and beyond to create the optimum shopping experience for its customers. One example is free first class delivery as standard within the UK. Even more impressive is its offer of free international shipping where possible – including the USA, Canada, Germany and Ireland, with new destinations constantly being added, the most recent being The Netherlands. Other notable touches include gift wrapping as standard, which includes a complimentary bag of sweets, plus 24/7 availability on social media. Encouraging plans for growth include increasing the number of brands and the size range, a pop-up shop and development of the store’s blog. Established: 2012




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WINNER: LITTLE BROGUES Unit 2, Triarom House, Birch Street, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1EG Established: 2017

Little Brogues’ owner, Simon Dernie, has been a children’s footwear agent since 2008. Still an agent today, alongside the shop, Dernie utilises access to trends and new brands to enhance the business. Personal services include out-of-hours appointments for children needing extra time or space, podiatrist referrals, and a gift and sweet with each purchase, including online orders, which receive a thank you card and sweet. Every child has a fitting record to enhance future purchases, while a loyalty card scheme offers a half price pair of shoes after six stamps. The shop itself is eclectic and fun, with vintage toys and an artificial grass floor. The business has a measured growth plan that avoids rapid expansion, perfecting the first shop before repeating the model in other towns. 38 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017



185 Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee DD2 5HS Established: 1999

This Little Piggy demonstrates impressive marketing and customer engagement strategies. PR embraces imaginative window displays, local advertising, merchandise and networking in the community. Customer centric in its approach, the store’s colours have been chosen to soothe, free bags of pink strawberry chocolate pigs come with every purchase and children purchasing their first pair of shoes are awarded a medal and a teddy bear, with the option to appear on the retailer’s Facebook page. This Little Piggy is also a recognised expert in fitting orthopaedic soles, splints, artificial, difficult or problem feet.

FINALIST: JUMP Jump is a visually impressive store, with a vibrant and fun decor, locally renowned window displays and extra touches, such as bowls of sweets and goodies, and a TV to engage children. To provide the best possible service, Jump allows customers to take shoes home to try if the child won’t come to the shop, it answers queries 24/7, seven days a week, it delivers out of hours, and the owners even provide customers with discounted rates for their holiday cottage. Marketing strategies are inspired, including two logo cars, social media, local advertising, sponsorship of local sports clubs, and talks in schools about the importance of getting feet professional measured.

43-45 High Street, Gosforth, Tyne and Wear, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4AA Established: 2006





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WINNER: BLUE ALMONDS 164 Walton Street, London, SW3 2JL Established: 2007

Blue Almonds is cleverly sectioned into three, distinct rooms featuring carefully curated brands. One focuses on interior design for children – furniture, room decor, wallpaper and fabrics; another on baby accessories and toys; and the third, on childrenswear for 0-4 years. Personalisation is available, including embroidery and hand-painting on furniture. Beyond delivery, the store provides furniture installation, wallpapering and a ‘handy man’ service, with plans in place for a baby gift concierge. Blue Almonds has in-store events, collaborations and pop-ups, and engages with bloggers and influencers. Plans include creating own-brand products and growing via a Blue Almonds “community”, where mums-to-be and existing mums can connect and gain advice on products and related topics. 40 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017


FINALIST: NATURAL BABY SHOWER Natural Baby Shower is dedicated to its ethos of offering an impressive and extensive brand list representing natural, eco and ethical products. To further enhance the shopping experience for its customers, in addition to its team of highly knowledgeable staff, it is currently undertaking a large expansion that will triple the store in size. Other exciting plans for the business include developing the store into The Hub at Natural Baby Shower, which will provide a space for classes, meetings and for the parenting community to come together to share advice and tips, in addition to shopping.

Windlebrook House, 55 Guildford Road, Bagshot, Berkshire GU19 5NG Established: 2015

FINALIST: WHITE BUNNY BOUTIQUE Elegant and child-friendly, White Bunny Boutique is inspired by the Secret Garden and Peter Rabbit. The theme is evident in the white picket fence window display, with its silk and real flowers changing seasonally. A white picket fence enclosed play area also features, with a secure garden gate and artificial grass. The bunny theme can be found in the shop street sign, the hooks displaying outfits and gift bags. Efforts to ensure a positive customer experience, especially for parents with young children, include a toilet and changing facilities, seating for feeding and space for buggies to manoeuvre around the store. Social media is key to the store, being used for marketing, giveaways and promotional codes, while the website includes an online boutique and blog.

