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Angel & Rocket Q&A with Philippa Cloete - Best emerging children's fashion brand 2014 - WINNER

We meet the designer behind the 2014 Junior Design Award-winning entry




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What is your name and job title? 

Philippa Cloete, co -Founder and Brand Director

What did you love to wear as a child? 

I loved to dress up in my mums clothes as a child, putting on hats,jewellery and bags, all the things little girls often do. As I grew older I loved to make my own clothes, or get my mum to do it! I loved picking the fabric and the pattern and all the trims.

What’s so great about children’s fashion?

Children’s fashion can be fun, beautiful and contemporary all at the same time. I love the individuality of children and watching them express themselves through their choices. I love that you can pick the best trends and engineer them to still be contemporary but infuse them with touches of details and a sense of humour that you can’t do in adult clothing.

What are the highlights of your autumn winter 2014 collection?

Our knitwear is a strong part of our collection. The yarns are really soft and luxurious and all machine washable. We have beautiful stitches and fun, contemporary patterns, the bunny jumper being a firm favourite. Our t-shirts are also a great addition to the collection, our monkey T-shirt has great character and our woodland themed stag is very cool. Their hand drawn technique makes them feel fesh and unique.

How important is it to keep up with changing fashion trends? 

For Angel & Rocket the trends are always relevant but we are not slaves to them. We pick out the trends we feel we can put our handwriting to and that our kids will love. The product has to ultimately be soft and comfortable and children have got to want to wear them.

How have you made your brand stand out in the increasingly growing market of children’s fashion? 

We are a strong British brand where design is at the heart.The quality and level of design at an accessible price point we think is something we offer in the market. We offer a cool contemporary look using soft good quality fabrics and yarns. We hear from customers all the time that they wished it came in their size! All our prints and graphics are hand drawn and we ensure each garment is uncompromised in its design and has just the right amount of detail. We ensure our products are tested to the highest standards and are machine washable so parents know they are durable. 

Where do you source design inspiration?  

We are inspired from all sorts of places, interiors, travelling, our own children and most often a gorgeous yarn or beautiful fabric sparks an idea which inspires a fantastic design. We love illustration, and we also look at more grown up trends and imagine them in a mini version.

Why do you think parents are increasingly more interested in what their children are wearing?

I do, parents see their children as a reflection of themselves. they want them to look good, be unique for the right reasons and children's fashion has become so good over the past few years its very much in parents minds. The celebrity and social media growth has definitely facilitated this which is clear when a retailer sells out immediately if Harper Beckham is photographed in their clothing. I also think parents want something that has been designed and considered and not just mass produced.

Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards? 

Being involved with Junior has always been one of our goals. It is a fantastic recognition of talent and credits all levels of brands within different markets. It also allows small brands like ourselves to gain exposure and be supported through the challenges of launching into the market place.

What is next for your brand?

Our ambition is to grow our business and become a ‘go to’ British brand for something a little special and unique. We have already had  a fantastic response internationally and this would be an area we would look to grow. We have also had a lot of customers wanting our look and design in small sizes so we wouldn’t rule out a baby range but that is something for the future.

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