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Clarks Q&A with Dan Spencer - Best boys' fashion brand 2014 - HIGHLY COMMENDED

We meet the designer behind the 2014 Junior Design Award Highly Commended entry




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What is your name and job title?

My name Dan Spencer and I design shoes for the Clarks' Boy’s Everyday range

What did you love to wear as a child?

That’s a long time ago, I can remember being really into my football and had various ‘retro’ football tops and always wore trainers.

What’s so great about children’s fashion?

Simply, children’s fashion is really fun. I love all the colours that you can get away with, even on winter collections. It never takes itself too serious or acts over pretentious. Often you can add a cool fun twist to established adult trends

What are the highlights of your autumn winter 2014 collection?

I’m particularly pleased with the Little Jets package in the first shoes range: these tie in with our whole Jets story but offering it in a great leathery way. The Softly Seb’s look great worn by the little boys out and about.

For the older boys the Beven and Fleet groups of shoes and boots make a very strong collection that offers great modern casual fashion.

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

It’s always important to be at least aware of the changing fashion trends otherwise your brand runs the risk of becoming stale and stuck in the past. Whether you act on the trend is always down to judgement.

What do you say to people who say there aren’t enough good fashion choices available for boys? 

Come and have a look at our range! We design for many consumer speeds but always use the latest trend and colour information to provide the latest fashionable looks in our collection.

Where do you find design inspiration?  

We find inspiration from everywhere and anything. We often travel to different markets around the world to see the current profiles, trends and colours. Every market has different requirements for their footwear and just being in a foreign city can provide plenty of inspiration.

For prints and soles we may find the inspiration from a car, building, art exhibition or museum visits. In children’s footwear we can design anything from dinosaurs to aeroplanes

Why did you enter the Junior Design Awards?

We (Clarks) love Junior and the content - it fits perfectly with our audience. The Junior editorial team know exactly what their readers are looking for, and it shows in the quality of their features and content. They also really understand our brand and look for ways in which we can help complement what they are producing.  We are also always thrilled with the pieces that include Clarks – it’s always so great to see!

What do you predict for the future of children’s fashion?

It’s very difficult to predict the future of children’s fashion, there are dozens of trend houses researching this constantly, but if I was to have a guess I would say ‘smart fabrics’ connecting into devices such as mobile phones or the internet.

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