13 Scott Skinner Sq, Banchory, Aberdeenshire AB31 5SE Established: 2017





0208 887 8778



45: News

47: SA Awards The results from the first-ever Schoolwear Association Awards








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t: 0161 480 8582




Schoolwear NEWS:


The latest news from the schoolwear industry. GARDINERS APPOINTED AS HUSH PUPPIES DISTRIBUTOR

Global marketer of branded footwear Wolverine Worldwide has appointed leading UK footwear and workwear distributor Gardiner Bros & Co (Leathers) Ltd (Gardiners) as the official distributor and licensed partner for Hush Puppies footwear for UK and Ireland. The development marks an exciting time for the Hush Puppies brand, particularly in the Back to School ranges. Hush Puppies offers a unique set of precisely calibrated footbeds for each shoe, which tailor the fit individually to each foot if required. This is an essential evolution in footwear, with 1 in 3 children requiring a different fitting between their left and right feet. With regular re-measuring, soft bones are given sufficient room to grow. “We’re ecstatic that our successful commercial relationship with Hush Puppies has evolved to full distributorship,” says Gardiners’ commercial director, Alex Souter. “We’ve made investments so that retailers can experience the best possible service levels. We’ve strengthened the sales team, not only allowing for nationwide coverage, but also ensuring that each customer experiences a personalised trading relationship. We’re also working closely with Wolverine to ensure a smooth transition of business.” —


UNIFORM SUPPLIERS SLAM THE SELLING OF FASHION AS UNIFORM The Schoolwear Association (SA) has criticised a new trend of stores offering children’s fashion clothing as suitable for school. SA chair David Burgess, says: “We’re aware of a number of high street retailers and supermarkets describing some items of clothing as schoolwear that are inappropriate for the classroom. This undermines the hard work schools put in with their suppliers to create a proper, high-quality uniform that is the same for everyone.” Burgess challenged ideas that uniform somehow limits children’s freedom of expression. Instead, the issue was protecting the serious purpose and practical suitability of a uniform. “A quality uniform projects the ethos of the school to the students who wear it and the wider community,” he continues. “It alleviates tensions caused by socio-economic imbalances by reducing peer pressure. It helps to ensure students are focused on their school work, instead of worry about whether or not they are wearing the latest fashion item. As is well documented, school uniform aids improved learning, better behaviour and greater safety in and out of school.” —

GFORCE SPORTSWEAR LAUNCHES ESSENTIALS Gymphlex’s GFORCE Sportswear brand now includes the new Essentials range, which is designed to help schools stand out from the crowd by creating their own unique sports kits. It offers a range of seven designs and a core range of 20 colours, which cover all school sports. Embroidery and printing are also available on the garments, with only a minimum quantity of 50 for the first order and 25 thereafter. —

School uniform supplier Schoolblazer has been named one of Cambridgeshire’s best up-andcoming businesses. 25 made the list of emerging companies in Grant Thornton’s Cambridgeshire Ltd report, which identifies the top 100 businesses in the county; Schoolblazer was the only clothing retailer to make the top 25. With a compound turnover growth of 17 per cent, the company has seen growth since it started in 2004, now supplying over 150 schools.

Manchester children’s charity, Wood Street Mission, is running a Christmas Appeal to help local families struggling to make ends meet. The charity, which also runs the SmartStart project – providing local children living in poverty with school uniform and kit – is appealing for donations of new toys and gifts suitable for up to 14 years of age, alongside everyday food items. There are various ways individuals or businesses can support and donate to the appeal, including via and through an organised collection, raffle or Carol service at your place of work. To book for Christmas donations to be collected before the final collection and donation date on Friday 15 December, call 0161 8343140. Donations can also be dropped off Monday to Friday at Wood Street Mission at 26 Wood Street, Manchester, M3 3EF. —

WILLIAM TURNER TURNS HEADS William Turner’s sales director, Andy Smith, has set his sights on a new project in response to customer appeals for a range of straw boaters, felt hats and other similar styles often associated with private schools, at a more competitive price. After sourcing a suitable factory and following rigorous quality assessments, the William Turner sales team is now able to offer the requested range in a selection of styles and band colours. Customers are advised to send their current samples of winter styles to William Turner by the end of December 2017 to meet the deadline for the summer 2018 container. —

After the recent appointments of two new customer account managers, William Turner is welcoming a new apprentice into its accounts department. “It’s fantastic to be able to welcome new staff into the business at a time when we’ve celebrated our factory manager winning the Outstanding Service to Schoolwear Award,” says MD Daniel Turner. “Having employees who have been dedicated to the company for decades working alongside new staff brings a valuable dynamic.”

Last month, school uniform specialist Greenswear in Cleethorpes celebrated 40 years in business. The retailer of plain and badged school uniform garments stocks suppliers such as Banner, Rowlinson and Trutex, alongside David Luke uniform for Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Rainbows and Scouts. Greenswear is also a member of both the Schoolwear Association and the Federation of Small Businesses. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 45

Like our schoolwear,. our commitment to independent retailers is designed to last.. Since David Luke opened for business back in 1982, sustainability has been at the heart of our brand. And that includes our commitment to the independent retailers we serve – many of whom we’ve supplied well-designed, hard wearing garments to, for decades. The landscape has changed. This is a critical time and we pledge to continue putting independent retailers first. Visit to discover more about us or call 0161 272 7474. Email

Durability in mind Ethics at heart..

Proud sponsor of SA award ‘Best Schoolwear Specialist’


SA AWARDS: THE RESULTS CWB brings you the results from the first-ever Schoolwear Association Awards, which were revealed at a presentation evening during the Association’s annual fundraising evening following the first day of the Schoolwear Show. —


This year saw the Schoolwear Association (SA) hold its inaugural schoolwear industry awards evening. The sell-out event, which was attended by over 160 people, took place on 15 October after the first day of the Schoolwear Show. Representatives from across the industry gathered at the Strictly Come Dancing-themed event to mark the achievements of the award winners and of the schoolwear sector as a whole. The awards were judged by a panel made up of Laura Turner, editor of CWB magazine, the UK’s only trade title for the schoolwear and childrenswear sectors.

Turner has been reporting on the schoolwear industry for over 13 years, and on the Schoolwear Association since its launch. Ken Scates, retired chief executive of the Banner Group, was selected as a judge for his wealth of experience in the industry, having worked in childrenswear and schoolwear for over 40 years. Scates has also served on the council of the National Children’s Wear Association of Great Britain and Ireland (NCWA) for over 30 years, where he currently holds the role of president. Joyce Daly, past vice chair of the SA and former organiser of the Schoolwear Show, the industry’s annual trade exhibition for independent schoolwear

retailers, completed the expert panel. “The awards have been a wonderful celebration of an industry that is incredibly proud of its standards,” says SA chairman, David Burgess. “The nominees, and indeed the winners, are proof that we have much talent in our sector.” In addition to the publicised award categories, a surprise mention in the form of a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was given to David Burgess, chairman of David Luke and the SA. Burgess was recognised by his peers for his long career in the industry and for his contribution towards the setting up and running of the Schoolwear Association. >>> NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 47


The results of the awards, which were sponsored by CWB magazine, Banner, William Turner and David Luke, are as follows. —


WINNER: WHITTAKERS SCHOOLWEAR Following refurbishment, Whittakers boasts an impressive, modern store concept and shop floor presentation, with investment in stock presentation, ease of movement through the redesigned store and a personal shopping experience all contributing to a notable growth in sales and the number of schools serviced. Other winning attributes include good relations with suppliers, high levels of staff training, out-of-hours appointments, a strong online presence and regular involvement with schools, including the hosting of pop-up shops. This is also a business that ‘gives something back’, contributing to the community through its relationship with the local BID (Business Improvement District) teams, leading to involvement with numerous local events, and its donation of redundant stock to needy causes. —


FINALIST: BILLINGS & EDMONDS Renovation of Billings & Edmonds’ three stores has resulted in a modern, contemporary retail presence, which is coupled with investment in a new, engaging website. The business carries out selling events at schools, as well as regularly attending school events. Staff retention is impressive and the business has good relationships with its suppliers.

SPECIAL MENTION: ALLEYCATZ Alleycatz offers a well-presented, customerfriendly store and a good website. It effectively motivates staff, is committed to its schools, and has good relationships with its suppliers.


WINNER: ROWLINSON KNITWEAR Excelling in its endeavours, Rowlinson meets all of the award’s criteria. Since 2010, its customer satisfaction has risen from 43 per cent to 98 per cent, with the company consistently improving its financial performance across all key metrics. The majority employee-owned firm’s investment in people and care for the well-being of its employees is outstanding, including a generous employee benefit package, workplace initiatives and development opportunities. As a result, employee satisfaction has risen from 34 per cent to 98 per cent, with only a 2 per cent staff turnover in the last six years. Other winning attributes include investment in warehouse facilities and IT infrastructure, delivery service on time at 99.2 per cent, strong ethical values and transparency, and substantial support of local and global community charities. —


FINALIST: MARTON MILLS Marton Mills has successfully displayed year-on-year growth over the last five years. A continuous improvement and investment process has seen the company awarded a grant from the Textile Growth Fund, a scheme which aims to boost the economy through manufacturing. Marton Mills is a key player in terms of raising the profile of UK textile manufacturing, offering in-house apprenticeship schemes and working in conjunction with educational institutions and trade bodies to promote career opportunities. Its contribution to helping develop skills in UK manufacturing is highly commendable.


SPECIAL MENTION: NATIONAL WEAVING National Weaving’s considerable investment in skills development includes in-house training sessions, as well as staff going to Switzerland for specialist training in design and weaving. The company is also working with Business Wales, a Welsh Government funding organisation, which is advising it on the implementation of an Environmental Management System.



WINNER: STEVENSONS Relaunched last year as part of a rebranding programme, Stevensons’ website impresses on both the technical and design fronts. Highlights include consistent and cohesive branding, improved readability and usability, and responsive design that adapts across all devices. All of this has contributed to significant increases in session durations and online transactions. Added value introduced to the new website includes online appointment booking at Stevensons’ retail stores, the ability to download gender and year-specific price lists, and the option to create time-specific school-related communications. Increased information is also provided, including background on the company and its ethos, and the services it supplies. A focused social media strategy lends added support to Stevensons’ new and improved digital presence. —


FINALIST: DAVID LUKE Committed to staying ahead of the digital curve, David Luke utilises a combination of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click and analytics to ensure optimised content. This is supported by targeted email marketing and a very well thought out social media strategy, which regularly provides relevant and engaging content across all key social media platforms.

SPECIAL MENTION: MICHAEL SEHGAL & SONS LTD Heavy investment in its website design has resulted in a slick, responsive, easy-to-use website worthy of commendation.


WINNER: ROB FACEY, WILLIAM TURNER Dedicating 40 years to his role as UK production manager at William Turner, Rob Facey’s input has been integral in enabling the business’s UK sites to remain competitive in terms of both quality and service, despite pressure from offshore competitors. His experience and capabilities have seen the number of ties the company produces grow tenfold, with Facey now set to manage the company’s new site in Nelson to continue growth. The value of UK supply is at the heart of William Turner, and Facey’s continued guidance and expertise has enabled the company to continue delivering on these benefits. —


FINALIST: KATE HAIGH, CHARLES KIRK Kate Haigh joined Charles Kirk over 25 years ago as an experienced machinist and has been Making Up Manager for the last 12 years. Haigh’s commitment to her role has seen her embrace change and continually develop her knowledge of the textile industry. Haigh is key to Charles Kirk’s success over the last 25 years, and integral to the passing on of knowledge and experience to younger employees.

SPECIAL MENTION: BERNADETTE HAWKES, FALCON SPORTS Bernadette Hawkes has dedicated 25 years to Falcon. She is commended for her genuine care for customers, for her helpfulness and an unwavering commitment to providing one-off sizes without complaint – often having unusual sizes to hand, “just in case” – ensuring retailers can always fit any size of child. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 - 49

The collection


TAILORED STYLE, PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE Introducing The Signature Collection, a co-ordinated suiting range of boys and girls contemporary styled jackets, trousers and skirts.

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RISK FREE GUARANTEE HELD PRICES APPLIES TO OUR FULL RANGE Contact to place your order! t: 0161 480 8582 e:

Our skirts get top marks for quality and value.. 2017 prices held for 2018 delivery – Order now! Not only does our junior and senior skirt range continue to expand with developments and innovations that meet schools & pupils style demands, but they are the best prices on the market too. Order any skirt style, size or colour by the end of this year and get this year’s prices, even if you opt for 2018 delivery. Take advantage of the best skirt offer in the market. Call: 0161 272 7474 or order online at

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Z Zuma the Dog 07778 669680





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

BamBam – innovative, high quality but also surprisingly affordable. Tel: 01442 248099 Email:

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 Telegraph(UK) March 2015 “I am impressed by this organic babywear brand”. Tel: +31(0)30 7514025 Email:


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


BamBam – innovative, high quality but also surprisingly affordable.

Tel: 01442 248099 Email:


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:,

VANHUIZEN AGENCIES 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:



01484 848337 OR EMAIL




MARINE LLORIS Founder, Manège en Sucre With master’s degrees and motherhood under her belt, Marine Lloris, wife of Tottenham Hotspur captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, is now turning her hand to fashion with the launch of her own luxury girlswear brand, Manège en Sucre. — Laura Turner: With master’s degrees in social psychology and human resource management, what led you into childrenswear design? Marine Lloris: I love psychology. I studied for five years, specialising in human resources. After having my first daughter, I stopped working, moved from Nice to Lyon and then to London. After my second daughter, I felt ready to work again. Since I was a child, I was always creative – from painting to playing the piano – and growing up, I was drawn to textiles, different fabrics and the use of colour. So as an adult, I felt inspired to create something. It was when I had my girls that I found the perfect opportunity to channel my passion for creativity with my love of fashion. Initially, I considered a maternitywear brand, but having so much fun dressing my own girls led me to settle on childrenswear – girlswear specifically. I started alone, working on building the brand for a year and a half before meeting my designer, Claudia Gamba. We now work together on the brand. LT: How would you summarise the look of your brand? ML: French; chic, sweet and smart. Manège en Sucre has its own vibe and a strong sense of dressing kids as kids. LT: Can you tell me more about your debut collection for a/w 17? ML: It’s a very Christmassy capsule collection of dresses for 2-12 years, with each dress named after a princess. A Christmas dress is a must for me; I always pick one for my daughters to wear on Christmas Eve and another for Christmas day – it’s tradition. I feel

the collection really captures that sense of celebration. In terms of design, there’s lots of glitter, shine and attention to detail, such as Swarovski Crystal on the zip pulls. It’s important that the garments do more than look nice, I want children to want to wear the dresses and to be comfortable all day, which is why I include elements such as high quality, soft cotton linings. LT: What can we expect from your second collection for s/s 18? ML: The look is fresher and simpler, and includes shades of mint and peach. There are more everyday pieces as well as items for special occasionwear. LT: What inspires you design-wise? ML: I’m naturally attracted to certain colours and designs – I know very quickly if I like something. I do try to incorporate fashion trends, but I’m not led by them. It’s often a case of meeting somewhere half way, but I have to love something to go with it. LT: Do your daughters provide you with feedback? ML: Yes, my girls are my muses. They are very honest about the dresses and are always giving me ideas about how to make them even more special – they both love anything shiny, for instance. They also help me a lot in terms of the cut of the garments and how shapes work on different ages. LT: Would you consider branching into boyswear? ML: I think the brand will remain girlswear-

only. I don’t find the thought of designing boyswear as much fun, there’s more potential and more options in girlswear. It’s hard to create a luxury brand for boys and the high street does boyswear very well. LT: Where is Manège en Sucre available? ML: The Christmas collection has launched exclusively in the childrenswear concession of Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge, on the Harvey Nichols website and via manege-en-sucre. com. We will be expanding to more stockists, but we want to keep our volumes low, our quality perfect and our distribution exclusive. LT: Which other childrenswear brands do you admire? ML: I like Bon Point and I bought Tartine et Chocolat a lot for my daughters when they were babies. I don’t buy something for the brand name though – if I like a style, I’ll shop for it. LT: Where did the name Manège en Sucre come from? ML: Translated, it literally means Carousel in Sugar. The carousel element is because my daughters adore them and ‘sugar’ rounded it into a proper brand name and made it a bit sweeter. I designed and illustrated the brand logo myself, which is of a carousel with a horse on a striped candy cane. LT: What are the plans for the brand? ML: To develop in London and the UK – the a/w and s/s collections will only be available in the UK. Once we are more established here, we will look to expand into Europe.


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